Remembering an Aboriginal ANZAC - William Reginald Rawlings MM (1890 – 1918)

23 April 2015

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are warned that the following page may contain images of deceased persons

To My Brother Bill

 Somewhere in Belgium, dear brother

Somewhere where cannons roar

Somewhere in Belgium you, are sleeping

Where brave men slept before.


You showed that you were never a ‘quitter’

You showed that ‘colour’ was nought,

You fought for the same reasons, dear Bill.

An others before you have sought.


You throw down your pick and your shovel.

When your Country was calling for men

Now in far distant Belgium you're sleeping

Away from your kindred and kin.


No sister near to caress you

No brother to bid you farewell,

But we know you fought like a soldier j

And we know like a soldier you fell.


Years may go by my dear brother

But your memory we’ll ever hold dear

In our thoughts, words, deeds, or our actions,

Your presence will always be near.


We will never forgot you, dear brother

And your picture that hangs on the wall,

Will always remind us, dear Bill,

Of the day when you answered the call


Lest we forget


The poem ‘To My Brother Bill’ was written by John S Egan of Purnim and published in the Hamilton Spectator on 23 May 1918.

Bill Rawlings was a courageous Aboriginal soldier who was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery in battle during the First World War. He was sadly killed in France just three months out from the end of the war, on 9 August 1918.

To see the rest of this Victorian Aboriginal soldier’s amazing story check out the following links: