Indigenous Australian, Robert BOND, Depot Company
Bob BOND was employed as a stockman at Hawkwood Station, Mundubbera in 1917 when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF. Born in May 1981, to John and Amy, he had recently married Totty Waddy at Barambah Aboriginal Mission.
Recruiting officers purposely visited the Missions to sign up willing volunteers, vigorously promoting the benefits of army life: regular pay and meals, skills training, and travel opportunities.
Bond’s enlistment was initially accepted at Maryborough in July, and he was attached to No.1 Depot Company for basic training, however within a few weeks his aspiration to join the armed forces and fight for his country, was dashed.
A review of his heritage found that he had been “irregularly enlisted” and “not being substantially of European origin” a recommendation for his discharge was accepted. Although many men of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage were accepted during the World War I, many others were refused.
After Bond was discharged he returned to civilian life, his wife Totty gave birth to a son, who died in infancy in 1921. Robert Bond died a year later in 1922 at Taroom Aboriginal Mission.
Read more …
- Service record: BOND, Robert
- Centre for Indigenous Family History Studies: Queensland Index
- District recruiting. Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser 6 July 1917 p3
- 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