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Army August 18, 2011
By LCpl Mark Doran
"White Mouse", Nancy
Wake, the highest deco-
rated Allied servicewom-
an of World War II, died
aged 98 on August 7.
Born in New Zealand
in 1912, Ms Wake moved
to Australia in 1914 before
travelling to Europe to train
and work as a journalist in 1932, where she witnessed
the beginnings of the Nazi regime.
In 1939, Ms Wake was in England when Germany
invaded Poland, so she quickly returned to France, mar-
ried a French industrialist, Henri Fiocca, and by 1940
she had joined the Resistance.
She helped downed airmen escape from occupied
France and became number one on the Gestapo's most
wanted list with a five million franc reward on her head.
Ms Wake was forced to go into hiding in December
1943 when the underground network was betrayed and
she was arrested, however, the authorities did not recog-
nise her and she was released after four days.
With France too dangerous, Ms Wake travelled
to Britain, where she joined the Special Operations
Executive as a special agent.
On April 29, 1944, Ms Wake parachuted into France
to locate local bands of the Maquis.
She led raids against the Gestapo headquarters in
Mountucon and a German gun factory. Her husband
was captured, tortured and killed by the Nazis in 1943,
but Ms Wake did not know this until the end of the war.
Ms Wake received numerous honours, including
the George Medal, the Croix de Guerre with two palms
and a star, the Medaille de la Resistance, the Chevalier
and Officier de Legion d'Honneur and the US Medal of
Freedom with bronze palm.
In 2004 she was awarded the Companion of the
Order of Australia, recognising in part her outstanding
actions in wartime.
dies aged 98
By Sgt Dave Morley
THE Bible of Aboriginal World
War I digger Pte Richard
McDonald was returned to its
hometown of Kiama recently.
Pte McDonald, service number
5182, was killed two weeks after
arriving at Pozieres in July 1916.
His bible was found in a box of sec-
ondhand books bought at Sydney's
Surry Hills five years ago.
Gordon Ridley, a resident of
Culcairn, NSW, and amateur his-
torian, said he always had a great
interest in Australia's WWI and
WWII diggers and what they did.
"When I read the message in
the front of this Bible I thought
'something's got to be done about
this'," he said.
"So I decided to track down
the soldier's family and return the
Bible to them."
Mr Ridley went to the
Salvation Army, which had pre-
sented the Bible to the digger in
1915 as he set off on a "waratah
march" from Kiama.
"I didn't do much good there,
so I tried a couple of radio sta-
tions and that wasn't a real success
either," he said.
"So I contacted the Kiama
Independent newspaper and they
took the story up from there."
Pte McDonald's AIF record
shows he had no known next of
kin, and when he died from a gun-
shot wound on July 29, 1916, his
few belongings were sent to a Miss
A.M. Morrow of Dapto.
She died in 1949, also with
no next of kin, and the Bible's
location between then and 2006
remains a mystery.
As Pte McDonald had no fami-
ly, Mr Ridley decided the next best
thing would be to present the Bible
to Kiama Shire Council.
It was received on behalf
of Kiama by the mayor, Sandra
McCarthy, at a small ceremony at
Kiama Library on July 7.
She said she recognised the
Bible was something very special
to the history of Kiama.
"We are very fortunate to have
Pte McDonald's Bible here at the
Kiama Library," she said.
Good book returned
Town treasure: Kiama Mayor Sandra McCarthy accepts Pte Richard McDonald's Bible from
collector Gordon Ridley. The Bible (inset) will now be displayed at the Kiama Library.
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