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Black Diggers of Logan

George Watego

George Watego

Pte Watego arrived on the Western Front in early 1917, joining the 26th Battalion in time to play a role in the Second Battle of Bullecourt. Following the Somme, the battalion was involved in action at Menin Road and Brooseinde Ridge in September and October. During this action, Pte Watego sustained a gunshot wound and was taken to hospital, eventually surviving and making his way back to England. By late 1917, Pte Watego was released and repatriated to Australia on the Balmoral Castle, coincidently the same voyage his brother Murray would make. Upon return, Pte Watego was discharged from the Army due to his injuries.

Murray Watego

Murray Watego

Enlisting one year and one day after the Gallipoli landings, Murray Watego arrived in the Western Front in late March 1917. His unit played a supporting role in action at Messines Ridge, and was later tasked with constructing new defences in full view of enemy forces. In what became known as "the 18 days" the battalion completed its tasks under constant shelling and machine gun fire. The battalion avoided the carnage at Passchendaele, but Murray's war wasn't over. By the end of October 1917 he had been diagnosed with 'shell shock', an early name for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was eventually repatriated to Australia, returning with his brother in early 1918.


Valentine Hare

Valentine Hare

Pte Hare joined the 2ndLight Horse in Egypt in August 1917, serving as a member of the Egypt Expeditionary Force (EEF). He likely served in the Battle of Beersheba, taking part in manoeuvres that led to the immortalised Charge of the Light Brigade to take the town of Beersheba. Wounded following the Battle of Amman in April 1918, Pte Hare was repatriated to Australia later that year.

Jack Pollard

Jack Pollard

Pte Pollard arrived in the Middle East at the start of 1918, in time to take part in the pursuit of the Ottoman Empire army along the River Jordan. After chasing the retreating Ottomans along the River Jordan, the 11th Light Horse took part in the raid on Es Salt. Following the raid, the 11th Light Horse were issued cavalry sabres and began training for a mounted raid, later known as the Battle of Samakh. Here, Pte Pollard was commanded by legendary Light Horse commander Harry Chauvel, and fought Ottoman troops commanded by Mustafa Kamaal Attaturk, of Gallipoli fame. Following the signing of an armistice in late October, Pte Pollard remained in Egypt until June 1919, when the 11th were repatriated to Australia.