Richard KIRWIN #2833

Richard Kirwin, The Queenslander Pictorial, 1917

Indigenous Australian, Dick (Richard) KIRWIN, 42nd Infantry Battalion

Dick KIRWIN, [also Kerwin] was born in Normanton, in 1892 and was employed as a fireman with the railways, before enlisting 6 October 1916; he named a friend, Sarah Bell as his next of kin.

Kirwin was assigned to the 6th Reinforcements for the 42nd Infantry Battalion and after initial training at Rifle Range Camp, Enoggera, he embarked from Sydney on board HMAT Demosthenes bound for England and France.

In July 1917 he joined the Battalion when they were being billeted in Belgium. While serving with the 42nd in France in September 1918, Kirwin was severely wounded in his left arm and invalided to hospital in England. He was repatriated to Australia in December 1918, and discharged medically unfit.

Kirwin having gained his exemption from the 'Aboriginals Protection Act, 1897' meant that he was free to marry Topsy Hudson in 1924, and gain employment away from Aboriginal reserves.

In 1939 he was working as a stockman for the vast pastoral station Van Rook, 140 km north of Normanton; he died in November 1953, age 60.

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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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