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The Second World War
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After the outbreak of the Pacific war in 1941, a Torres Strait Defence Force was established.

It was staffed largely by Islanders, all below the rank of sergeant.

The unit was racially segregated and the pay was less than half that in white units.

Nevertheless the Islanders developed new relationships of equality with white service personnel.

This was, "... the first time that Islanders were allowed to touch the knobs on the radio!" Islander leader George Mye reflected years later.

At the end of the war Islander soldiers returned to their homes with a new sense of purpose.

Speaking openly of 'freedom' and 'citizen rights' for the Islands, they held high hopes for a new deal.
John Singe On World War 2
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army, Singe, John, Torres Strait, Torres Strait Islanders, Torres Strait Light infantry battalion, war, World War 2
...We treated like white men in the Army...
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army, Singe, John, Torres Strait Islanders, Torres Strait Light infantry battalion, war, World War 2
Torres Strait Soldiers
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1940s
army, soldiers, Torres Strait Islanders, Torres Strait Light infantry battalion, war, World War 2
Australian War Memorial
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soldiers, Torres Strait Light infantry battalion, war, World War 2