James Alfred HUBBARD #1726
By Marg Powel & Des Crump | 16 November 2017
Trooper Hubbard, Rough Rider, Australian Remounts. Pencil drawing by George Lambert, Mosacar, Egypt, 18 January 1918. Courtesy Australian War Memorial, ART02729
Indigenous Australian, Jim HUBBARD, 8th Squadron, 2nd Australian Remount Unit
James (Jim) Hubbard a Wangkumara man, was born in Thargominda in 1879 and was a well-known horse-breaker and ‘rough rider. He volunteered to serve with the first AIF in October 1915, and was initially allotted to the 5th Light Horse Regiment.
Hubbard arrived in Egypt not long after troops had been evacuated from operations at Gallipoli and was reassigned to the 2nd Australian Remount Unit, joining other Queensland ‘gun riders' - Harry Hawkins, Roy Stanbridge and Charlie Phillott.
Over 6ft 2in tall, Jim Hubbard was described as a 'fine stamp' of man, who had quite a reputation for breaking ‘the rules’. His service record shows numerous offences for which he was ‘crimed’ but never-the-less remained a valued member of the Squadron.
Although later recollections note Jim as never having been ‘thrown’ in the four years that he served - his record does show two events where he was hospitalised, for accidental injury. The last involving a mule - when he was treated for a grazed face and shoulder having been bucked, during Military Sports held at Moascar in 1919.
It was not the first time that Jim’s Squadron had shown off their skills, while they were stationed in Cairo the Remount Unit held a sports day in aid of the Belgian fund, where the Queensland contingent won the day. Competitors included: Harry Hawkins, Hugh Lockett, Roy Stanbridge, Lyle (John) Way, John Cott, Edward (Ned) Kelly, Henry Epple and Jim Hubbard.
Jim Hubbard was the subject of several sketches made by the official war artist George Lambert, who visited the Remount Camp towards the end of the war. Hubbard returned to Australia in July 1919, and returned to his work as a horse-breaker. His service medals, which had been held by a J.W. Walshe of Dungaleer via Walget, were returned to the authorities in 1924.
In 1935 Jim Hubbard, then working at Weilmoringle Station, near Brewarrina, NSW applied for and was issued his previously unclaimed medals.
Curiously his brother Robert Hubbard had volunteered in May 1917 and was discharged 30 days later for having been “irregularly enlisted”.
Read more ...
- Service Record: HUBBARD, James Alfred
- Embarkation roll: 11th Reinf. 5th Light Horse Regiment
- 'Many served: AIF Aborigines', Reveille, 30 November 1931, p.22
- 'Abo. Horseman.' Glen Innes Examiner, 17 May 1932, p8
- 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.
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