Benjamin Manager, 5th Depot Battalion
Indigenous Australian, Benjamin MANAGER (Managai), 5th Depot Battalion
Benjamin James Manager (Managai) was born at Dunwich [Goompi], North Stradbroke Island [Minjerribah] in 1897, his mother was Elizabeth 'Bessie' Gonzales, a daughter of Fernando Gonzales and Junobin. His father was Benjamin Francis Manager (Managai), a Maori born in Auckland, New Zealand.
Just 18 years old, Benjamin volunteered his services with the first AIF in September 1915, but he was never given the opportunity to serve for his country.
Based on Private Manager’s heritage, not his ability or conduct, the officer commanding the 5th Depot Battalion submitted papers requesting his discharge two months after had sworn to ‘well and truly serve' for his Sovereign and country.
His service record was endorsed on the first page with the statement ‘services no longer required’.
Benjamin and Ethel raised 5 children, Isabel, Hazel, Trevor, Rachel and Valerie. He was sadly missed when he died in 1942 aged 45, his family continued to place notices in the newspapers in his memory for years after the event.
- Service record: MANAGER, Benjamin
- 'North Stradbroke Island's First World War Soldiers and the Homefront'
- Family notices, The Telegraph 13 October 1945
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen [oral history]
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.