Ngarrindjeri soldiers

The Ngarrindjeri people live in the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Lower Murray region of South Australia. After European settlement, their spiritual home, Raukkan, became the site of a mission station known as Pt. McLeay.

From this station 21 young Ngarrindjeri men enlisted to become soldiers in the 1st Australian Imperial Forces.

Of these, 4 never returned home. These were Cyril Spurgeon Rigney, Rufus Gordon Rigney, Francis Alban Varcoe and Arthur Thomas Walker.  Of the four, only Rufus has a known grave in the Harlebeke New British Cemetery in Harelbeke, Belgium. The others have their names on the walls of memorials; Francis and Arthur on that of the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France, and Cyril on the the walls of the Menin Gate in Ieper, Belgium. A fifth soldier, Miller Mack, did return to South Australia but died of disease shortly after and is buried in the West Tce Cemetery.

For a more detailed history of the involvement of Ngarrindjeri soldiers in the First World War, read Dr. Doreen Kartinyeri's book "Ngarrindjeri Anzacs" first published in 1996.

The information contained on each page has been obtained from the public domain, through the National Archives of Australia, the Australian War Memorial or through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Other information has been obtained through the families of the soldier in question. We publish this information in good faith, but realise that the public record is not always accurate or complete. The same can be said of individual family oral histories. While we make every attempt to provide accurate information, if there is anything on these pages that you know to be untrue, or that may cause offence, please contact us as a matter of urgency.

                    Cyril Rigney

                   Rufus Rigney

                 Francis Varcoe

                 Arthur Walker