In 1928, a returned soldier of the First World War was the perpetrator of a massacre of Aboriginal people at Coniston Station in Central Australia. Some have claimed that Sergeant William Murray’s service played a role in the killings. But is it possible to draw such a straight line?
Historian Tom Rogers considers this question in the latest issue of Wartime. He argues that the overlooked period between 1919 and 1928, when Murray was a policeman surrounded by the violent culture of the frontier, provides a stronger explanation of the killings than his war service.