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Australische aboriginals die stierven in West-Vlaanderen

 
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Regulus 1



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 15:29    Onderwerp: Australische aboriginals die stierven in West-Vlaanderen Reageer met quote

Hi,

Zoals jullie weten werken Erik en ik aan een boek(je) Embarassed over de militaire begraafplaatsen in West-Vlaanderen.

Daarbij zijn we ook op een groot aantal Australische aboriginals gestoten en zoeken we informatie over de volgende namen :

- AITKEN, George (25th Bn) from Queensland, KIA 19/10/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

- BOOTH, Laurence Henry (21st Bn) from Orbost, Victoria, KIA 13/10/17 and buried at Nine Elms Cemetary

- BOWEN, Thomas (18th Bn) from New South Wales, KIA 20/09/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

- BRIGGS, Frederick (33rd Bn) Kupit Station, Manilla, New South Wales, KIA 29/09/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

- COOPER, Daniel (24th Bn) son of legend William Cooper, from Yarrawonga, Victoria, KIA 20/09/1917 and buried at Perth Cemetary (China Wall)

- CULLEN, John Joseph (45th Bn) Orange, New South Wales, KIA 07/06/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

- GAGE, Christopher Henry (54th Bn) from Eugowra, New South Wales, KIA 26/09/1917 and buried at New Irish Farm Cemetary

- HEATH, Edward (33rd Bn) from Moree or Merriwa, New South Wales, KIA 09/06/1917 and remembered at the Menin Gate

- HUCKLE, John (1st Bn) from Condobolin or Euabalong, New South Wales, KIA 03/10/1917 and buried at Aeroplane Cemetary

- JOHNSON, Walter 'Wally' (25th Bn) from Queensland (?), KIA 20/09/1917 and buried at Bedford House Cemetary, Enclosure 4

- MARTYN, Charles George (16/26th Bn) from Goombungee, Queensland, KIA 20/09/1917 and buried at Hooge Crater Cemetary

- MURRAY, William Frederick (5th Bn) from Orbost, Victoria, KIA 20/09/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

- RIGNEY, Cyril Spurgeon (50th Bn) from Point McLeay, South Australia, KIA 03/07/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

- RIGNEY, Rufus Gordon (32/48th Bn) from Point McLeay, South Australia, prisoner of war, died of wounds 16/10/1917 and buried at Harelbeke New British
Cemetary - probably related to Rigney Cyril Spurgeon.

- STUBBINGS, William (5th Div RTC) from Queensland, KIA 25/09/1917 and remembered on the Menin Gate

Ook bijkomende namen zijn natuurlijk welkom.

Bedankt !
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 16:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Een bescheiden vraagje ;Waren dit mensen met Aboriginal-bloed[halfbloed]of waren deze Aboriginals zeg maar''Native''.
Dit vanwege de Engelse achternamen?
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Regulus 1



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 16:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Moeilijk te zeggen volgens het CWGC waren ze Native...
Maar dat zal wel niet bij allemaal het geval geweest zijn vermoed ik.
Ook zullen we van velen het nooit weten omdat ze zich bij inschrijving niet lieten kennen als native of als halfbloed...
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A Duck



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 16:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hebben jullie contact gezocht met David Huggonson?

In een interview, te bekijken op http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/index.php?action=proginfo&id=329 claimt hij "I have compiled a database on war service in World War I and that currently stands at 438 Aborigines who served ". Datzelfde interview is sowieo interessant om eens te bekijken.

Vermoedelijk is hij te bereiken via david.huggonson@btinternet.com
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 16:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik neem aan dat jullie deze databases van het Australian War Memorial kennen:
http://www.awm.gov.au/research/infosheets/served_ww1.asp#service_records

Maar je kunt met 'aboriginals' ook Canadese Indianen bedoelen. Heel specifiek is je vraag nog niet. Want ik ben benieuwd wat je van deze mensen wilt weten, en waarom je (veronder)stelt dat het hierbij om 'aboriginals' (of aborigines ?) gaat ?

Ken je overigens ook deze mooie site:
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/aboriginal-heritage/020016-4001-e.html
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puck



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 17:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ernst Friedrich @ 23 Jul 2007 17:53 schreef:
Ik neem aan dat jullie deze databases van het Australian War Memorial kennen:
http://www.awm.gov.au/research/infosheets/served_ww1.asp#service_records

Maar je kunt met 'aboriginals' ook Canadese Indianen bedoelen. Heel specifiek is je vraag nog niet. Want ik ben benieuwd wat je van deze mensen wilt weten, en waarom je (veronder)stelt dat het hierbij om 'aboriginals' (of aborigines ?) gaat ?

Ken je overigens ook deze mooie site:
http://www.collectionscanada.ca/aboriginal-heritage/020016-4001-e.html


De adressen staan erbij dus het gaat toch om Australiers!?!?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 17:11    Onderwerp: Aitken, George Reageer met quote

http://www.awm.gov.au/cms_images/awm131/000/000320.pdf is een file over jullie eerste man, George Aitken.
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Regulus 1



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 17:33    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Bedankt alvast ! Dit gaat de heel goede richting uit ! Was vandaag trouwens ook al bezig met de Indiaanse Canadezen. Maar deze vraag ging specifiek over de Australische aboriginals. Maar alle links zijn welkom !
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 17:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.awm.gov.au/roh/person.asp?p=145-318

Wel een beetje sentimenteel (misschien) dat 'poppy' om aan te geven waar George Robert Aitken op de panelen van het AWM gememoreerd wordt.

http://naa12.naa.gov.au/Scripts/Imagine.asp?B=3023691&SE=1&I=1

Als je deze documenten doorbladert zie je al pagina 3 een interessant incident met een beschikking van een soort tuchtraad en op pagina 4 de bevestiging van zijn killed in action.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 20:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

puck @ 23 Jul 2007 17:27 schreef:
Een bescheiden vraagje ;Waren dit mensen met Aboriginal-bloed[halfbloed]of waren deze Aboriginals zeg maar''Native''.
Dit vanwege de Engelse achternamen?


De Britten gaven meestal een Engelse achternaam aan die mannen omdat dat anders te moeilijk was voor hun burgerlijke stand, denk ik. Dat gebeurde ook in Wales bijv.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 21:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

AOK4 @ 23 Jul 2007 21:39 schreef:
puck @ 23 Jul 2007 17:27 schreef:
Een bescheiden vraagje ;Waren dit mensen met Aboriginal-bloed[halfbloed]of waren deze Aboriginals zeg maar''Native''.
Dit vanwege de Engelse achternamen?


De Britten gaven meestal een Engelse achternaam aan die mannen omdat dat anders te moeilijk was voor hun burgerlijke stand, denk ik. Dat gebeurde ook in Wales bijv.


Met welke mensen gebeurde dat in Wales??????
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erik



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Jul 2007 22:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wat meer info:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/australasia/article2606395.ece

De gesneuvelden(niet volledig):
http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/statuepark/620/honour.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jul 2007 5:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

puck @ 23 Jul 2007 22:01 schreef:
AOK4 @ 23 Jul 2007 21:39 schreef:
puck @ 23 Jul 2007 17:27 schreef:
Een bescheiden vraagje ;Waren dit mensen met Aboriginal-bloed[halfbloed]of waren deze Aboriginals zeg maar''Native''.
Dit vanwege de Engelse achternamen?


De Britten gaven meestal een Engelse achternaam aan die mannen omdat dat anders te moeilijk was voor hun burgerlijke stand, denk ik. Dat gebeurde ook in Wales bijv.


Met welke mensen gebeurde dat in Wales??????


De naman Matthews, Jones, Davies enz. zijn niet bepaald oorspronkelijk Welshe namen, het zijn verengelste Welshe namen.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jul 2007 7:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Met vele doorklikmogelijkheden: http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/saatwar/AboriginalsandWar_list.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jul 2007 14:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

AOK4 @ 24 Jul 2007 6:32 schreef:
puck @ 23 Jul 2007 22:01 schreef:
AOK4 @ 23 Jul 2007 21:39 schreef:
puck @ 23 Jul 2007 17:27 schreef:
Een bescheiden vraagje ;Waren dit mensen met Aboriginal-bloed[halfbloed]of waren deze Aboriginals zeg maar''Native''.
Dit vanwege de Engelse achternamen?


De Britten gaven meestal een Engelse achternaam aan die mannen omdat dat anders te moeilijk was voor hun burgerlijke stand, denk ik. Dat gebeurde ook in Wales bijv.


Met welke mensen gebeurde dat in Wales??????


De naman Matthews, Jones, Davies enz. zijn niet bepaald oorspronkelijk Welshe namen, het zijn verengelste Welshe namen.


Uhh, even voor de duidelijkheid Wales ligt in Engeland en New- SouthWales in Australie.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jul 2007 16:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Gwybodaeth gefndir ddefnyddiol am yr iaith Gymraeg ac am Fwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg a'i waith.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jul 2007 17:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ernst Friedrich @ 24 Jul 2007 17:09 schreef:
Gwybodaeth gefndir ddefnyddiol am yr iaith Gymraeg ac am Fwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg a'i waith.


Confused Confused Confused Confused Confused Confused
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Jul 2007 17:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
? ? ? ? ?


Precies. En daarom hebben de Engelsen die de adminstratie deden voor Wales (in de 19de eeuw) WEL EENS een analfabeet uit Wales een Engelse naam gegeven.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2007 12:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het is te hopen dat er van deze boeken te leen of in te zien zijn zijn in Ieper of Zonnebeke.
Bron: AWM in Canberra

http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/aborigines/index.htm

Reading list

Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the Australian Defence Forces

Further online resources
"Too dark for the light horse: Aborigine and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence forces"


Books
Desmond Ball (ed.), Aborigines in the defence of Australia (Sydney: Australian National University Press, 1991). [Edited collection of papers on this subject.]

Joan Beaumont, Australian defence: sources and statistics, Australian Centenary History of Defence, vol. 6 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2001). [Tables, statistics, and literature reviews. Includes a section of what resources are avalible on this topic].

Peter Dennis et. al., The Oxford companion to Australian military history (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1995). [Contains an entry on Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the armed forces written by Robert A. Hall.]

Harry Gordon, The embarrassing Australian: the story of an Aboriginal warrior (Melbourne: Cheshire-Lansdowne, 1965). [Biography of Reg Saunders.]

Robert A. Hall, Fighters from the fringe: Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders recall the Second World War (Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 1995). [Introduction discusses a range of issues related to the service of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the Second World War. Includes interviews with Reg Saunders, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Charles Mene, Leonard Waters, Tom Loah, and Saulo Waia.]

Robert A. Hall, The black diggers: Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders in the Second World War (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1989). [Incudes discussion on the struggle for the right to enlist, the attitudes of white people to Aborigines and African Americans in Australia , the efforts of isolated communities including Torres Strait Islanders, and the perception in Australia of Aborigines as a security threat.]

Doreen Kartinyeri, Ngarrindjeri ANZACs (Adelaide: South Australian Museum and Raukkan Council, 1996). [Short biographies and photographs of Aboriginal men from the Ngarrindjeri community of the Lower Murray .]

Alick Jackomos, Forgotten heroes: Aborigines at war from the Somme to Vietnam (South Melbourne: Victoria Press, 1993). [Includes short biographical histories of Aborigines who served in Australian war efforts, from the First World War to Vietnam. Includes photographs, interview extracts, and an incomplete Roll of Honour.]

Kenny Laughton (ed.), Aboriginal ex-servicemen of Central Australia (Alice Springs: IAD Press,1995). [Includes Honour Roll organised by service and place of death, and testimonies from eight veterans collected for the State Library of the Northern Territory Oral History Project.]

Kenny Laughton, Not quite men, no longer boys (Alice Springs: Jukurrpa Books, 1999). [Autobiography of a Vietnam veteran, who was originally a clerk and spent the majority of his service as a combat engineer.]

Rod Moran, Icon of the north: the legend of Tom Gray (Northbridge: Access Press, c. 1995). [Biography of Tom Gray, a person of Aboriginal descent who served in the Second World War.]

E. Osborne, Torres Strait Islander women and the Pacific war (Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 1997). [Describes the experiences of Torres Strait Islander women, using research and interviews. Topics include the evacuation from the Islands; the differences in experience and perspective between the Islanders and Aborigines; and the effect of war on the lifestyle of the Islanders.]

Donald F. Thomson, NTSRU 1941–1943: Northern Territory Special Reconnaissance Unit (Yirrkala, NT: Yirrkala Literature Production Centre, 1992). [Created from a report written by Donald Thomson, the creator of the Northern Territory Special Reconnaisance Unit, details the formation of the unit and its objectives. Includes recommendations for awards to Natjialma and Raiwalla, and a nominal roll of the NTSRU.]

Thursday Island State School, Torres Strait at war: A recollection of wartime experiences (Thursday Island: Thursday Island State High School, 1988). [Includes order of battle, nominal roll, list of air raids on Thursday Island, and interviews with various Islander people affected by the war.]

Richard Walker and Helen Walker, Curtin's cowboys: Australia 's secret bush commandos (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1986). [The history of the North Australia Observer Unit includes a chapter on their relations with Aboriginal people and statements from white soldiers, but no comments from Aborigines.]

Journal Articles
Aboriginal History 16 (1992). [Special edition dedicated to Aborigines in the services. Includes listings of resources in Australian Libraries and Archives which are slightly out of date, but which are still a very useful indication of what is available. Other topics include short biographies, Aboriginal soldiers in Malaya and Vietnam, and the Northern Territory Coastal Patrol.]

Rod Pratt, " Queensland 's Aborigines in the first A.I.F. Part 1", Sabretache, 31.1 (1990): 18–22.

Rod Pratt, " Queensland 's Aborigines in the first A.I.F. Part 2", Sabretache, 31. 2 (1990): 16–19.

Rod Pratt, " Queensland 's Aborigines in the first A.I.F. Part 3", Sabretache , 31. 3 (1990): 26–29.

Rod Pratt, " Queensland 's Aborigines in the first A.I.F. Part 4", Sabretache, 31, 4 (1990): 36–38.[Series of articles on Queensland 's Aborigines in the first A.I.F. including information on enlistment, payment and experiences.]

Vanessa Seekee, "'One ilan man': the Torres Strait Light Infantry," Wartime 12 (Summer 2000): 32–37 [Torres Strait Infantry Battalion was active in the Second World War.]

Bruce Topperwien, " Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who assisted the Australian Defence Force in northern Australia during World War Two", Sabretache 34.1 (1993): 37–38. [Previously unacknowledged Aborigines who were not formally enlisted in the Defence Forces but aided in the defence of Australia, now eligible for a pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.]
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Regulus 1



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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2007 12:12    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wow ! En daar heb ik over gekeken ! Bedankt ! Reuze materiaal !
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BerichtGeplaatst: 17 Aug 2008 11:11    Onderwerp: oproep + verhaal halfbloed Aitken Reageer met quote

RIGNEY, Rufus Gordon (32/48th Bn) from Point McLeay, South Australia, prisoner of war, died of wounds 16/10/1917 and buried at Harelbeke New British


Is er niemand die een foto kan plaatsen van dit graf. Bij mijn weten is er op het hele internet geen foto te vinden ?










In de lijst van natives staat wat betreft George Robert Aitken een foutje : hij behoorde tot het 52ste bataljon, niet tot het 25ste
Het loont echt de moeite al zijn documenten door te nemen. Je komt tot een mooi verhaal. Zo was hij een halfbloed. Alleen zijn moeder was aboriginal en heette Princess. Nadat hij gesneuveld was zocht men naar familieleden om zijn bezittingen terug te sturen. Dit leek niet te lukken dat er een brief kwam van iemand die beweert dat haar ouders de jongen hebben opgevoed en dat zijn moeder nog leefde.

Aitken heeft ook een testament geschreven waar hij alles 'overlaat' aan zijn beste vriend pte Hampton en zijn moeder.
Zoals al eerder gezegd hier kreeg hij jaar cel wegens twee 'offences'. De eerste was dat hij een bevel had geweigerd om het dorp Codford (Wiltshire) te verlaten. Tijdens zijn detentie daarvoor heeft hij zijn bewaker een mep in zijn gezicht verkocht. Voor beide feiten pleitte hij onschuldig. Hij kreeg twee jaar dwangarbeid, maar dat werd later omgezet in één jaar en geen soldij meer voor 377 dagen.
De naam van Aitken staat op de Menenpoort. Aitken sneuvelde op 19 oktober 1917. Weet iemand waar het 52ste bataljon van de 4de Austr. divisie op dat moment precies was ?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Aug 2008 3:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dear all...hope you enjoy the account below...regards Julie Reece xoxoxo



“Connecting Spirits” ceremony April 23, 2005



On December 4, 2004 the Remembrance 2004 group of 12 stood behind the grave of an indigenous soldier, a young Ngarrindjeri man Private Rufus Gordon Rigney. The morning fog blanketed the cemetery and zero temperatures chilled those present. To one side four re-enactors honored this young Aussie, dressed in WW1 uniforms. One dressed as an AIF man, had sown the battalion patch of the 48th, Rigney’s Battalion onto his sleeve the previous night. Jacques Nieling the President of the Salient Re-enactors Detachment (SRD) stood next to his shivering son Tommy as he earnestly held the WW1 rifle in stand to position. Tommy’s slouch hat dominated the boy’s head. At the end of this group Kristof Blieck wore the New Zealand uniform with pride. We would meet again with the jovial Kristof in Ieper to share many gorgeous Belgian beers at later stages of our trip. Completing the montage, Inge Vos, wife of Kristof wore the uniform of a WW1 nurse. The four created a powerful image of a time past and a conflict that brought us to this Flanders cemetery.



As guests arrived and took their place I pondered on how we came to be here at Harelbeke New British cemetery on this icy morning. In the previous year Donna Handke, Year 12 Australian History student, was frustrated; she couldn’t find a suitable topic for her major research essay. We were on camp at the Ngarrindjeri cultural centre “ Camp Coorong ” and every topic I proposed was rejected….too boring…..no interest…too hard. I shared her frustration. On the final day the class visited the Ngarrindjeri community of Raukkan a former church mission. Bordering the community square, an old chapel stood showing the ravages of time and bored teenagers. Inside the 1850’s building a contemporary bronze plaque looked at odds with its surrounds. Donna and I read the 16 names on the memorial, the identities of a group of young Ngarrindjeri men who enlisted for the Great War. Five paid with their lives: Pte. Arthur Thomas Walker, age 33, Pte. Francis Alban Varcoe age 22, Pte. Miller Mack age 25, Pte. Cyril Spurgeon Rigney age 20 and finally Pte. Rufus Gordon Rigney, not yet 18. Donna had committed to the Remembrance 2004 project in the previous year and before her eyes was the beginning of more than a topic for her essay. Her Ngarrindjeri five became the focus of the essay and began a most extraordinary journey not only for Donna but all of our group and ultimately a vast indigenous network we would soon call our friends.



The Ngarrindjeri men were four of a list of forty five WW1 soldiers who lost their lives in the most horrendous of twentieth century conflicts who became our R2004 veterans. For indigenous Australians the connections to land are the cornerstone of their culture and in keeping with these beliefs we developed the concept of taking the land of Rufus Gordon Rigney and his Ngarrindjeri peers, back to his place of death in Flanders . Rufus was the only one of the four with a grave as his brother Cyril was never found and his name is recorded on the Menin Gate in Ieper . Varcoe and Walker like Cyril were never found and their names were on the Australian Memorial at Villers Bretonneux on the Somme . This simple idea became very complex as we contacted the relevant quarantine authority (AQIS – Australian Quarantine Inspection Services) to learn that importation of soil into Europe was illegal even if it had been appropriately treated. In May of 2004 the Australian History class had collected four soil samples from four regions of Ngarrindjeri country to represent four of the regions of the dreaming trail of the Great Ancestral Hero, Ngarrunderi. They consisted of the sands of the ninety mile ocean beach, soil from Long Point on the Coorong, the banks of the two lakes Alexandrina and Lake Albert and finally the red earth of the banks of the mighty River Murray. This was layered into a plastic container ready for the great journey to Flanders . However the European Union stood in our way and not to be deterred we found a friend and advocate at AQIS, Matthew Buck, who adopted our cause. The South Australian branch of AQIS worked hand in hand with the Australian Embassy in Brussels and as part of that process a new person came onto the scene. The Counsellor for Agriculture at the Embassy of Australia, Bill Turner would prove to be our guardian angel!



Bill, as Matthew did here, adopted our concept and pushed hard for us to be able to bring the idea to fruition. Not to be put off by the fact that what we were aiming to do was illegal, Bill did what every good Aussie does in this situation, think outside of the square. The solution was quite simple really –change the law! So there we were a state high school from semi rural Mount Barker , running a project that involved the European Union and having our advocates the other side of the globe changing the laws on our behalf. Timing was our main enemy and it wasn’t until very late in the year that it all finally came together. Because of the goodwill and belief by a number of people in government circles and loads of support from individuals such as Matthew Buck and Bill Turner, we were finally given the go ahead to take the soil from Ngarrindjeri country to the resting place of indigenous soldier Private Rufus Gordon Rigney. We would also take soil from his grave and return it to his homeland and family and conduct a ceremony of reconciliation and commemoration in the lead up to Anzac Day, 2005.



So there in Harelbeke cemetery on that bitterly cold December day, our dream was being realized. It would prove to be an emotional event with new found friends both Australian and Belgian joining together in the commemoration of this 17 year old Aboriginal boy. Peter Allen’s song ‘I still call Australia home’ began the ceremony and from there the more traditional aspects of an Anzac service were evident. The climax came with the spreading of the sands from that unique part of South Australia to the sound of indigenous singer Christine Anu singing “My Island home”. To conclude, the strains of the didgeridoo and clapping sticks reverberated across Flanders fields while four young Australian women spread our precious sands across Rigney’s grave. Two shells from the ocean beach and a small piece of basket weaving made with the rushes grown on the edge of the lakes completed the tableau. The wreaths and other commemorative items crowded his grave. I knew something very special had happened that day. The wet and heavy Flanders soil filled the plastic container ready to make its own journey back to our home. And so the final part of what was named the “Connecting Spirits” project would be ready for completion.



April 23, 2005 was an unusually warm autumn day. I felt a mixture of emotions as our group was about to complete the circle and “Connecting Spirits” would become a reality. My friend Johan Durnez in Belgium as ever had planned his Anzac Day on the other side of the world. The emails between Woodside and Waregem returned to the daily pattern of the times leading up to our departure in November 2004. This amazing man dedicates his life to commemorating Allies who came to his country so many years ago to defend tiny Belgium . He lives and breathes the process of commemoration in a way that most Australians find confusing and at times a little confronting. This intensity has intrigued me, a feeling I also experienced with Yves Fohlen an equally passionate Frenchman. Like Johan, Yves unashamedly declares his gratitude for the contribution made by the Australians in the defence of his country. I have found this new territory to negotiate as patriotic fervor has never sat happily in my psyche. But these men play it out in their daily lives, not as clichés or sugary expressions of jingoism, but as true and sincere expressions of thanks. Being exposed to such intense and real feelings has been a humbling life experience.



So there we have on the opposite side of the world, Johan Durnez and his delightful wife Hilde, organizing their own slice of the Anzac ritual. Johan sent many emails expressing the dilemma he faced in trying to create the appropriate “mirror” ceremony for our Coorong experience. “The order of service” appeared in my “Inbox”. Johan had excelled! At 8.00 pm Belgium time on Friday 22 April, friends of the Durnez couple would return to the grave of the young Aboriginal soldier. A typical Anzac type service was organized and the connections with our mate at the Embassy, Bill Turner, were re-established. The lovely Yvette would also be there. Attention to detail is always evident in all that Johan does and this was no exception. Draped over Rigney’s grave was the red, black and yellow flag of Belgium , coincidentally the same colours of the Aboriginal counterpart. Johan and Hilde placed a floral tribute next to the items of commemoration our group had left there in 2004. The “Connecting Spirits” card he produced for our ceremony was also placed next to the other pieces. A small lead figurine in the AIF uniform and representing an indigenous soldier was placed on the top of the headstone. Our mate ‘Shrapnel Charlie’ (Ivan) makes these small men out of the lead shrapnel balls that litter the fields of Flanders . He gives them as special gifts to people and over 5,500 of these tiny figures in various allied uniforms have been sent across the globe. Ivan aims to send 55,000 soldiers ‘home’ - to represent the 55,000 allied names of the missing on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper . Shrapnel Charlie gave us sets of five Ngarrindjeri soldiers last year to give to the Ngarrindjeri people, and today they would be handed over to our friends.



Their night time dedication was timed with the going down of the sun to be followed by Johan’s home made Anzac biscuits and tots of rum. The Belgian and Australian flags donned the wall of the cemetery. All of this was digitally photographed by Johan who then drove home to his computer to have the images ready for me to take with us to Camp Coorong . While the Belgian group gathered again in the Harelbeke cemetery again in front of Rigney’s grave, the R2004 members were sleeping soundly the other side of the world. On the morning of Saturday April 23, the “Connecting Spirits” ceremony would begin.



I was never sure of just how many people would travel the 150 kilometers south of Adelaide to the sands of the Coorong to see four small pots of Flanders earth handed over to the elderly Ngarrindjeri lady. When the day finally arrived I was more than surprised: I was thrilled and moved by the numbers who had made this significant journey on a long weekend. Brilliant blue skies greeted the visitors to Ngarrindjeri land and soon the crowd of over 200 people settled in for what was to be an exhausting yet incredibly enriching day. Matt Rigney, relative of Rufus and contemporary Ngarrindjeri Elder, welcomed the crowd and soon the traditional dancers of the indigenous people of this special part of South Australia , initiated a smoking ceremony to cleanse the land. The aromatic smoke of the tee-tree fire enveloped the setting as all present witnessed the Belgian soil being the centre piece of the dance. Speeches followed from officials representing government and veterans, and soon the sentiments of reconciliation became the language of the day.


Opposite of the globe, Patrick knoops another member of srd was holding the same ceremony in the middle of the night. He held the smoking ceremony and spoke the words given by the elders. Since he is well known with our culture he used clapsticks and together with others they send the spirits home.


We left the morning heat with a change of venue and moved into the dining room. It was my turn to speak. Nervously I tried to encapsulate what the day meant for all of us involved in this project. Words flowed and tears soon followed as the video recording of our Harelbeke ceremony was shared with 200 people. Ngarrindjeri men and women openly cried: others soon followed. The room was totally silent. As the music and memories of December 4, 2004 filled the room I realized the importance of this moment for those present. It had already been an intense few hours yet the expected mutterings and movement of a restless audience were not obvious here today. Gifts of small lead soldiers lovingly produced by the charismatic “Shrapnel Charlie” were handed over along with the explanation of why this amazing man goes to such lengths to produce the delicate figurines. Made from the detritus of WW1 battlefields, the shrapnel is melted down to be re-used in these replica soldiers. Mounted on shards of pottery, also found in the killing fields, these moving gifts touched the hearts of the recipients. John Simpson, who was present in the audience, related to me a few days after the event, that Peter Rigney held the small soldiers constantly patting the tiny figures. As John explained Shrapnel Charlie only gives these gifts to friends, tears trickled down the Ngarrindjeri man’s face. His wife Liz cried all day. The openness of the women and men’s grief confronted us all and verified the legitimacy of what we had achieved. Doreen Kartinyeri, one of the nieces of Rufus Rigney, unashamedly sobbed at the sight of her uncle’s headstone on the screen. Her sister clutched her hand. I couldn’t look at them as I knew I had to speak again. Brief yet powerful words were shared and soon the break we all needed came. Food, drink and a chance for an emotional respite was welcome. The men and women of Camp Coorong supplied a generous feast and the lunch also provided an opportunity to mingle with the guests.



From there the second stage of the ceremony would begin. The cavalcade of cars, media and four wheel drives traveled the corrugated roads of the Coorong. We could not wish for a more perfect day. Brilliant sunshine brought the blues of the water out in a way that is not always obvious here. Often this strip of water is dull and grey but not today. Mark Point , the site of the soil ceremony, was north of Long Point and a section of the Coorong where the original sand samples had been collected in 2004. Pelicans flew past, such ungainly looking creatures in one sense yet the epitome of graceful movement in another. Most of the crowd stayed and together we were marched down to the water’s edge with Major Sumner and the young dancers leading the way. Immediately following him was John Simpson dressed in full Scottish gear, playing the haunting bagpipes. The blend of pipes and clapping sticks created its own symbolism as cultures melded together in evocative tones. In this natural amphitheatre, the sounds reverberated over the landscape. People openly wept. Bill Denny the South Australian President of the Anzac Day Committee gave leadership to the service, full of the traditions of such an event yet sensitively constructed for such a cross cultural occasion. Indigenous rituals were woven together with those of the Anzac culture, an unexpected marriage of traditions. Donna gave a personal insight into the impact of her own journey and recalled the night we sat in the Hill 60 crater near Ieper . She spoke of the cold and the loss of futures of the men, many younger than her 19 years. Completing her part of the service, Donna read a poem she had encountered in the famous R & R hostel near Ypres , Talbot House. This was a refuge for the WW1 men who would briefly escape the ravages of the western front. More tears and raw emotion, yet our day was not yet over.



The Last Post was played by Jon Emmett, a Yr 12 student from our school in 2004 and friend of the R2004 girls. In full Army Cadet Uniform, he performed with great skill and style. Standing next the piper with the sands of the dunes in the background, he looked and sounded magnificent. And then the climax, the culmination of all that planning and hoping – the sprinkling of the dark grey Belgian soil into the lighter sands of the Coorong. Doreen rose to her feet. She gently spread the contents while the bagpipes provided a melancholic background. I held her elbow as she lent down to the earth. The atmosphere was both sombre and electric at the same time. I would never forget this moment. To complete the service we were invited to throw rose petals and rosemary twigs into the water an image cleverly captured by television cameras.



The emotionally charged day had one more stage: the internment of the second soil sample next to the memorial rock in Raukkan cemetery. Located on top of a rise overlooking the community and the lake, the setting was poignant. Again the dance troupe went through their rituals and the crowd gathered. Donna and Doreen sat together at the front the exhaustion showing on both their faces. Five memorial cards, each one dedicated to each of the Ngarrindjeri soldiers who died, were placed in the ground by the young dancers. The only boy, wanted to have Rufus’ card – “He is my hero”, he whispered to his sister. Carefully the cards were placed into the earth. Finally the soil was placed in the ground and Donna and Doreen together laid a wreath. One final piece of music from the pipes and the commemoration of five indigenous soldiers was complete. The spirits had been reconnected. Doreen and Donna hugged, cried and said farewell. Matt Rigney said it wasn’t a completion of a project for Donna and the rest of us but rather the beginning of a new way of thinking.



As we drove home my thoughts returned to two places I loved so dearly: the Coorong and Flanders . Totally different in every way yet connected in so many others. Common loss and grief would connect the spirits of the two and for me the new found friends would shape my life. Donna has taught me about survival, Johan and Hilde about loyalty and dedication, Bill and Matthew the importance of chasing dreams and to the Ngarrindjeri people the notion of forgiveness and dignity in the face of oppression and marginalisation. To Shrapnel Charlie, he has given me a lesson in unselfishness and compassion. And finally Patrick Knoops for his cultural understanding and his ozzy heart. The ‘Connecting Spirits’ initiative has made me a learner not a teacher and emotionally enriched in ways that are probably not yet clear even to me. Matt was right – we haven’t completed anything – this is just the beginning.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






cooee
patrick
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Aug 2008 13:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hartelijk dank voor de foto van het graf van Rigney in Harelbeke. Ik wist niet dat hij nog een broer had die op de Menenpoort staat. Die broer sneuvelde op 3 juli 1917. Gezien hij deel uitmaakte van de 11de brigade, 43ste bataljon, moet hij op dat moment wellicht in de buurt geweest zijn van de lijn achter Waasten-Gapaard, die ze moesten consolideren. Ze waren daar vanaf 23 juni en bleven er 21 dagen (zie hieronder)


Private CYRIL SPURGEON RIGNEY

2042, 43rd Bn., Australian Infantry, A.I.F.
who died age 20
on 03 July 1917
Son of Benjamin and Rachel Rigney; husband of Constance M. Kropinyeri (formerly Rigney), of Tailem Bend, South Australia. Native of Point McLeay, South Australia.
Remembered with honour
YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL


43rd Battalion

The 3rd Division was raised in Australia early in 1916. The 43rd Battalion was South Australia’s contribution to the strength of the division. Along with the 41st, 42nd, and 44th Battalions, plus support troops, it formed the 11th Brigade.
The battalion embarked in June 1916 and, after landing briefly in Egypt, went on to Britain for further training. The battalion arrived on the Western Front in late December. The 43rd Battalion spent 1917 bogged in bloody trench warfare in Flanders. In June the battalion took part in the battle of Messines and in October the Third Battle of Ypres.



On June 23rd, we returned to the Black Line and the Green Line. Here we remained for a period of twenty-one days, during which we consolidated and strengthened our new line of defence.
The communicating trenches were named: Unbearable, Gapaard, Hun's Walk, Owl, Fanny, and Wellington. These were all in bad condition. The Front Line was not joined up. Water was two feet deep in some parts of the trenches owing to continuous wet weather.
There was a great scarcity of engineering material, but in spite of all these drawbacks we made good progress by steadily gaining ground and pushing out strong posts in the direction of Warneton.
Our casualties were not severe, but never a day passed without toll being taken of our comrades by death or wounds.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Aug 2008 14:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Bedankt voor deze zeer interessante aanvullingen ! Laughing
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2009 2:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A Duck @ 23 Jul 2007 16:45 schreef:
Hebben jullie contact gezocht met David Huggonson?

In een interview, te bekijken op http://news.sbs.com.au/livingblack/index.php?action=proginfo&id=329 claimt hij "I have compiled a database on war service in World War I and that currently stands at 438 Aborigines who served ". Datzelfde interview is sowieo interessant om eens te bekijken.

Vermoedelijk is hij te bereiken via david.huggonson@btinternet.com


Aboriginals' significant role in WWI revealed
By Danny Rose

13 April 2004 - The names of more than 400 Aboriginal soldiers who served in World War I have been uncovered -- and many were from Tasmania's Bass Strait islands.

Canberra-based historian David Huggonson, who has spent 20 years researching the Aboriginal contribution to Australia's military campaigns, announced his findings yesterday.

Mr Huggonson said he had uncovered the names of 428 Aboriginal soldiers who served in WWI.

Flinders and Cape Barren islands provided the highest number of early Aboriginal enlistmensts.

They were also mostly from the Maynard or Mansell families who, Mr Huggonson said, had gone on to produce some of Tasmania's most outspoken Aboriginal activists.

"Few Australians are aware that Aborigines have served in every war that Australia has fought in since the Boer War," Mr Huggonson said yesterday.

"There are 428 names so far just for World War I, from every state of Australia.

"But I was surprised to see quite a few Tasmanians from Cape Barren Island and Flinders Island."

He said the figure of 428 Aboriginal soldiers who fought in WWI was significant, as Australia's Aboriginal population at the time was estimated to be about 80,000.

Mr Huggonson said army regulations at the time had banned anyone not of European origin from enlisting.

"It was only in May 1917 that an army order allowed the enlistment of 'half-castes' due to the shortage of volunteers and the carnage on the Western Front," he said.

Mr Huggonson said the Tasmanian Aborigines who served were most likely the children of European sealers and Aboriginal women.

He said it was important that the role played by Australia's Aboriginal soldiers was recognised.

"Federation occurred in 1901 but Gallipoli solidified Australia's nationhood, rather than being separate states," Mr Huggonson said.

"It is important to note that Aboriginal soldiers played a role in that."

Mr Huggonson's research continues and he specifically wants to identify a soldier from Cape Barren Island contained in an old photograph.

Anyone with any information on Tasmania's Aboriginal soldiers can contact Mr Huggonson by mail at: 12 Shore Place, Weston, ACT, 2611.

Bron: http://www.eniar.org/news/WWI.html
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