Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Emu Park Boy Killed in Action; in the Lead-Up to Anzac Day, We Honour Our CQ Heroes

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Emu Park Boy Killed in Action; in the Lead-Up to Anzac Day, We Honour Our CQ Heroes

Article excerpt

Byline: John Mills

HE WAS a typical Queensland country teenager when he enlisted in the AIF in 1915.

Isaac James Mills was born in Blackall on May 27, 1896, the first son of Charles and Margaret Mills. The family moved in 1903 from the inland to the coast at Emu Park where his father became a shopkeeper.

He went to Emu Park State School for his primary education, then for high school became a boarder at Nudgee College, Brisbane where he got a taste of army life in the school cadets. After completing school he worked in his father's shop.

Isaac had an adventure at 12 years old that made the papers. His father owned a fish trap at nearby Zilzie Beach and Isaac would ride out on horseback to check the trap. One November morning approaching the trap, the horse reared suddenly, throwing Isaac, and bolted for home. When Isaac saw the crocodile that had frightened the horse, he also raced home. His father returned with help and shot the reptile. The trap had to be partly demolished to extract the huge beast, which measured 19 feet (5.8m). It went on display at Mills' place, was later preserved and mounted under the awning for many years at the Pine Beach Hotel Emu Park, where we used to admire it as kids.

Isaac Mills answered the call to volunteer soon after the first Australian soldiers landed at Anzac Cove. He was 18 years old, and there was not much of him, at five feet 8A' inches and 10 stone 7 lbs. No time was wasted. Within two weeks he was at sea en route to the war.

After training in Egypt, he left Alexandria on September 4, 1915 to serve on Gallipoli until December when the Anzacs were evacuated.

There followed further training in Egypt, then the AIF joined the war in western Europe.

His service record shows Isaac landed at Marseilles, France on March 21, 1916, and went quickly into action in trench warfare. …

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