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Captain Broughton and the men from the 8th Australian Employment Company

Date: c 1943
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Heinz Lippmann
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: ANMS0221[006]

User Terms

    An untitled photograph of Captain Edward 'Tip' Broughton walking therough an informal guard of honour formed by men of the 8th Australian Employment Company. Captain Broughton commanded the company from 1942 and was based in Victoria.

    HistoryEdward Renata (Muhunga) Broughton was born in New Zealand in 1884. In 1902 he served in the Boer War despite lying about his age in order to enlist. On his return to New Zealand he became secretary to the chief judge of the Native Land Court until 1915 when he joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces.
    Broughton registered under the name of Muhunga and arrived in Gallipoli in June 1915. In 1916 he served in France and after being mentioned in dispatches, was promoted to captain in 1917. After returning to New Zealand and ending his service in May 1919, Broughton moved to Australia and settled in Melbourne.
    In 1940 after the war broke out, Broughton joined the Australian Imperial Force. He was discharged in September 1940 however for being deceptive about his age (he claimed to be 16 years younger than he really was.) After serving in the Australian militia he was transferred to the Army Camp Service in October 1942 and became commander of the 8th Employment Company.
    This company consisted of a large number of 'DUNERA Boys", men who had been transported to internment camps in Australia from England at the start of the war. It was in this role that Broughton seemed to excel this is what one 'DUNERA Boy' said about him on his death in 1955:

    "Keenly intelligent, well-read, endowed with a superb sense of humour, completely untainted by any racial prejudice… deeply interested in human beings, he did not only gain immediate respect and obedience, but also the love and affection of the unit. He enjoyed hugely being at its head, learned and meticulously respected Jewish customs, and was immensely proud of the unit because of the splendid work it did, humbly unaware of the fact that it was only he who could have turned these people into willing manual labourers. …
    He engaged in incessant publicity war on our behalf and fought hard to have our status changed, only to be booted out by the Army eventually. After being shoved around as flotsam and jetsam for many years he managed… to make us feel like human beings again. He restored our faith in man, as something more than 92 per cent water and a few chemicals. He was a scholar and a gentleman."

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