Arthur Thomas WALKER Update Details

Poppy

WALKER, Arthur Thomas

Service Number: 2466
Enlisted: 29 March 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Wallaroo, South Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Goolwa, Alexandrina, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Mouquet Farm, France, 16 August 1916, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No Known Grave. Instead his name is memorialised on the Australian National War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Goolwa Soldiers Memorial Gardens WW1 Memorial, Goolwa War Memorial, Raukkan Aboriginal Community War Memorial, Raukkan Mission Ngarrindjeri Anzacs Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

29 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
23 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2466, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2466, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Kanowna, Adelaide
12 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2466, 50th Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm

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Biography

Born in Wallaroo, S.A. in 1883 - Killed in Action France, aged 33 years.

"Arthur was the oldest Ngarrindjeri ANZAC to enlist in the war. His son, born on the first ANZAC Day, was named Anzac in commemoration of his father and his role in the famous battle. He later served in the Australian Army during the 2nd World War." - SOURCE (connectingspirits.com.au)

"Mr. R. Walker, of Goolwa, has received a message that his son, Private A. T. Walker, has been missing in France since August 16. A letter was received from Private Walker, dated August 3, stating that he was going into the firing line." - from the Adelaide Advertiser 21 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)

"Pte. A. T. Walker, brother of Mrs. Chester, of the Point Pearce Mission Station, who fought through the Dardanelles campaign, and later was transferred to France, has been reported as missing since August." - from the Adelaide Register 28 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)

"My great-great grandfather, Arthur Walker was at Gallipoli. To enlist, he said he wasn't aboriginal or married. In honour of him, there's been a boy named 'Anzac' in every generation of my family since." - Anzac Lochowiak, 13-years-old (2014)

"Aboriginal Anzac Arthur Walker’s war medals returned to family

ALMOST 100 years after Aboriginal soldier Arthur Walker was killed on the Western Front during World War I, his family has been reunited with his war medals. So proud is the family of Mr Walker’s war legacy, they’ve named a son in each generation Anzac, for the past five generations. Woodforde man John Lochowiak had his great-grandfather’s medals given to him last month by a relative in Canberra after almost 50 years of searching. Mr Lochowiak was seen by his aunt Colleen Colquhoun on TV last November during news coverage of the unveiling of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial at the Torrens Parade Ground. She had the medals and returned them to the family last month.

“I got a phone call from my aunty saying my uncle had died and they had been trying to track me down and saw me on the news,” Mr Lochowiak says.

“Being killed overseas is a big deal for anyone, but in Aboriginal tradition where you are born is where you return when you die, so Arthur was separated from his country.

“It’s overwhelming to think his mother received these medals after he was killed and now they are back in the right place.”

Mr Walker, of the Ramindjeri people, was living in Gawler with his wife and children when he enlisted in 1914 at 32 years old. He landed at Gallipoli on the first Anzac Day, April 25, 1915, and served in the 10th Battalion for the entire campaign before being moved to the Western Front where he was killed in 1916.

“What’s significant is in order for him to enlist he had to say he wasn’t Aboriginal and lie about being married, because of the policy of the time, but he did it for the love of country,” Mr Lochowiak says.

“Because he wasn’t listed as married, the medals were sent to his parents who passed them on to his sister and they went down another side of the family.

“Some of our family lost contact because members went through the stolen generations and some went through the exemption certificate so the medals were lost.”

Mr Lochowiak’s mum, Mabel, spent more than 50 years trying to track down the medals through stories from elders but John took over the search two years ago when she became unwell. He enlisted the help of Bill Denny, a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee, who was able to find out more details about Mr Walker’s service and got Mr Lochowiak involved in the memorial celebrations.

“We never gave up hope but we feared they were lost forever,” Mr Lochowiak says.

“Getting the medals back is better than winning the lottery because we’ve also found my aunty and cousins.

“His body hasn’t come home but it’s almost like his spirit has, 100 years later, so our family is complete.”

The family started a tradition of naming a son in each generation “Anzac” in Mr Walker’s memory.

Mr Lochowiak’s son Anzac is the fifth generation to share the name and the 12-year-old says he is proud of what it represents.

“I like my name because it’s important to my family,” Anzac says.

Mr Denny says the return of the medals highlights the significance of the war efforts of Aboriginal people.

“Aboriginals served in every conflict in World War I and have only just been recognised with a memorial and it’s as if it is already doing its work bringing these medals home,” Mr Denny says." - from the Herald Sun online 18 Feb 2014 (www.heraldsun.com.au)

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