Indigenous Australian, Frank WOODS, Depot.
Frank WOODS was born in Goondiwindi to William (Billy) Woods and Ida Cubby in 1891. Frank and his half-brother Edward Dennison, #74184 together volunteered to serve with the first AIF in December 1916.
Frank and Edward, who were both of Aboriginal heritage, named Charles Dennison as their next of kin. The families resided in the Boomi district, far north New South Wales.
Having signed their Attestation Papers and been medically examined Woods and Dennison travelled to the Depot Camp at the Sydney Show Grounds for what they would have assumed was the first step in their journey to serve for their country.
Both men however did not meet the heritage requirements of the day, and were discharged 3 weeks later as they were ‘not of substantial European origin’.
Frank returned to live in the Boomi district, residing at the Euraba Aboriginal Station, where he is remembered as a carver of emu eggs.
In 1941, age 50 while being escorted from Toomelah Mission, to Moree for medical treatment, Frank collapsed and died at the Boggabilla Railway Station.
Read more …
- SERVICE RECORD: WOODS, Frank
- Aborigine Collapses. North West Champion, 31 July 1941 p1.
- 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