'Carmichael's boomerang' presented for raising recruits : Captain A C Carmichael, 36 Battalion AIF

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
Accession Number REL26304.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Silver, Wood
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1916: Homefront
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia: New South Wales
Date made c 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Wooden boomerang. Mounted on one side of the boomerang, at its elbow, is a sterling silver presentation plate in the shape of Australia, above which is a boomerang shaped name plate. The presentation plate is engraved - 'To / Capt. Carmichael M.C. / on the eve of / leaving for the Great War, / with his Second Thousand. / MAY THE FLIGHT OF TIME & THIS MASCOT / ADD FAME TO FAME & BRING THEE SAFELY HOME / TOWN HALL. / SYDNEY. / 25.5.18'. The boomerang above it is engraved 'THYNULUNGATHA'.

History / Summary

Associated with Captain Ambrose Campbell Carmichael, 36 Battalion AIF, who raised 1000 recruits for the AIF in 1915. Carmichael enlisted in the AIF in January 1916 and served with the 36th Battalion on the Western Front. On 22 January 1917 he was wounded in the head and spent time in hospital in England. Carmichael was awarded the Military Cross for his actions on the day he was wounded. After returning to his unit, Carmichael was wounded a second time, on 4 October 1917, receiving wounds to his left leg and right arm. He returned to Sydney via America in February 1918, where he proceeded to successfully raise another 'Carmichael's thousand'. The 'thousand' were entertained by a theatre troupe at the Sydney Town Hall on the evening of 25 May 1918, at a function organised by the National Rifle Association and the 36 Battalion Comforts Committee. It was at this function that he was presented with the Yarran boomerang by the Premier. This regimental mascot came from the Brewarrina District of NSW. The boomerang bears the Aboriginal word 'Thynulungatha', which was translated from the Aboriginal dialect of the district as 'come back here'. Carmichael rode at the head of his 'thousand' when they left Sydney on 19 June 1918. He arrived in France in late September, by which time the war was coming to an end, and he returned to Australia in early 1919.