Two new QANZAC100 banners have recently appeared on the Maiwar Green – the grassy area between State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). The banners feature excerpts from the following photograph:
In 1918, as the war dragged on and casualties increased, the number of men enlisting continued to fall. Manpower shortages were severe, and the failure of the second conscription plebiscite in December 1917 meant that reinforcements were modest at best. This photograph features several Aboriginal soldiers, who enlistment prospects had actually improved as a result of the relaxation of the Defence Act in 1917. The group is believed to include Willie Allen (service no. 50246), Glen Combarngo (service no. 50248), Herbert Roberts (service no. 50265), Patrick Brady (service no. 50271), John Lewis (service no. 50276), Harry Roberts (service no. 50278), and Alexander Stanley (service no. 50280). Most of these soldiers were assigned to the 11th Light Horse Regiment, and saw out their service in the Middle East.
For more information about Queensland’s Aboriginal servicemen of the First World War, check out the showcase on the QANZAC100 website, and the resources on the State Library of Queensland website.
Robyn Hamilton – Coordinator, QANZAC100 Content, State Library of Queensland