Queensland Aboriginals in the 11th Light Horse Regiment

Reveille, 30th September 1931.

Reveille, 30th September 1931.

While undertaking research into Aboriginal soldiers, I discovered the above article from Reveille. It is one of several sources that identify Aboriginal stockmen being recruited into the Australian Light Horse, particularly the 11th Light Horse Regiment.

11th Light Horse Regiment, 20th Reinforcements

11th Light Horse Regiment, 20th Reinforcements

This snippet from the AWM website identifies some of the Aboriginal men sent as part of the 20th Reinforcements for the 11th Light Horse that left Sydney on the 'Uylsses', 19th December 1917. AWM records indicate that this group was the only exclusive Aboriginal group created in the AIF - only 4 non-Indigenous men were in the reinforcement group!

The following list identifies the names of the Aboriginal men who served in the 11th LHR as well as their place of residence.

2422 Pte William Bert Brown
2423 Pte Frederick Arthur Burnett
2424 Pte Edward Collins
2459 Pte Fred Collins
2458 Pte Samuel Cooper
2425 Pte Jack Costello
2426 Pte Harry Doyle
2428 Pte Frank Fisher
2427 Pte Joe Fitzroy
2429 Pte John Geary
2460 Pte John Hall
2430 Pte John Johnston, (Died of wounds, 1 June 1918)
2431 Pte Jack Kearns
2432 Pte John McKenzie Laurie
2433 Pte James Lingwoodock
2434 Pte Leonard Lynch
2438 Pte James McBride
2437 Pte David Molloy
2435 Pte Frank Morris
2436 Pte Harry Murray
2439 Pte William Nicholld
2440 Pte Jack Oliffe
2443 Pte Charlie Parkes
2441 Pte Jack Pollard
2445 Pte Edward Smith
2447 Pte Joe White
2448 Pte Leslie Thomas Wogas

Wedding of Troopers Lingwoodock and Geary, 11th LHR

This photo entitled 'Servicemens' wedding at Charlotte Street, Brisbane, 1917' features two of the Aboriginal troopers at their joint wedding prior to disembarking for the war with the 20th Reinforcements. The grooms are Private James Lingwoodock and Private John 'Jack' Geary ; the brides are Daisy Roberts and Alice Bond.

History of the Eleventh Light Horse Regiment.

History of the Eleventh Light Horse Regiment.

State Library has several items in the collections relating to the 11th Light Horse Regiment and their involvement in WW1 - History of the Eleventh Light Horse Regiment provides the official regimental history of a remarkable group of men.

Des Crump

Indigenous Languages Researcher, Queensland Memory


References and Further Reading

Hammond, E. W. (1942) History of the 11th Light Horse Regiment, Fourth Light Horse Brigade, Australian Imperial Forces : War 1914-1919J 940.41294 HAM

Pratt, R. (1993) Biographical register of Queensland Aborigines who served in the Great War, 1914-1918. P 940.403 pra

Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History 2015. Digital Story 29841

Ration Shed Museum (2015) The boys from Barambah: The story of the black diggers of Barambah-Cherbourg of World War 1. JUVQ 940.400899915 NEW

Scarlett, P. (2011) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to World War One. Q 940.40994 SCA

Servicemens' wedding at Charlotte Street, Brisbane, 1917. JOL Negative 60511

Winegard, T. C. (2012) Indigenous peoples of the British dominions and the First World War. 940.341 2012


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There is a photograph of 'G .Molloy, Cairns' which was published in 'The Northern Herald' newspaper, 23 November 1917 edition, p34. I think may actually be Pte. David Molloy #2437 mentioned on this page.Reference: (1917, November 23). The Northern Herald (Cairns, Qld. : 1913 - 1939), p. 34. Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150912096

There is a photograph of 'W. Nicold, Cairns' which was published in 'The Northern Herald' newspaper, 7 December 1917 edition, p30. I think this may be Pte William Nicholld of Yarrabah mentioned in the SLG Blog.Reference: (1917, December 7). The Northern Herald (Cairns, Qld. : 1913 - 1939), p. 30. Retrieved February 28, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article150908969

Thanks Ally - it is great to see photographs of these men.

I have in my possession a BMW to John McKenzie Laurie #2432. It is missing the suspension bar but is fairly typical for this medal as it is of a good silver content for which some were sold or melted during the depression year's. I He is also entitled to the Victory medal but sadly not with me.

Hello There is a group that works to identify next of kin for lost medals: http://www.lostmedalsaustralia.com/ Regards,Des.

any information appreciated on john geary 2429 light horse 11th ..only have photo grave. post 22 wattle street booval 4304thanks

Hello Fay, there is some info on John Geary at another post: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/ww1/2014/01/21/servicemens-wedding-at-charl… I guess you have seen his service record on the National Archives: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.asp…\\ In addition there is some information on the Cherbourg Memory website: http://cherbourgmemory.org/profiles/john-geary/Regards, Des.

I am writing a biography of Frederick Arthur BURNETT (2423 of the 20th reinforcements to the 11th Light Horse) and have also requested the Office of War Graves to place a plaque on his grave which currently has nothing. Anyone wishing to provide info can contact me.

Rod - some further details on Burnett at another blog: https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/blog/frederick-arthur-burnett-2423