Pilbara residents paid their respects to the Lockyer brothers and all Indigenous personnel who have served Australia in times of war. Brothers Arnold, Edgar, Albert, Elliott and Eric Lockyer, who grew up on Mallina Station near Whim Creek, were among several thousand Aboriginal people who enlisted in the Australian armed forces during the war despite discrimination. The annual service now in its 16th year was held at the Whim Creek Memorial on April 9. During WWII, Albert, Elliott and Eric Lockyer enlisted in the army while Arnold and Edgar joined the Royal Australian Air Force. However, in 1945 Arnold was among several pilots shot down and captured by the Japanese in Indonesia, and Eric was killed in action in Borneo. Corporal Edgar Lockyer’s granddaughter Leanne Lockyer said the brothers’ service was a defining moment for the descendants of the family. “They were very proud men that went away to a war to support their families,” she said. “They had to fight the system to actually be accredited to serve in the army. “My grandfather was the last one, to be given the appropriate training for him to pass his training to be accepted into the RAAF.” She said the brothers were treated as equals during their service and returned to discrimination after the war. “So the memorial isn’t just for our family, it was the starting point for all Indigenous families that have served,” she said. Private Elliot Lockyer daughter Elaine Clifton said having the Pilbara Regiment involved in the service provided recognition. “Although it’s there in honour of five Lockyer brothers, it represents all the Indigenous servicemen and women,” she said. “It represents all the all the servicemen and women around because they’re all they all went together those that came home came home together.” Ms Leanne Lockyer said they were privileged to have the only Indigenous war memorial in regional Australia. “We’ve got a lot of people that still have their names of their family that needs to be acknowledged in the Pilbara,” she said.