Lock­yer broth­ers com­mem­o­rated

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Ngar­luma el­der Mar­garet Dhu says she still re­mem­bers be­ing with the five broth­ers out on Mal­lina Sta­tion when they an­nounced they were off to join the armed forces in World War II.

“It was very up­set­ting — sad and up­set­ting,” she said.

“They were very gen­tle peo­ple, very nice, my cousins.

“My son Arnold, he is named af­ter one of his un­cles.”

The broth­ers Mrs Dhu speaks of are the Lock­y­ers.

Arnold and Edgar Lock­yer joined the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force.

El­bert, El­liot and Eric joined the Aus­tralian Army.

RAAF Flight Sergeant Arnold A Lock­yer and 24th Bat­tal­ion Pri­vate Eric Lock­yer never re­turned. Eric was 21, Arnold was 30. In his ad­dress to the crowd gath­ered at Whim Creek last week­end for the an­nual Lock­yer Broth­ers me­mo­rial, Pil­bara Reg­i­ment Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer Lieu­tenant Stu­art Purves said an es­ti­mated 6000 in­dige­nous men and women served in WWII.

“These are high num­bers de­spite official Government pol­icy early in the war that it was nei­ther nec­es­sary, nor de­sir­able, to en­list Abo­rig­i­nals,” he said.

Town of Port Hed­land Mayor Camilo Blanco said Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple played an im­por­tant role dur­ing WWII de­spite early bans on en­list­ment and fears of dishar­mony. City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the Lock­yer broth­ers’ fight was much deeper than the sim­ple foot­steps left on a for­eign land.

“The five Lock­yer broth­ers, for whom this all be­gan, hold a spe­cial place in the his­tory of the Pil­bara,” he said.

“At a time when many families were re­ceiv­ing word their loved ones would never re­turn home, they still bravely an­swered the call to war.”

Mr Long paid trib­ute to all Abo­rig­i­nal ser­vice­men and women in the armed forces.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr Mem­bers of the Lock­yer fam­ily pay their re­spects to the broth­ers at Whim Creek.

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