Indigenous Australian, Walter BONSER, 5th & 11th Light Horse Regiments.
Walter Robert ‘Tunner’ BONSER was born in Bourke, NSW in 1890 to William Burke and Catherine Matilda Murray. He was working as a labourer when he enlisted at Toowoomba, 30 July 1915 aged 21.
Bonser was assigned to the 5th Light Horse Regiment and embarked on HMAT ‘Mashobra’ for Egypt. Upon his arrival he was admitted to No 4 Auxilliary Hospital, Abassia with mumps.
In November 1916 Bonser was transferred to the 4th Australian Camel Regiment, and later the 11th Light Horse Regiment. During the later part of his service he contracted Malaria and was hospitalised several times for treatment. He returned to Australia on board HMAT ‘Demosthenes’, medically unfit, 2 March 1919.
After his return to Australia he initially gained employment in Charleville, Qld but later returned to his family in Bourke, his father had died whilst he was serving overseas in 1916.
Walter Bonser married Margaret Cottier in 1930. His brother Albert ‘Wagga’ Bonser also served, with the 26th Infantry Battalion.
Read more …
- SERVICE RECORD: BONSER, Walter Robert
- EMBARKATION RECORD: 11th Reinf. 5th Light Horse Regiment
- Image supplied by family.
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland