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 Post subject: Torres Strait Islander veterans awarded for WWII service
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:51 pm 
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Tony Abbott honours three Torres Strait Islander war veterans for World War II service

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-25/torres-strait-islander-war-veterans-honoured-tony-abbott/6722898

Quote:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has presented three Torres Strait Islander war veterans with medals to honour their service in World War II.

Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin joined the Prime Minister in presenting the medals to Bamia Mast, Bill "Palm" Stephen and Mabai Warasum.

Over 700 Islanders — almost the entire male population of the Torres Strait — were recruited into the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion.

It was the only Indigenous Infantry battalion in Australian Army history, but other Islander units were created for water transport and coastal artillery.

The Islander men were highly respected for their local knowledge and work ethos.

This was seen as a crucial point when mainland Australia and the Torres Strait Islands were united in a common cause.

Mr Abbott said the remarkable point about the war in the Torres Strait was the commitment shown to Australia by people who "hadn't always been shown respect and courtesy by the country they served".

"In 1942 there were eight Japanese air raids on Horn Island, more than 500 bombs were dropped and 156 people were killed," he said.

"More than 1,100 men of the Torres Strait volunteered to serve in the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion.

"As a proportion of population, no part of Australia volunteered to serve at the same rate as Torres Strait Islanders volunteered to serve.

"It is a remarkable fact that at a time when we hardly acknowledged Indigenous Australians, Indigenous Australians acknowledged us."

Mr Abbott said many mistakes were made in those including people not being properly paid and properly treated.

"But while the members, the soldiers of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion were not always treated with honour, they all served with honour and today, we salute them," he said.


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 Post subject: Re: Torres Strait Islander veterans awarded for WWII service
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:26 pm 
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Great stuff, pity its taken so long.


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 Post subject: Re: Torres Strait Islander veterans awarded for WWII service
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:21 pm 
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What were they awarded?


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 Post subject: Re: Torres Strait Islander veterans awarded for WWII service
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:53 pm
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From what I can tell they were awarded campaign and service medals.


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