Black Diggers

Black Diggers


Tom Wright

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A white soldier who serves with a number of the Indigenous diggers, including Harry, Mick, Archie, and Ern. On the battlefield at Polygon Wood, Stan and Harry have a heartfelt conversation about how Australia might change after the war. Stan promises Harry that they can “always have a beer together” afterward, underlining Harry’s hope for race relations to change in Australia because of Indigenous soldiers’ inclusion in the war. More than 30 years later, in 1949, Harry is homeless and begging on Castlereagh Street in downtown Sydney when Stan, now working for the Department of Lands (which was responsible for expropriating Indigenous land and reapportioning it to soldiers), passes by. Remembering their service together, Stan gives Harry some money and laments that their service has been forgotten.

Stan Quotes in Black Diggers

The Black Diggers quotes below are all either spoken by Stan or refer to Stan. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Australian Nationhood and Indigenous Dispossession Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Playlab edition of Black Diggers published in 2015.
Act One Quotes

HARRY: If you blokes have a beer with me then that’s a start.

STAN: What are you on about? We’d always have a beer with you.

FIRST WHITE SOLDIER: You’re as good as a white man, Harry.

Related Characters: Harry (speaker), Stan (speaker)
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

Seriously, this has gone for years and it could go for years. We lose a few mates, they lose a few, the whistle blows, we gain another cricket pitch worth of Belgium, the horn blows, they chase us out. But most of the time we sit here and we sing our songs. And they sit over there and sing theirs. And everyone, everyone hates the whole bloody stunt.

Related Characters: Ern (speaker), Archie, Mick , Stan
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Black Diggers LitChart as a printable PDF.
Black Diggers PDF

Stan Character Timeline in Black Diggers

The timeline below shows where the character Stan appears in Black Diggers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Australian Nationhood and Indigenous Dispossession Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
At the 1917 battle of Polygon Wood, three white soldiers, one of whom is named Stan, ask Harry what he will do after the war, and he says he “can’t even... (full context)
War, Violence, and Shell Shock Theme Icon
In a trench on the outskirts of a battlefield in 1917, Mick, Archie, Ern, and Stan play “I spy” to pass the time. Ern notes that they have “moved seven feet... (full context)
Act Two
War, Violence, and Shell Shock Theme Icon
History, Memory, and the Archive Theme Icon
...the grave of a pauper, completely alone. He delivers a eulogy to the man, “Tank Stand Tommy,” whose real name nobody knows. People only knew the homeless Tommy for sleeping under... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
On Castlereagh Street in 1949, Harry is begging for money and Stan, in a suit, passes by, before they recognize one another and try to catch up.... (full context)