A historian's lot - the difficulties of giving WWI New Guinean servicemen a voice?

Marre, Adam H. (2006) A historian's lot - the difficulties of giving WWI New Guinean servicemen a voice? In Hopkinson, Chanel (Ed.) Social Change in the 21st Century Conference 2006, 27th October 2006, Carseldine, QUT.

PDF (73kB)


Some recent histories of World War I have sought to give agency to African, Asian, Caribbean, Maori and Native American colonised participants – indigenous people who fought for the glory and freedom of those who restricted their own. By acknowledging this service, these histories have highlighted the oppressive and exploitative nature of colonialism, and the agency and opportunism of men who went to fight in a supposedly white-man’s war. New Guinean involvement as servicemen in the First World War has not drawn any attention from historians. At the battle of Bitapaka, 30 New Guineans died defending a German wireless station against invading Australian forces. Other indigenous Pacific Islander servicemen in the war have been commemorated through memorials and literature, but history has been unkind to New Guinean servicemen. Colonial conditions and the not unrelated lack of sources have left them without a voice. This paper argues that traditional western empirical historical methodology has failed the indigenous servicemen of Bitapaka.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

698 since deposited on 06 Mar 2007
21 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 6283
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: World War 1914, 1918, New Guinea, indigenous participation, historiography, historical methodology, memorialisation
ISBN: 1741071291
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Adam H. Marre
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:37

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page