Rick Calitz

Rick Calitz

Richard (Rick) Calitz spoke to us about his research into Australian indigenous scouts or trackers’ role in the Boer War. Rick emigrated from South Africa to Australia over 40 years ago due to his opposition to Apartheid. During his work with indigenous students as an Educational Officer in Tasmania, he was told about the story of the trackers who were sent to the Boer War at the specific request of Lord Kitchener, and, as some stories contend, were left behind in South Africa at the conclusion of the war. Rick was fascinated and has been researching this story ever since, and while the request from Kitchener is documented, further facts and details have been very hard to find in England, South Africa or Australia, as indigenous trackers at the time were not considered nor recorded as soldiers, and it is now well over a century since the conflict ended. Accordingly, Rick has been unable to find any names, numbers or transport details thus far in his research. Rick speaks about his continuing hopes for a permanent memorial to these aboriginal trackers, and he also speaks briefly about his own family connections to the Boer War.

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