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The Raukkan Community Yarn Up was held on 13 April 2015. This community has a very proud and rich history of service, the community believe that at least 100 men from the community served in Defence from World War 1 to Vietnam. Their passion for their people who served is so strong they raised funds to erect a War Memorial to honor those that served. It is a place that the community can go to every ANAZC day to remember them.
In Raukkan we spoke to a number of community members including Major Lancelot Sumner who spoke to us about the contribution of Ngarrindjeri people to World War One, Vietnam and Korea, including his own family’s history of service. We also spoke to Francis Lovegrove who discussed his family’s history of service including his father’s uncle’s service in France during World War 1 and his brother’s two tours of Vietnam. Clyde Rigney, Dorothy Shaw, Verna Koolmatrie and John Pearson discussed Raukkan’s long history of service in the defence forces from World War 1 onward and spoke of the pride they have for their relatives and fellow community members who served and they talked about the research and other activities that have been undertaken in the community, including travel to France and surrounding countries to visit the graves and memorials of community members who served and died in World War 1 in places like Villers-Bretonneux. There is also wide ranging discussion about how, why and where Raukkan men signed up to fight in World War 1, and for those who returned, how they coped, how they were treated and supported in the community, and what if any official entitlements were made available to them including access to the soldier settlement scheme.
We also heard incredible uplifting stories of the whole community forming a guard of honour along the streets, singing for their men as they marched off to war. The sense of pride within this small community is very clear and humbling.