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Andrew LAURIE #Q21325

By Marg Powel & Des Crump | 8 December 2017

Service record, Andrew Laurie

Extract from service record, Andrew Laurie (National Archives of Australia)

Indigenous Australian, Andrew LAURIE, Depot Battalion

Andrew Laurie was born in 1894 at Comet, Queensland to Harrie and Marie Laurie. He traveled to Brisbane from Emerald to volunteer with the first AIF, 22 September 1917, having previously been rejected on the grounds of 'colour'.

The Officer in Charge of reinforcements for the Light Horse Regiment, at Enoggera, wrote to the Enlisting Officer at Adelaide Street and recommended Laurie to him, even though he had been rejected a month prior at Rockhampton, having been brought up among horses. He also mentioned that his brother George Laurie had successfully enlisted.

But Andrew Laurie was never given the opportunity to serve, his application was again rejected, this time under the section 'Disease or Disability' it stated 'Not sufficient European Parentage'.

Likened to something contagious, the notes go on to state the 'essential facts' that his father was Cinghalese and his mother, half caste Aboriginal.

Recruit Andrew Laurie was discharged three days later, 'having been irregularly enlisted'.

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The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.


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