The versatile and gifted Douglas Grant was stereotyped in the media as the Black Digger with a Scottish accent. He was much more than that. Well educated by White parents who rescued him from an 1886 massacre in the frontier wars, Douglas became an engineering draftsman, woolclasser, charismatic public speaker and storyteller.
In the 1st AIF he fought bravely on the Western Front, was wounded and taken prisoner in the Battle of Bullecourt. Noting he was well-educated, German authorities made him the inmate-in-charge of the large Half Crescent Prison Camp for Muslim and Hindu soldiers. He saved many lives by negotiating for ritual foods and medical supplies.
Returning home, he went through hard times and adventures, but always maintained his great sense of humour about life.
John Ramsland OAM, born in Manly in 1942, is Emeritus Professor of History at The University of Newcastle, Australia and the author of over twenty books and at least 120 articles, reviews and invited chapters in edited books. He has written widely on social, cultural and educational history, Aboriginal Studies, child social welfare, marine history, historical biography, the impact of modern industrial warfare and on the historical significance of sport.
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