Monthly Archives: July 2018 Back

William Ernest RALPH #6874

William Ernest Ralph

Indigenous Australian, William RALPH, 15th Infantry Battalion William RALPH’s story highlights the difficulties faced by indigenous families as they sought to be treated as equals among the general community. Like many of his peers, William RALPH volunteered to serve with the first AIF, and in October 1915 while allied troops were still deployed to the … Read more

Tommy PURCELL #7813a

Tommy Purcell

Indigenous Australian, Tommy PURCELL, 15th Infantry Battalion. Tommy PURCELL also known as Tommy LEE was born in Atherton in 1894. He was just 21 years old when he enlisted in the first AIF in September 1917, he named his sister Emily Purcell as his next of kin. Tommy initially trained at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera … Read more

Jack NORMAN #64373

Jack Norman

Indigenous Australian, Jack NORMAN, 6th Reinforcements Egypt & Field Engineers. John Henry Norman was born in Croydon, Qld in 1899, and worked near Bundaberg on a cane farm, prior to enlisting. Jack was employed by Martin Wessell, having been hired out from the Barambah Mission station at the age of 13. Jack volunteered to serve … Read more

Wallie JOHNSON #2444

Wally Johnson

Indigenous Australian, Wallie (Walter) Johnson, 49th & 47th Infantry Battalions. Wallie (Walter) Johnson was born on Whyenbah Station, near St George in 1894. His mother died when he was very young and Wallie was taken in by the local police sergeant Phillip Cowley and his wife Harriet (Hetty). He was raised along with their own … Read more

John (Jack) HUGGINS #5689

8th Reinf. 9th Battallion

Indigenous Australian, John (Jack) Huggins, 9th & 26th Infantry Battalions. Jack Huggins was almost thirty years old when he was accepted to serve for his country on New Years Eve, 1915. Tall and lean, he was a stockman like his father before him, used to working in the harsh conditions of northern Queensland. Jack’s previous … Read more