John Horner LEWIS #50276

1st Reinforcements Queensland

Indigenous Australian John LEWIS, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Trooper John Lewis was born at Tilbaroo Station, Qld. in 1890. An experienced horse breaker he was keen to volunteer to serve with the first AIF in April 1918.

John Lewis was initially assigned to the 1st Reinforcements Queensland and departed from Sydney on board the troopship Wiltshire alongside at least seven other Queensland Indigenous men:

Willie Allen #50246, Charles Alley #50270, Glen Combarngo #50248, Herbert Roberts #50265, Patrick Brady #50271, Harry Roberts #50278 and Alexander Stanley #50280.

Lewis was admitted to the ships hospital during the voyage with Acute Bronchitis, and was discharged to duty 4 days later. They arrived in Egypt in July 1918 and were brought to strength, at the Central Training Depot, Moascar.

Like many of his shipmates, in the 1st Reinforcements Queensland, Lewis was transferred to the 11th Light Horse Regiment. He joined his unit in September when they were operating out of Palestine at Semakh, engaged in securing the town from Turkish forces.

The men of the 11th Light Horse remained in Egypt after the surrender of October 1918 and were engaged in garrison duty during the Egyptian revolt of March 1919.

Lewis and many of his fellow troopers returned home on board HMAT Morvada in July 1919. After his discharge, Lewis returned to work on the land as a stockman in south western Queensland.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump  |  QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland