Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt has today launched an updated edition of ‘No Less Worthy’, which tells the stories of 135 Aboriginal men who volunteered to fight in the Great War.
‘No Less Worthy’ details not only the lives of Aboriginal soldiers with links to Western Australia who served in WWI, but also the stories of many men who volunteered to fight for their country but were rejected on the grounds of race. Also acknowledged are those who contributed to the war effort in an unofficial capacity.
The first edition was compiled by Aboriginal History, a division of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and was released in November last year to commemorate the Centenary of the Armistice.
The second expanded edition of the book was launched nationally by the Minister at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It contains additional biographies, photographs and family memorabilia.
Among those who attended the launch was Diane Brown, the granddaughter of Charles Hutchins who is one of the soldiers featured in the book.
Private Hutchins was an Aboriginal ANZAC from Busselton, who fought at Gallipoli and in France and Belgium. He survived near-fatal gunshot wounds and a mustard gas attack, and while in recovery at Netley hospital in England met his future wife, Rose. After their marriage in 1919, the couple moved back to Australia and lived in Perth and later Kogarah in New South Wales where Charles died in 1952.
The updated edition of No Less Worthy is available online from the department’s website at https://www.dlgsc.wa.gov.au/achwa/Pages/No-Less-Worthy.aspx
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“This book is the result of years of solid research, dedication and detective work by WA’s Aboriginal History Research Unit which delved deep into little-known State archives and other sources.
“The book has led to a doubling of the known number of Aboriginal volunteers in World War I with links to Western Australia.
“Just as importantly, it sets a national standard and provides a blueprint or template to inspire other States to follow in bringing to light the lost stories of their Aboriginal servicemen and women.”