Summary

John Rowan, was the son of Dick Rowan and Maryanne McClellan. He was one of 13 Aboriginal soldiers from Healesville who enlisted in WW1. Aged 25 he enlisted as an ambulance attendant but he wasn't allowed to bandage wrap wounds due to his Aboriginality so he took up a machine gun and went through to Gallipoli and France. During his service he was gassed about 7 or 8 times. He was moved to London and returned home three months after the war ended. He returned to Healesville, but because he wasn't able to get a job, he was sent to Toorloo Arms, Lake Tyers in Victoria in 1924. It's not clear why as yet but he has two service records, Nos 1416 and Nos 1506. (Bill Hunter March 2013)

This is the only photo so far of John Rowan in the Museum's collections. It shows him as a young boy at the Badger Creek School, standing with his fellow classmates. This photo and and thirteen others were featured in a publication printed by JJ Potts titled 'Historical Record Badger Creek State School No 3309 1899-1965' . According to the last entry on the back page, it was printed at the Kaniva Times Office, Kaniva Victoria and was 'presented to the Badger Creek School, No 3309 as a tribute to past and present teachers and scholars. September 1965.'

Physical Description

Copy. Black and white. Silver gelatin acetate.

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