ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project
WARNING: We wish to advise that this blog may contain names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed away.
The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections selected for this project will reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as well as making them more available for research on the Memorial’s website.
As part of this project and its promotion, the Memorial is seeking contact with relatives of the person below. If you know of family members or descendants, please contact Nick Crofts at PubandDig@awm.gov.au.
2584 Lance Corporal Charles Tednee Blackman (PR01679):
The collection includes letters written by Lance Corporal Charles Thomas Blackman to Mr John Herbert Salter of Biggenden, Queensland. The letters describe Lance Corporal Blackman’s experiences of war, his leave in England and his ever present wish to return home to Australia. Also included are two studio portrait photos of Lance Corporal Blackman, one of which was taken in England.
Lance Corporal Charles Tednee Blackman was one of the earliest known Indigenous soldiers to enlist in the war effort, joining in August 1915. He was followed by his two older brothers, 3174 Private Thomas Blackman and 3173 Private Alfred John Blackman, who enlisted in 1916 and 1917 respectively. Unfortunately Private Alfred John Blackman died fighting on the Western Front in October 1917, while Lance Corporal Charles Blackman and Private Thomas Blackman both returned to Australia.
Lance Corporal Blackman was born around 1896 to Emily Deshong and Thomas Blackman in the Childers area. Prior to enlistment, Lance Corporal Charles Blackman worked as a farm hand and labourer for Mr John Herbert Salter on his property in Biggenden, returning there after his service ended in 1919. In the mid-1920s Lance Corporal Blackman relocated to Feluga, working on Pedly’s farm and then moving around the region. Sometime between the 1940s and 50s, Charles Tednee Blackman changed his name to Charles Thomas Graham, settling in the Tully area.