Indigenous Australian, Frederick MAHER, Depot Battalion.
Frederick MAHER could be described as an enthusiastic volunteer, when he stepped forward for a second time at the recruiting office at Townsville in October 1916.
Born in 1893 at Thargomindah to Nellie and Jack Maher, he had been working as a stockman on a property near Ingham, and had previously been rejected for service on account of ‘poor eyesight’.
Nellie Maher had been removed from Thargomindah in the late 1890s and is recorded as dying at South Brisbane in July 1901, age 26. With no known living relatives, Maher named his friend and employer William Johnson, of ‘Loch Lea’ on the Stone River, as his next of kin.
When Maher was medically examined at Camp Headquarters, Enoggera it was very obvious why he had previously been rejected. He had an advanced pterygium on his right eye which obscured his vision, making him almost blind in that eye.
The medical board deemed Frederick Maher unfit for service and he was discharged on 2 November 1916. Frederick Maher returned to live and work as a stockman and horsebreaker in Charters Towers for many years, he married Eda Myrtle Chellingworth from Winton, in 1933.
Read more …
- SERVICE RECORD: MAHER, Frederick
- Brisbane General Hospital Register of Deaths and Special Removals 1899 – 1913
- 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