Historical information

Aboriginal soldiers formed a special all volunteer platoon at No 9 Camp Wangaratta in Victoria from late 1940 until February 1941. No 9 Camp was set up at the Wangaratta Showgrounds to allow the formation of the 2/24th Australian Infantry Battalion prior to leaving for Egypt. Major Joseph Albert Wright a WW1 Light Horse veteran was in charge of this platoon the only Aboriginal squad in the Australian Military Forces at that time. The soldiers from Lake Tyers enlisted at Caulfield between June and July 1940 include Harold Cornelius HAYES VX 48217 DOB 2/4/1916 Enlisted 25/7/40 Discharged 22/3/1941 Edward FOSTER VX48218 DOB 25/5/1921 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941 Noel Ernest HOOD VX48194 DOB 3/1/1919 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941 Edward Leslie MULLETT VX48199 DOB 30/6/1910 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941

Significance

Image relates to a "special platoon" based at No 9 Camp Wangaratta as being the Australian Army's first all Aboriginal Unit formed in 1940. The soldiers were all volunteers mainly from Lake Tyers in Victoria.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of all aboriginal unit on parade

Inscriptions & markings

Attached to rear - Changing of the Guard at Wangaratta end of 1940 - J A Wright 1940