Glamalli Khan A.I.F. – WWI

Glamalli Khan A.I.F. – WWI

Glamallie Khan (Ghulam Ali Khan[1])
©Len Kenna & Crystal Jordan 2017


Glamallie Khan (Ghulam Ali Khan) was the son of Azimullah (Mulla) and Roshenay Khan. His father, Mulla, was the son of Shere Khan in Mohri, Gujurat, India (now Pakistan) where Glamallie was born in 1879.[2]  Glamallie served for 3 years in the Native Light Horse. He arrived in Australia in 1895[3] and he worked as a Hawker in the Nhill District in Victoria.

In May 1914 he was a witness in a court case at the Nhill Court of Petty Sessions for Hakim Khan who a hawker in the Nhill and Kaniva Districts. Hakim Khan stated in a letter that he was Glamallie’s relative but it is unclear if the two men were actually related.[4] Glamallie enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on the 30 August 1915 at Adelaide, South Australia as a Private in the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, his Regimental Number 2019.  He stated that he was 29 years of age when but he was 36.[5] While training at the Mitcham Army Camp, in the inner south east of Adelaide (which was later became known as the Colonel Light Gardens), he fractured his 3rd and 4th fingers on his right hand in October and was a patient in the Clearing Hospital at Mitcham for nine days. A Memorial Tree was planted at the Memorial Gardens, at the Tataria Solier’s National Park on the 27th August 1915 in his honour by the Chairman of the Council. [6] Glamallie returned to Nhill in full uniform before embarking for Egypt.[7] While he was in Nhill he put a Notice in the local paper requesting that all accounts owing to him must be paid to Osborne H. Douglas, a solicitor at Nhill.[8]

On the 10th February 1916 he embarked with the Light Horse Regiment at Outer Harbour, Adelaide on the H.M.A.T. A69 “Warilda” bound for Egypt to join the Expeditionary Forces. On the 8 March 1916 he was transferred to 1st Light Horse Reserves Regiment at Heliopolis, Egypt and transferred to the Artillery Details at Tell El Kebir on the 15 May. He embarked at Alexandria on the “Lake Manitoba” bound for England where he was transferred to the Australian Artillery Training Depot, Park House, near Tidworth on the 2nd October. He was transferred to the 8th Training Battalion with Artillery Details at Codford Training Camp a the end of October. On the 11 November he embarked on the S.S. Golden Eagle at Folkestone Harbour and proceeded to Etaples, France, where he was transferred on the 25 November to the 32nd Battalion in the Field and allotted the new regimental number 2019A. On the 21 December he became ill with myalgia and abdominal pains and was admitted to the 6th Field Ambulance, four days later he was transferred to the 39th Casualty Clearing Station. On the 29 December he was taken to the 12th General Hospital at Rouen in the north of France and on 29 December transferred to Lahore Indian General Hospital in Calais, Franc. He was discharged from the Lahore Indian General Hospital and transported back to Rouen. On the 8th of February 1917 he was marched from Rouen to Etaples where he was admitted to the 26th General Hosptial suffering from debility. Due to his debility he was despatched from Calais on the H. S. Dieppe to Weymouth England, on the 25 February, where he was admitted to CD No. 2, a Convalescent Depot at Weymouth, that was used for receiving soldiers unfit for return to service within 6 months. Glamallie was returned to Australia on the “Ayrshire” from Devonport, Plymouth, England, on the 23rdMay 1917.[9]

His friend, Hakim Khan, was concerned that he had not heard from Glamallie while he was in service overseas as a letter he wrote to him was unclaimed and returned to him. Hakim wrote to the Minister of Defence in Australia on the 20th July 1917, enquiring about Glamallie’s whereabouts and if he could have his new Regimental Number or contact details and he was informed that he had been returned to Australia.[10] On the 18 July 1917 Glamallie Khan was one of sixty soldiers who returned to Adelaide. The men were taken by a special train to the Mitcham Army Camp where they were welcomed with, “Home Sweet Home” played by the Mitcham Camp Band led by Sergeant-Major Elliott. There was a Guard of Honour from the Camp under Lieutenant Leake, who was assisted by Lieutenants R. Whitaker and Thomas. Among crowds of people including relatives who where waiting to welcome them home at the quadrangle of the Mitcham Camp were the official party, Captain d’Erlange, representing the Governor; Hon. D. J. Gordon, Minister of Education and Repatriation; Mr. I. Isaacs, Mayor of Adelaide; Mr. H. P. Beaver, Town Clerk; Members of the Adelaide City Council; Colonel Price Weir, Public Service Commissioner; Hons. J. Verran and F. S. Wallis, Ms. L.C.; Messrs. A. A. Edwards, and H. Jackson, Ms. P. and Major Pendlebury, D.A.A.G., representing the State Commandant. Members of the Automobile Association had provided cars to drive the soldiers on a tour of the main streets of Adelaide at the head of the procession was the charabanc, that had been donated by the State Tourist Bureau, for the Mitcham Band. After the festivities Glamallie was taken to Keswick Hospital number 7 where he spent some time being treated for his illness. At Keswick Hospital, it was found that his illness had been aggravated by active service and was deemed permanently unfit for general or home service.

It was reported in the Nhill Free Press, Victoria in 1917, that Glamallie was wounded in the great Somme battle in France and had been wounded by a machine gun, through the side of the face and two teeth were displaced, and a bullet in the thigh. Glamallie stated that, “he was treated splendidly by the Australians, receiving “too many cigarettes and too much tucker.” “I could not smoke all cigarettes, and ladies were too kind.”[11] Glamallie was granted a war service pension of 15 shillings per fortnight.[12] After being discharged from Hospital, he returned to Victoria to live at 124 Young Street, Fitzroy.[13] This address was a boarding house run by another Indian Hawker, Noor Allum, who acted as a Mullah or Priest for the Muslim Community he had built Prayer Rooms at both 124 and 126 Young Street.[14]

[1] Khan, Ghulam Ali, NAA: B2455 Khan Glamallie.
[2] Khan Gllam Allie, Death Certificate Reg. No. 6752/1917 Victoria.
[4] NAA: B2455 Khan Glamallie
[3] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] “Tatiara Soldier’s National Park. Declared Open. “Border Chronicle Bordertown SA.. Fri. 27 Aug. 1915, p. 5.
[7] “Personal” Nhill Free Press Vic. Fri. 5 Nov. 1915, p. 2,
[8] “Notice” Nhill Free Press Vic. Fri. 5 Nov. 1915, p. 2.
[9] NAA: B2455 Khan Glamallie.
[10] Ibid.
[11] “Welcome Home To Returned Soldiers.” Nhill Free Press Vic. Fri 5 Oct. 1917, p. 2.
[12] Khan Gllam Allie, Death Certificate Reg. No. 6752/1917 Victoria.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Kenna, Len, Are Indians An Ethnic Minority? Vol. 4. Hawkers, p. 154, and Vol. 5, A Pictorial History, p. 28.