Tag Archives: Indigenous Soldiers Back

John MAKINSON #2184

Indigenous Australian, John MAKINSON, 25th & 9th Infantry Battalions Jack MAKINSON was just 6 years old when his mother Catherine Gissell passed away. His father, also John, relinquished the care of his seven children to a Policeman and his wife in Dubbo who cared for them until they were old enough to make their own … Read more

Arthur Riley #Q19613

Arthur Riley, Light Horse Depot Regiment

Indigenous Australian, Arthur RILEY, Light Horse Depot Regiment. Arthur RILEY was born near Gayndah, to Tom Tom Riley and Rosy, in 1889. He was among 17 Aboriginal men who were recruited during a drive by the Queensland Recruiting Committee on 14 May 1917. The Committee represented by Chaplain Canon David Garland and Chief Protector of … Read more

Perfect soldiers WW1

Eight PERFECT soldiers, great-grandsons of Margaret ‘Peggy’ Reid and Jonathan Goldspink, enlisted during the First World War. Peggy Reid was a descendant of the Burramattagal (Parramatta) Clan. Three of her grandsons were born in Rockhampton, to Alfred Perfect and Alice Cook – Joseph, William and Arthur, all volunteered to serve with the first AIF. Joseph … Read more

Thomas Henry LEA #242

Thomas Henry Lea, 12th Machine Gun Company

Indigenous Australian, Thomas LEA, 12th Machine Gun Company Henry ‘Harry’ LEA’s story is woven with tales of misleading identity and a strong desire to serve for his country. When Harry first volunteered in September 1915, he enlisted under the name of Henry LEE, born at Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island. The remarks recorded on his ‘attestation … Read more

George ELLIS #2356

Indigenous Australian, Private George ELLIS, 15th Infantry Battalion When George ELLIS volunteered to serve with the first AIF, no one suspected he was of Aboriginal heritage. From this photograph published in The Queenslander Pictorial in 1916, there is really nothing to distinguish him from any other keen recruit, stepping up to fight for “King and … Read more

Joseph ZEEN #58184

Indigenous Australian, Joseph ZEEN, 6th Reinforcements Queensland When Joe ZEEN volunteered to serve for his country, at age 31, he had already seen much of the darker side of life, and the struggle to survive. Born in 1887 to Hannah Robinson and Peter Zeen, both his parents were deceased when he signed his enlistment papers, … Read more

John WOODS #77118

John Woods, Depot Battalion

Indigenous Australian, John WOODS, Depot John ‘Jack’ Woods was born in 1890, in Balonne region, south-west Queensland. In March 1917 while working as a drover and police tracker over the border at Moree, when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF. One of the first things you notice when you read Jack’s service record … Read more

Alfred WRIGHT #2017

Alfred Wright, 25th Infantry Battalion

Indigenous Australian, Alfred WRIGHT, 25th Infantry Battalion Alf WRIGHT was working as a shearer in St George, Queensland when he volunteered to serve for his country in June 1915. Just 21 years old, he soon found himself travelling from Mitchell to the training camp at Enoggera, Brisbane, assigned to the 3rd Reinforcements for the 25th … Read more

Frederick Walter WRIGHT

Frederick Walter Wright, Depot

Indigenous Australian, Frederick Walter WRIGHT, Depot Frederick Walter WRIGHT was born in Bourke, NSW in 1894 to Louisa Wright and James. In July 1915 he volunteered to serve with the first AIF, while troops were still fighting on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Fred soon found himself at Enoggera military camp, just outside Brisbane, assigned to the … Read more