An article by Lloyd Marken about a remarkable man. The Maori say it almost musically…
Kia kaha, kia maia, me te aroha.
(Be strong, be courageous and compassionate.)

Back to the Drawing Board Productions

Two decades before he was recognised as a citizen of his country he fought for it in two wars. He couldn’t vote in his own country where his people had been for thousands of years. This was nothing new. His father Walter (Chris) Saunders and uncle William Reginald Rawlings MM had done so before him in the Great War, the uncle not returning home. His family would continue to pay a cost for serving the nation. His brother Harry Saunders would die at Kokoda and his first marriage would not withstand his time away in Korea. What did change was that he became the first Aboriginal to be commissioned into the Australian Army going on to command 100 men in combat.

He was born in Victoria of the Gunditjmara people and worked in a sawmill from a young age. In 1940 he joined the Australian Imperial Force immediately displaying natural leadership skill, in…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 28, 2016, in Korean War, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Excellent post on one of Australia’s great Soldiers.
    A well respected man, who was held in high esteem by all who served under and over him.
    Great re-blog gp.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There were many such incidents in countries that were former colonies. The indigenous people were too often treated as savages when, in truth, they had much wisdom to offer; North American Indians among them, as well as the African- Americans who fought alongside white Americans and suffered similar degradation because of the iniquity of slavery. Just been reading ‘Buffalo Soldier’ by Tanya Landman – a brilliant read, but not for the squeamish or timid. That lady knows how to tell a story packed with punches, and she doesn’t pull any of them.


    • So true, Maureen. When we look deep enough, we find incidents in every nation’s history that humanity needs to be ashamed of. And we also have to remember that we looking back and judging many, many years later. Being politically correct and watching every word we say, didn’t exist back then either.
      Thank you coming and commenting.


  3. Can’t understand that a land needs so much time to do the just things.This man has doing great things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I quote here.

    “Indigenous Australians were present in almost every Australian campaign of World War I. In the heat of battle, survival could come down to relying on your mates so racism, for once, took a back seat. White and black soldiers forged friendships in the trenches of Gallipoli and the Western Front or on horseback with the Light Horse in the Middle East. In common with other soldiers, Indigenous servicemen generally were anonymous men who earned neither bravery awards nor mentions in the official history. However, some were decorated for outstanding actions. Corporal Albert Knight, 43rd Battalion, and Private William Irwin, 33rd Battalion, were each awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal – second only to the Victoria Cross for men in their ranks – and others the Military Medal. Private William Rawlings, 29th Battalion, was awarded his Military Medal for ‘rare bravery in the performance of his duty’ in July 1917. He was killed in action the following year.”

    It wasn’t till1967 when aboriginal people were finally recognized as citizens of Australia. While many returned soldiers were given ‘settlement blocks’ of 100 acres of land, aboriginal returned soldiers were not given that opportunity.
    A good article and thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is an excellent post, thank you for taking of your time to post it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great bio. I didn’t know aborigines weren’t even citizens. What a world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Last night I watched the series WWll in color on ARCH, it had a segment regarding the Australian action in the war, the first I had even heard of . Extremly interesting!

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are so many facts that were left out of our education, it’s difficult to know when I’m being informative, or boring by getting into old news known by all.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Australians suffered over 60,000 killed in WWI and over 150,000 wounded and taken prisoner; all were volunteers out of a population of less than 5 million men women and children.In
      WWII we were lucky to lose only a bit over 27000 KIA and under 60000 wounded or taken POW.
      Australian troops served in all theatres of the 2 great wars, Besides the Pacific they served in the Battle of the Atlantic, and the Battle of Britain, in Africa, and Europe, It was an Australian pilot attached to the RAF who taught the pilots of the Dam Busters the art of low fling bombing raids, Mickey Martin, you might like to read about him here I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the information. I have been learning more about the huge sacrifices a d impact the Australians made in the fight against tyranny . A courageous and beautiful people and land.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. That last quote is worth gold when we realize it’s all on the front line.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I commented on the original, GP. So I will just say that it is well-worth reading the whole article.
    Regards, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: CAPTAIN REG SAUNDERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY — Pacific Paratrooper – A Conservative Christian Man

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