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Newspaper Articles

From the Collection of Wangaratta RSL Sub Branch 2-4 Templeton Street Wangaratta Victoria

Three black and white newspaper articles adhered to cream paper
33cmL x 24cm W
Object Registration
no 9 camp wangaratta, aboriginal platoon
Historical information
Article One - Charge! - image of members of the aboriginal group carrying out a baton charge
Article Two - Officer's Tribute - image of aborigines at Wangaratta carry out ceremony of changing of the guard
Article Three - Two Australians - image of Shirley Anderson, 8, of Wangaratta frequently entertains Diggers, singing and dancing. She visits camp nearly every day to chat with guard on duty.

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
Samuel Richard RANKIN VX48201 DOB 23/7/1910 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941
Stewart HOOD VX47351 DOB 23/1/1903 Enlisted 18/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941
William GORRIE VX48208 DOB 22/11/1921 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941
David John MULLETT VX48195 DOB 10/6/1919 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941
Arthur Alexander (Tom?) MULLETT VX48198 DOB 25/11/1914 Enlisted 25/7/1940 Discharged 22/3/1941
Images relates to the "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. In addition to normal army training they performed guard duty at the Army Hospital and Camp. They formed the Gum Leaf Band and led the troops at community singing and assisted in Methodist Church services.
Inscriptions & Markings
Warrior Tradition

Written in blue ink 28/12/1940
Last updated
9 Dec 2018 at 6:21PM