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Extracts of a letter from George Pollock | Unit, Darwin, Black, Waugite, Small, Naval, Members, Service | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Extracts of a letter from George Pollock PDF Print E-mail
"FRIENDS, by way of introduction, my name is George Pollock, and I am a member of the Burleigh Heads Sub-branch of the R.S.L. During WW2 I served as an artillery gunner in Darwin in the years 1942-43 and a few months into 44.

I was stationed on the west side of the Darwin Harbour at a place called "Waugite Battery", in contact with members of the Waugite people at Delissaville Aboriginal settlement where we obtained fresh water for our camp.

The army enlisted the superintendent Mr Jack Murray and quite a number of the men of the Waugite, Larrikia and the Tiwi people from Bathurst and Melville Island.

This group became known as the "Black Watch" and served as guides for the mounted unit of A.I.F. who did coast watching duties throughout the rough country of the Cox Peninsula.

The combined unit was known as the "Nackaroos" or Curtin's Cowboys.

A similar unit was set up under Naval command using small craft in their search for Jap landings.

Please see photo (over) of Naval unit.
The men from Waugite came into our camp to gain experience with the light weapons we had I.E. 303 Rifles, Vickers and Lewis machine guns.

They in turn taught us how to live off the land.

Another project for the Black Watch was to search for allied and enemy pilots from crashed aircraft.

I was in attendance when the Stone of Remembrance was laid, and ever since, on ANZAC Day, my friend Ron Osbaldiston and myself honour our brothers in arms by having a small service in front of the remembrance stone. We play the "Last Post" and observe a minute's silence. The "ode " is recited and "reveille" is played. A small cross is placed in front of the memorial, complete with the poppy of remembrance and attached photo of naval members. A boomerang is attached with "Darwin 42.43" printed. Also 'Lest we forget.'

I had a great respect for the Black Watch and for what they did. They worked without pay, repeat benefits or any leave entitlements.

On returning to Darwin for the 50th Anniversary of the bombing, the 3 remaining gunners of my unit protested vigorously as to the neglect of our black companions. This protest grew and now the Dept of Veteran's Affairs has given a greater consideration to the still existing members and their descendants."

George Pollock

Registry of Indigenous Servicemen and Women

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