Select Page

Researching Indigenous Soldiers

Where to go for service records

From the days of the Boer War Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have undertaken military service.  This is in spite of the Defence Act 1901 which specifically forbade the enlistment of any “persons not of substantially European origin or descent”. [1] There are ongoing projects aimed at identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who served in World War One, with some estimates indicating that as many as 1000 served in the military.

The Australian War Memorial is compiling an index of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders involved in World War One, due to go online in 2014.  For more information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders military service see AWM Indigenous Australian Servicemen and Indigenous commemoration for the Centenary.

The City of Sydney has unveiled a public artwork, Yininmadyemi Thou Didst Let Fall, to honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands who have served in the military forces.  The artwork is in Hyde Park, Sydney.



[1] New South Wales and the Great War 1914 to 1918: A Report commissioned by the New South Wales Centenary of Anzac Commemoration Committee, Brad Manera, 2011, p. 12