Indigenous Australian, Arthur WILLIAMS, 5th Depot Battalion
Arthur Williams volunteered to serve with the First Australian Imperial Forces in September 1915, while allied troops were still serving on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Born near Sydney in 1887, Arthur was working as a labourer in Queensland when he stepped forward to fight for his country.
Arthur did not name any living relatives as his next of kin when he enlisted. Instead he named the Reverend William Miles, St Luke’s Church, Charlotte Street, Brisbane. The same Reverend Miles that married James Lingwoodock and John Geary in a double wedding held at St Lukes in December 1917.
Arthur was assigned to C Coy, 5th Depot Battalion at Enoggera Barracks, where he trained for the next two months. On 3 November, Arthur was found in a drunken state at the Jubilee Hotel, Fortitude Valley and taken into custody by Sergeant Wills and Lieutenant Mackay.
Arthur Williams was not only admonished for his behaviour, but the authorities recommended that he be discharged from the army – his ‘services no longer required’ (SNLR). This statement generally referred to an individual whose employment as a soldier was terminated due to unsatisfactory behaviour or indiscipline.
Left to right: 2433 Trooper James Lingwoodock, Daisy Lingwoodock (nee Roberts), unidentified, 2429 John Geary, The Reverend W P B Miles; and Alice Geary (nee Bond). Image: Australian War Memorial
* Reverend, later Canon William Philip Burrill Miles (MBE) was also associated with St Luke’s Anglican Church Mission, the Soldiers’ Church of England Rest Home, Coolangatta and the Enoggera Boys Home.
He was made Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1961.
Read more …
- Service record: WILLIAMS, Arthur Edward
- Country Volunteers. The Brisbane Courier 1 September 1915, p. 10
- Bush Brothers’ Camp. Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette 15 December 1926, p. 5
- One of the soldiers in SLQ’s HistoryPin collection
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland