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The life of Donald Stuart

Donald Stuart (13 September 1913 – 25 August 1983) was an Australian novelist whose works include stories with Aboriginal backgrounds, and a series recounting his experience as a prisoner of war in Burma in World War II.
Works written: Yandy: By Donald Stuart, Ilbara…
Born: 13 September 1913, Cottesloe
Died: 25 August 1983, Broome
Father: Julian Stuart

Early career

Donald Robert Stuart was born in Cottesloe, Western Australia[1] and apart from his time spent overseas during World War II, he lived all his life in that state. His father was Julian Stuart, a poet and activist, and he was the brother of Lyndall Hadow, also a writer. Stuart left home at age 14 and began a career as a swagman (an itinerant who wandered the roads seeking casual work). He travelled through much of northern Western Australia finding work on cattle stations and it was during these years that he came into close contact with Aborigines.

War Years

Stuart volunteered at the start of World War II for the 2nd Australian Imperial Force. He saw service in the Middle East as a 2/3rd Machine Gunner and then in JavaIndonesia, where he was captured by the Japanese. He then spent three and a half years as a POW. Along with Weary Dunlop, he was sent to work on the Burma Railway,[2] a purgatory from which many did not return. In Stuart’s own words:

“We built a railway from near Bangkok to near Rangoon—thousands of us POWs starved, scourged, racked with malaria, dysentery, beri-beripellagra and stinking tropical ulcers that ate a leg to the bone.”

A little bit of information on Donald’s sister… Lyndall Hadow

Born: Kalgoorlie, Australia 
Died: June 02, 1976
Genre:Short Stories


“(1903-76), born Kalgoorlie, was the sister of the novelist Donald Stuart, and daughter of Julian Stuart, 1891 shearers’ strike prisoner, and Florence Collings, one of WA’s first women journalists. Long-time editor of the magazine Our Women, she was a prolific writer of short stories, reviews and critical articles. Her collection of short fiction, Full Cycle and Other Stories (1969), deals with the State’s wheat belt, its far north-west and the assimilation of non-British migrants into the more settled southwest. She edited a book of her father’s writings, Part of the Glory (1967). The WA branch of the FAW created the Lyndall Hadow Annual Award for short stories in 1977; it also published She Too Is ‘Part of the Glory’: Lyndall Hadow 1903-1976 (1976)

Published by Emmalisa Tilli, grand daughter of Dawn Crabb, She married Donald Stuart at the age of 50 and Julian Start’s poem An Easter Thought is at the back of the book Rainbow’s End published by Albany Advertiser. The poem means a lot to me even though I never met Donald Stuart but have photos of their wedding in the 70’s in old fashioned photos in colour. I never met Julian Stuart. I knew Dawn Crabb nee Egerton Warburton (GRANNY) at the age of 5-6 when she was living in Emu Point in Albany, and she passed in 1997 when I was 11 living in Altona Meadows, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.

Love Emmalisa Tilli