Robert BOND #Q20518

Indigenous Australian, Robert BOND, Depot Company

Recruiting officers purposely visited the Missions to sign up willing volunteers, vigorously promoting the benefits of army life: regular pay and meals, skills training, and travel opportunities.

Bond's enlistment was initially accepted at Maryborough in July, and he was attached to No.1 Depot Company for basic training, however within a few weeks his aspiration to join the armed forces and fight for his country, was dashed.

A review of his heritage found that he had been "irregularly enlisted" and "not being substantially of European origin" a recommendation for his discharge was accepted. Although many men of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage were accepted during the World War I, many others were refused.

After Bond was discharged he returned to civilian life, his wife Totty gave birth to a son, who died in infancy in 1921. Robert Bond died a year later in 1922 at Taroom Aboriginal Mission.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump


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