John Homer LEWIS #50276
Indigenous Australian John LEWIS, 11th Light Horse Regiment
John Homer [aka Horner] Lewis was born at Tilbaroo Station, near Cunnamulla, Queensland in 1890. An experienced stockman and horse breaker he was keen to volunteer to serve with the first AIF in April 1918.
Lewis was initially assigned to the 1st Reinforcements Queensland and after training at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera, departed from Sydney on board the troopship Wiltshire alongside at least seven other Queensland Indigenous men:
Lewis was admitted to the ships' hospital during the voyage with acute bronchitis, and was discharged to duty 4 days later. The reinforcements arrived in Egypt in July 1918 and were brought to strength, at the Central Training Depot, Moascar.
Like many of his shipmates, in the 1st Reinforcements Queensland, Lewis was transferred to the 11th Light Horse Regiment. He joined his unit in September when they were operating out of Palestine at Semakh, engaged in securing the town from Turkish forces. The men of the 11th Light Horse remained in Egypt after the surrender of October 1918 and were engaged in garrison duty during the Egyptian revolt of March 1919.
Lewis and many of his fellow troopers returned home on board HMAT Morvada in July 1919. After his discharge, Lewis returned to work on the land as a stockman in south western Queensland.
Read more …
- Indigenous histories 15.4.2015
- Service record: LEWIS, John Homer
- 'Many served: AIF Aborigines', Reveille, 30 November 1931, p.22
- Scarlett, Philippa. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to World War One. Fourth edition, Indigenous Histories, Macquarie, ACT, 2018
- 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.