, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
On this #AnzacDay , I honour my great uncle Fred Goon, one of 250+ Chinese Anzacs who defied a ban on soldiers who were "not substantially European", and fought for Australia anyway. His story is told is told via @SCMPNews here scmp.com/news/asia/aust…
Fred was the son of Louey Fong Goon and Elizabeth Johnson, my great grandparents, who married on the 19th Century goldfields of Bendigo. How could she resist? Look at that guy ... total boss
Fred was born not so long after anti-Chinese riots spurred in part by anger at marriage of Chinese men & white women. But he was a patriot. When WW1 broke out, he was rejected EIGHT TIMES by enlisters. He succeeded on the ninth attempt, reported by the Dubbo Dispatch, Jan 16 1917
Family lore says he WALKED 700km from Bendigo to Dubbo to enlist...although the Dispatch reports he was working in Dubbo at the time, maybe he had to find some way to occupy himself while trying to sign up.
Shipped off to the Western Front, he was promptly poisoned by gas in the trenches and spent 76 days in hospital. He returned to the front in time to take part in the Battle of Montbrehain with the 20th Australian Infantry Battalion, the last fighting to involve Aussie troops
So here's to you Uncle Fred, you utter legend, lest we forget that #AnzacDay can be an opportunity to honour the diversity of Australia and those who fought for it
Oh and thank you to the @GoldenDragonMus , the museum of Chinese heritage in Bendigo, which was the source of the fantastic photo of uncle Fred in uniform, dated four days before he sailed off to war in 1917
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