Many of our people from the Wagyl Kaip region were affected by World War One. Noongar people were barred from enlisting, on the grounds of race, even though the need for more troops was dire. Later in the war, those Aboriginal Australians with one European parent were accepted into the armed forces. Many Noongars enlisted anyway by concealing their family background. See War Service for more information.

Albany has special significance for soldiers, as it was the last port of call for troops leaving for the war in Europe. For many, this was their last view of Australia.

Michael Connor was a Noongar man who worked as a horse breaker and labourer in Albany before joining the Australian infantry (48th Battalion) on 21 September 1915, at 21 years of age. He embarked from Fremantle in January 1916 aboard the transport ship SS Runic. Michael Connor died in France in June 1916 and was buried in the Lavallois-Perret cemetery. His name is recorded at the Australian War Memorial.

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