Harry SHERIDAN #Q21123

Harry Sheridan

Indigenous Australian, Harry SHERIDAN, Depot.

Harry SHERIDAN/SHERRIDAN also known as Henry Alpha was born at Alpha in 1882. Keen to join the first AIF he travelled to Charleville to volunteer his services in July 1917.

Aged 36 and an experienced horseman, he would have been a valuable asset to any of the Light Horse Regiments serving in the Middle East, but the authorities were reluctant to accept his offer.

Harry Sheridan was an Aboriginal and without any white/European heritage, the medical examiners denied his enlistment. Harry was formerly discharged in September 1917.  He returned to western Queensland and his resumed employment on the pastoral station Listowel Downs, south of Blackall.

Two years later an influenza epidemic raged through Queensland, thought most likely to have been fueled by the increased movement of men returning from overseas after the war. The epidemic killed over 800, primarily young adults, including 69 residents of the Barambah Aboriginal Settlement.

Three aboriginal workers at Listowel Downs died in 1919 including Harry Sheridan on the last day of May.

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