Niney McDONALD #4441

Indigenous Australian, Niney McDONALD, 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Assigned to the general reinforcements for the Anzac Mounted Division, Niney first trained at the army barracks at Enoggera, Brisbane, followed by several months at Lytton barracks before embarking on the troopship 'Port Darwin’ in April 1918.

When Niney signed his enlistment papers he named his mother as next-of-kin but he also authorized an allotment to go to his sister Esther Parsons, whose husband Bertrid Parsons #3490 was also serving.

Niney arrived at Port Suez, Egypt in June and settled into the training depot at Moascar, East of Cairo. He was selected to attend the Signalers Training Unit and subsequently allotted to the 11th Light Horse Regiment.

Trooper McDonald joined the Regiment, when they operating in Kuneitra in south-western Syria in October 1918, unaware of the imminent cessation of hostilities.

News of the armistice with Germany was received by the troopers when they were encamped near the village of Zgarta in Libya on the 11th November.

While the men of the 11th Light Horse expected to be returned home, they were to become part of an allied force that remained in Egypt in 1919 to quell the Egyptian uprising against British rule.

Niney McDonald finally returned home in August 1919 and was granted exemption from the Aboriginal Protection Act in February 1920.

In 1924 he wrote to the authorities pointing out that he was eligible to receive the ‘Victory Medal’, which was subsequently despatched to him at Adavale, where he living and working.

In 1925 he married Eileen June Anderson and they remained in the Maranoa region, where he worked as a stockman. In the late 1950s Niney McDonald moved with his family to Wulkuaka, now a suburb of Ipswich.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump

 

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