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Aboriginals in World War 1
Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders in World War 1

Arrow bullet Aboriginals and war     Arrow bullet Boer War     Arrow bullet WW1     Arrow bullet WW1: Gallipoli    Arrow bullet Gallipoli lists
Arrow bullet WW1: Western Front     Arrow bullet  WW1 lists     Arrow bullet WW2     Arrow bullet Issues




Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that these pages contain images and names of deceased people as well as links to pages containing such material.


Inequality again
Collected histories
Lesson materials

● Aboriginal soldiers
Attitudes at the start of WW1 Archie Murphy (Image Marie Smith)Indigenous Australians at War (
See list of contents at left of page. Read especially:
- Why did they join?
(This section could also be called 'How did the wider Aboriginal population benefit from the Aboriginals who served in World War 1?')
- Indigenous women at war 

Aboriginal members of the Light Horse, AIF (
Many Aboriginal volunteers served with the Australian Light Horse.
See in particular A Scheme for Training the Aboriginal Natives in the Northern Portions of the Commonwealthh (scroll down) which reflects the attitudes many people had towards Aboriginals at the time of the First World War.

Aboriginals' significant role in WWI revealed (Archived from
The Mercury, 13 April 2004, in
At first, army regulations banned Aboriginals from signing up to fight in World War 1 but this restriction was relaxed in May 1917.

Inequality again after  WW1


involvement see our Aboriginal
Gallipoli and Gallipoli lists

Indigenous Australian Soldiers (
Refers to why many Aboriginal Australians signed up to fight in World War 1 and makes the same comments made in many other references about equality as a soldier versus inequality once home again.

Aboriginal Soldiers of World War 1 (
Aboriginal soldiers generally experienced equality with other soldiers during the war but after the war they experienced inequality again and received little support.

Interview with Gary Oakley ( 5, 11 Mar 2015
Gary Oakley, the Australian War Memorial's Indigenous liaison officer, discusses Indigenous soldiers at Gallipoli and the challenges they faced when they returned to Australia. You can watch and listen to the interview, or just read the transcript by clicking on "Transcript".

Blogs Indigenous Histories: WW1 category(
A number of informative blog entries about Aboriginal soldiers in World War 1.

Letters Aboriginal Writing (Blog article) (
"Letters and writing in WW1 service records." Scroll right down for a letter written by George Aitken to his mate. (The paragraphs begin "Just a little..." and "Goodbye old man...")
Collected histories

ATSI volunteers for the AIF

Australian and Torres Strait Islander Volunteers for the AIF (

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: The Indigenous response to World War One (Second Edition 2012),
by Philippa Scarlett. See book review.

Lest We Forget: Remembering the Aboriginal Heroes of World War 1 [pdf] (


We will remember them

We will remember them (
Private Leonard Charles Lovett  Trooper William Allen Private Harold Arthur Cowan  Corporal Harry Thorpe
Four of the 19 images of World War 1 Aboriginal soldiers presented on the ABC's We will remember them web page. (Image acknowledgment: Australian War Memorial)
A radio program that paid tribute to the estimated 800 Aboriginal men who served in World War 1. Download the audio or view the transcript.
The program includes comments by Philippa Scarlett, author of the following books on Aboriginals who participated in World War 1:
● Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: The Indigenous response to World War One (Second Edition 2012), by Philippa Scarlett. See above.
The Lock family in World War One: how service records contribute to Darug history, by Philippa Scarlett. See more information.
Rolls of honour and lists of names  This section has MOVED to the following two new pages:
Aboriginals in World War 1: Names (including state-by-state lists)
Aboriginals at Gallipoli: Names

Anzac Kids
Lesson materials Lesson 11 Aboriginal Light Horsemen, Lesson Plan (archived from
Suggested lesson activities for Years 9 and 10. Addresses race issues, uses primary document sources. Guide for students:
Aboriginal Light Horsemen, Part 11, Students outline (archived version - may be slow to load).


See also

Aboriginals and war
Aboriginals in World War 2
Aboriginals in war: Issues
Aboriginal women and war
Anzac spirit and legend


The image of Private Archie Murphy is taken from a photograph on page 6 of the Resource Book, for which it is provided by Marie Smith



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