Brothers’ war experiences on film
The story of four Katanning brothers who signed up to serve their country in World War I is the subject of a new short film.
Larry, Lewis, Kenneth and Augustus Farmer feature in the film Aboriginal Service in World War I.
The Farmer brothers served in several conflicts including Gallipoli, Turkey and France, and trained in England.
In mid-1916, Kenneth and Lewis returned home after being wounded during battle.
Larry died in action at age 22 in August 1916, while Augustus lost his life fighting in France two years later, aged 32.
Cpl Augustus Farmer was the first Aboriginal soldier to be awarded the Military Medal, for his conspicuous bravery at Merricourt.
The series of short films will be shown at Yagan Square Digital Tower in Perth until Sunday as part of Armistice Day commemorations.
Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley said the unfair treatment of Aboriginal soldiers on returning home from war still resonated today, and challenged Australians to step up for a more equitable and just society.
“I am very pleased that Tony and John Farmer (grandsons of Kenneth Farmer), Tod Farmer (great-grandson of Kenneth Farmer) and Karen Sayers (granddaughter of Frederick Lesley Sayers) could join me today to kkrecognise and honour the contribution of Aboriginal service- men during World War I,” Mr Tinley said.
“When this horrific global conflict erupted in 1914, many WA men, motivated by patriotism and a sense of adventure, rushed to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force.
“This poignant series of films offers an important insight into life for Australian servicemen and women and the harsh reality of life on the front.” At least 133 Aboriginal men from WA volunteered to fight during the Great War, 83 of whom served overseas.
The films were commissioned by the Department of Communities to celebrate the Centenary of the Armistice.
The other short films include First World War; The Service of Western Australian Women at Home and Overseas; and Roll of Honour, which offers a moving tribute to the 6000 soldiers from WA who died in the war.
Descendants of Aboriginal servicemen at the launch of the Centenary of Armistice short films: Karen Sayers, Tara, Tony, John and Ted Farmer and David Collard.
Two of four Katanning brothers who fought in WWI. Larry Farmer died in action aged 22 in 1916, and brother Lewis. who was wounded, are pictured with their parents William "Peg" and Emily Farmer.