The lost souls of Condah who joined the Anzacs

The Roll of Honour now at St Mary's Mission church listing the five Lovatt Brothers who served in WW1. Photo: Joe Armao

The Roll of Honour now at St Mary's Mission church listing the five Lovatt Brothers who served in WW1. Photo: Joe Armao

The lost souls of Condah who joined the Anzacs

24th April 2017

A bad season was coming. Drought was slinking from the north when the boys from Condah began trooping off to the recruiting office … Lake Condah shrank to a puddle. Eel and fish traps, some of them constructed by Indigenous residents on the lakeshore 1000 years before the first of the pyramids were built, were left high and dry. It would be remembered as the great drought of 1914-15. It would be remembered for something worse. The start of the Great War … the war would leave lasting scars upon Condah, just as it did on every other district, town and city in Australia. Condah, however, was not quite the same as every other Australian district. Of the 42 men who marched away from little Condah, 14 of them – a third of the total – were known in the vernacular of the time as blackfellas.

In a time of White Australia, they had to fight just to get the right to fight. Five of them, the Lovetts, were brothers. Four of those brothers would re-enlist for World War II, and their descendants – 23 altogether – have fought in every Australian war, right up to Afghanistan.

Read the full story by Tony wright in the Fairfax Press here.

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