Walter Christopher Saunders

Walter Christopher Saunders was born in Warrnambool, Victoria on the 29th of February 1916. At the age of 21 he volunteered for the Australian imperial force (AIF) to serve in the first world war. He was approximately one of the 1,300 indigenous Australians to serve in the AIF during that war.  He went to Port Melbourne in early 1916 and he was sent to Larkhill training camp in England. On the 28th of October he was taken on strength in the field with he unit and proceeded to France the following month where he served as a driver. The following year Chris was evacuated due to illness and he spent the majority of the month in rest camp before he re-joining the 10th machine gun company in France. After the war was finished, Chris returned to England and at that time lizzie (his sister) wrote a letter to the AIF headquarters asking whether she would be the one to receive the female relative’s badge for her brother’s service. Their mother had passed away, leaving Elizabeth as his sole remaining female relative. After returning to Australia in 1919 he was discharged from the AIF , he then started a family with his wife Mabel. They then had a son called Reginald. He was named after his uncle, William Reginald Rawlings, who had also served in the first world war.

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