Joris Ryckeboer Posted 6 December , 2004 Share Posted 6 December , 2004 Hello! This is a translated résumé of an article , published today in my local newspaper (Het Laatste Nieuws, edition Kortrijk&Ieper). Yesterday, it was also on our local TV-channel WTV. Commemoration at Harelbeke New British Cemetery. Teenagers from Mount Baker High SChool (Southern Australia) were saturday at Harelbeke. They are at Ieper with a school project about the first World War. On December 4 2004 Am, they commemorated RUFUS RIGNEY. This 17 year old soldier from the Ngarrindjeri-tribe, was wounded during the battle at Passendale on October 12 1917. Wounded, he became a prisoner of war and was hospitalised at the German Reserve Feldlazerett, Izegem. There he died on October 16 1917. The Germans buried him at the Ehrenfriedhof III (Izegem). Rufus was reburied besides his pals from his unit (32/48th Bn) at New British Cemetery, early '20. The students held a moving ceremony. Donna Handke read a text, wreaths were laid, the Last Post, the Australian Anthem and original Aboriginal tribe music was played. Family of Rufus Rigney, native Point Mcleay South Australia, from the Ngarrindjeri-tribe, asked the students to put some earth from where Rufus lived at his resting-place. The earth came from the Cooronigriver. They also took some earth of his grave to hand it over at his family. As this was forbidden (to import earth to Australia), teacher Julie Reece made a crusade to change this law. Now they have the permission to do it. Cyril Rigney, Rufus'brother died also during WW I. He's missing and therefor, there is on Wednesday December 8 a special Last Post at the Meningate. Rufus Rigney CWGC-link: http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_...casualty=486426 Cyril Rigney CWGC-link: http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_...asualty=1600714 Now my questions: -What is known about aboriginals during the First World War? -Where they engaged because of special skills? -The journalist stated in his article; 70 soldiers of aboriginal-tribe (good translation?), died during the whole conflict. -CWGC: Rufus Rigney=19 years??? Is this correct? Is there more know about the Rigneys? -Is there a special link with this school that made them chose him? Chris, I hope this is the right place to post this topic? Grtz from Flanders! Joris Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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