This blog contains images of Aboriginal people who have died, which may cause sadness and distress to their relatives. Care and discretion should be used when viewing this blog

28 January 2011

A difficult birth...

Well, I've finally made a start on this blog. The delay has been caused by my becoming involved in a project called the Register of Aboriginal Veterans of South Australia (RAVSA). Whilst this blog is not part of the RAVSA project, the work I have already done will contribute to RAVSA.

So far I have gathered a total of 32 names of Aboriginal soldiers from South Australia that saw active service in the First World War, and another 14 who enlisted but were subsequently discharged before going on active service for a variety of reasons.

The list includes one soldier that was awarded the Military Medal and one who was mentioned in dispatches, five who served on Gallipoli, and six who were killed in action or died of wounds. Eight were wounded, several more than once, and one was wounded on four separate occasions but nevertheless survived the war. Three were taken prisoner of war by the Germans, two of them after they had been wounded, one mortally. Three served with the Light Horse, and three of these Aboriginal diggers are buried in the Australian Imperial Force cemetery on West Terrace, Adelaide.

My plan is to research each one then post a profile of them with a photograph in a similar manner to my Blackwood Soldiers Project. Unfortunately I have so far only been able to find photographs of about a third of them, so many will be accompanied by a photograph of their gravestone or their unit colour patch.

My next post will be one with the full active service list as it stands.


  1. Great web site Ian. Well done. I have been planning on something similar for Victorian WW1 Aborigines for 4 years. I was the founder of Victoria's first public War Memorial for Aboriginal Service men and women, located in Warrnambool.

    I can be contacted at

    Peter Bakker (Hamilton- Victoria)

  2. Hello Ian - Wonderful work. Inspiring. I wonder if I could interview you for a book I am working on regarding Memorials across Australia. My email address is I am working on the book across Australia, and tomorrow leave for WA, driving back across the Nullabor, into Eyre Peninsula and then across to Adelaide and completing the journey in Mt Gambier. Look forward to hearing from you, Regards, Julie