Herbert ROBERTS #50265

Indigenous Australian, Herbert ROBERTS, 1st Reinforcements, Egypt.

Anxious to enlist, he signed a statutory declaration that his father was a white man and his mother was a half-caste aboriginal, and that he had lived all his life with white people.

Unable to read or write he made his mark with an X when he signed his enlistment papers and was earmarked to join the General Reinforcements for Egypt, like his brother, training at Rifle Range camp, Enoggera and Lytton Camp near the Port of Brisbane.

While off-duty at Lytton Camp, Roberts, who was just short of 6ft tall was enjoying a game of 'hop step & jump' when he twisted his ankle causing it to swell and become rather painful. He was admitted to the Camp Clearing Hospital, Enoggera but refused further treatment.

Later the next moth he was discovered absent without leave for less than a day and fined for his actions. Herbert Roberts was no longer considered suitable to contribute to the AIF and was recommended for discharge, medically unfit, 21 June 1918. Herbert (Bert) returned to his family in Hillview, many of whom were later removed to the Aboriginal mission at Barambah, now known as Cherbourg.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump


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