Joseph FITZROY #2427
By Marg Powel & Des Crump | 18 September 2017
Indigenous Australian, Joseph FITZROY, 11th Light Horse Regiment
Joe Fitzroy was born at Eulo, Qld in 1896 and was working as a station hand at Dynevor Downs Station when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF in July 1917. He chose to name his friend Robert Douglas of Mitchell as his next of kin, stating that he did not know the whereabouts of either of his parents. Fitzroy trained at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera before travelling to Sydney by troop train in December 1917. Assigned to the 20th Reinforcements for the 11th Light Horse Regiment, he embarked with a number of other Indigenous enlistments on HMAT Ulysses bound for Egypt.
Upon arrival at Suez, Fitzroy was admitted to No.2 Australian Stationary Hospital suffering from the effects of mumps no doubt contracted whilst onboard ship. Three weeks later he joined the Light Horse Training Battalion before joining his unit in the field in April 1918. The 11th Light Horse were stationed at Selmeh, near Jaffa at this time.
After two months enduring long patrols and rigorous conditions, Fitzroy was found to be suffering from Malaria, very prevalent for troops patrolling the Jordan Valley, and evacuated to hospital for treatment.
Fitzroy rejoined his unit in Palestine a month later and remained in the Middle East until being repatriated home in July 1919. He returned to his work in northern Queensland as a stockman, he died in 1959 age 63. The record for his death records 'Charlie and Jenny' as his parents.
* Charlie FITZROY was from Norley Station and Jinnie / Jenny was from Thargomindah – from the Kalali people - Tindale Genealogical Index.
Read more ...
- Service record: FITZROY, Joseph
- Embarkation roll: 20th / 11th Light Horse Regiment
- Blog: Queensland Aboriginals in the 11th Light Horse Regiment
- 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
- Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 22 December 1917
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and 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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