Aboriginal Diggers

May 2023Community, Stories

Written by Rachael Mallard.

We proudly acknowledge the ANZACs from all walks of life who fought for our country.
Let us share some insights into our family history with you.

Our pop Fred Mallard served in the second 28th Battalion of the Australian Army. Over the years, Pop Fred and his brothers all went to war to protect our country. There were 8 brothers, all Nhanda, and all from Kalbarri: Fred, Horace, Gordon, Herbert, Alf, Joe, Frank and George.

Let us tell you a story about our other Pop Bill who was captured on his way to way to war, and kept as a prisoner of war in Changi. The prisoners were wounded and starving. Bill snuck out of the prison camp and collected bush tucker and medicine, chewed it in his mouth, and fed them through a bamboo straw.

Pop Bill did what he had to do, to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. There was no black or white, they fought as one.

Upon return, all of these Aboriginal Soldiers were forbidden to drink in the pub with their mates. After fighting for all Australians, this is something that has only just changed in the last 40 years.

I feel honoured to share this family story, and I hope that we will all come together as one, in the spirit of reconciliation.

Lest we forget.

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