Acknowledgments: Pilbara Regiment Lockyer family
It is a privilege to be here this morning, honouring our Indigenous Australian Soldiers who have served in conflict, and in particular, the Lockyer brothers who we specially remember today. These men and women have paid the ultimate price for their country in every war since the Boer but they are rarely recognised and celebrated. This service and others like it around the country are crucial in changing this.
Today’s service marks the twelfth year of special recognition for those Indigenous men and women who have raised their hand to serve our country. It is the twelfth time we have come together with the Pilbara Regiment, here in front of the Lockyer Brother’s memorial, to pay tribute to our past and present Indigenous service personnel.
The five Lockyer brothers, for whom this all began, hold a very special place in the history of the Pilbara. Arnold, Edgar, Albert, Elliot and Eric grew up in the Pilbara on Mallina Station and around this Whim Creek area. They all had a love for their country and they all were prepared to fight for it. Arnold joined the air force but was shot down over Indonesia and was killed by Japanese soldiers on the 21st of August, 1945. Eric joined the Army and was killed on the 16th of May 1945. These men went to war at a time when many families were receiving word their loved ones would never return home, but they bravely answered the call. Their families remember forever the ache left in their hearts when the news came in that two would never again return home.
Today we remember these brave Pilbara men and their incredible sacrifice.
We also pay tribute to all Indigenous Soldiers who have stood for their country in the battlefields of war. Their fight much deeper than the footprints left on foreign land.
Lest we forget.