Daniel WALLACE #4448

Daniel Wallace, 11th Light Horse Regiment

Indigenous Australian, Daniel WALLACE, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

When Daniel Wallace embarked from Sydney aboard SS Port Darwin in April 1918 he was in the company of several other known Indigenous soldiers – Niney McDonald #4441, Robert Shepherd #4445, and Harold Walsh #4447.

Just 21 years old, Wallace was born at Brocks Creek, NT and enlisted at Darwin in January 1918. There were no military camps in the Territory at this time, so Wallace travelled to Brisbane where he trained with the infantry at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera.

Assigned to the 1st Reinforcements for the Anzac Mounted Division he left for overseas, bound for Egypt arriving there in June. During the voyage he contracted Influenza, known then as the Spanish Flu and was admitted to the ships hospital, one of the many casualties of the pandemic that swept the globe in 1918.

The troopships were breeding grounds for bacteria, the crowded conditions and limited medical resources contributed to the infection rate.

Wallace disembarked at Port Suez in July and was admitted to the 26th Stationary Hospital, Ismailia where he spent four weeks recuperating before being transferred to the DMC Rest Camp at Port Said.

Wallace’s condition unfortunately worsened, he developed pleurisy and bronchitis and was again admitted to hospital this time to the 14th Australian General at Abbassia. After several months he returned to the Rest Camp but was taken ill with Malaria, prevalent among soldiers serving in the Middle East, particularly the Jordan Valley, at that time.

Finally in December 1918, after the armistice had been signed, Trooper Daniel Wallace was once again fit for service and able to join his unit, now the 2nd Light Horse Regiment in Jerusalem where they had been deployed for garrison duty.

Wallace remained with the regiment until they were returned to Australia aboard HT Wimaroa arriving home in April 1919.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland