Benjamin Manager, 5th Depot Battalion

Benjamin Manager

Indigenous Australian, Benjamin MANAGER (Managai), 5th Depot Battalion.

Benjamin James Manager (Managai) was born at Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island in 1897, his mother was Elizabeth “Bessie” Gonzales, a daughter of Fernando Gonzales and Junobin. His father was Benjamin Francis Manager (Managai), a Maori born in Auckland, New Zealand.

Just 18 years old, Benjamin volunteered his services with the first AIF in September 1915, but he was never given the opportunity to serve for his country.

Based on Private Manager’s heritage, not his ability or conduct, the officer commanding the 5th Depot Battalion submitted papers requesting his discharge two months after had sworn to well and truly serve’ for his Sovereign and country.

His service record was endorsed on the first page with the statement services no longer required.

Benjamin returned to his family and worked with the Moreton Bay Oyster Company, he married Ethel Button from Deebing Creek in 1919.

Benjamin and Ethel raised 5 children, Isabel, Hazel, Trevor, Rachel and Valerie. He was sadly missed when he died in 1942 aged 45, his family continued to place notices in the newspapers in his memory for years after the event.

Read more:

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