Home' Greymouth Star : October 7th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Saturday, October 7, 2017
One hundred years ago next Thursday,
New Zealand suffered its blackest day
in war history at Passchendaele, and
two West Coast families lost more
than one son.
In terms of lives lost in a single day,
the failed attack on October 12, 1917
was probably the greatest disaster in
New Zealand’s history, with 843 lives
For two West Coast families, the
heartbreak is almost incomprehensible.
The first hint of the horror made it
into West Coast papers three weeks
later, on November 5, 1917.
The Greymouth Evening Star
reported the death of two brothers,
Captain George McIlroy and Sergeant
That same edition reported that
Gerard Noel Rudkin of Kumara had
died in France on October 12, at Ypres
For the Rudkin family, even worse
was to come. By the end of the war,
three brothers would be dead, one
injured and altered forever.
The first Rudkin to die, Gerard, was
just 34. Next, reported in January 2,
1918, was Ernest.
“Great sympathy is felt here for the
Rudkin family, of Kumara, who, of late,
have had a lion’s share of trouble. News
was received last week that another
son, Ernest, had been killed in action
in France,” the Grey River Argus said.
Not only that, another son, Alfred,
was wounded. He sur vived and was
awarded the distinguished service
In September 1918, so close to
the Armistice, the Argus reported
that Private Edgar Rudkin had been
dangerously wounded on the Western
Front at the Somme.
“This is the second son of the Rudkin
family to be severely wounded, not to
mention two brothers who have made
the supreme sacrifice.”
He died of his wounds soon
afterwards. In May 1919 one of the
Rudkins returned home to Kimara and
received a public welcome.
unmistakable evidence of the severe
ordeal through which he has gone,
responded on behalf of himself and
comrades,” the papers reported.
Their parents did not live to see their
family decimated. Father, George
Rudkin, died in 1906, leaving 12
children, and their mother, Amy, died in
1916. The other family altered forever
by Passchendaele was the McIlorys,
of 5 Cowper Street, Greymouth. The
house is no longer there.
Sergeant Arthur McIlroy was the
McIlroy. He died the same day as his
brother, Captain George McIlroy.
The Greymouth Evening Star
reported on November 2, 1917: “ The
sorrowing relatives have been dealt
a severe blow and a double measure
of sorrow. The two brothers enlisted
together and had been throughout in
close touch with each.”
They were survived by three brothers
and two sisters.
Grey district men killed at
Passchendaele over 10 days in 1917:
George Hall, Bertram Shaw, William
Anderson, Charles Brentnall, Frederick
Paine, John Beaman, Gerard Barry,
John Crimmins, Henry Debenham,
William Evenden, McKenzie Gibson,
Frederick Glesson, Reginald Griffin,
Michael Kilkenny, John Laloli,
Robert Martin, Ludwig Mattson,
Arthur McIlroy, George McIlroy,
John Moriarty, Ernest Neilson, Joseph
Okey, Charles Pool, James Potts, Cyril
Rosenburg, Gerard Rudkin, John
Saunders, John Sheary, Arthur Talbot,
Henry Weenink, Archibald Sellars,
Passchendaele’s West Coast toll recalled
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Busking outside the Grey District Library yesterday certainly paid off for these three Lake Brunner girls Tess Morgan, left, Breagh Watson and Mary Duran,
as they strummed and sang their hearts out to the delight of passers-by, who happily threw their spare cash the trio’s way.
Striking a chord
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Juliette Henry with her dogs, Hugo and Nellie, are ready for the annual
animal blessing tomorrow at the Baptist Church in Greymouth. Mrs Henry,
Greymouth SPCA chair woman, said everyone was welcome to come along
with their pets, great and small, to the 2pm blessing, followed by afternoon
Celebration of pets
Nadine, Andrew, Kylie
and families wish to
acknowledge the many
expressions of love,
support and kindness
towards our family. We
deeply appreciate your
you very much.
Noeline Mary. —
Passed away October 8,
Though your smile has
And your voice we
We shall never lose
Of the one we loved so
Richard and family.
If a star fell each time
we thought of you, the
sky would be empty.
Your loving family x.
Ph 768 0250
2007. In loving memory.
Remembering you is
I do it every day.
That never goes away.
reveal 500 cigarette
robberies in a year
Police intelligence documents have revealed
aggravated robberies of shops have more than
doubled in the past two years, with cigarettes
being targeted by thieves almost 500 times in
a little over a year — quadrupling previous
Offenders wielding guns, knives and
hammers in search of “gold bars” of tobacco
have left shopkeepers “constantly living in
fear” and resorting to fighting back with their
A previously unreleased police intelligence
report from September last year found there
were at least 490 burglaries and robberies in
which cigarettes were targeted in a 13 month
period — more than one a day, and more than
four times the estimate the Herald made after
analysing media reports of burglaries.
Police had declined to provide the number
of tobacco robberies to the Herald in past
Official Information Act requests this
year, stating the information did not exist.
Subsequent OIA requests found Police had
compiled numbers and analysed thefts as
early as September last year.
A separate document covering an urgent
briefing in May this year of the Minister of
Police Paula Bennett, contained admissions
the “perceived ease” of committing aggravated
robbery “ with a low risk of apprehension” was
“Aggravated robberies of commercial
premises are trending upwards,” the report
said. “ Eighty-seven offences have occurred
(in the past 47 days) with 21 premises robbed
in the past week.”
The document also admitted the rising cost
of tobacco was likely to contribute to the on-
going targeting of tobacco and to aggravated
robberies of dairies.
“It is likely the yearly increases in tobacco
tax will continue to cause tobacco products to
be targeted and on-sold.”
One in three aggravated robberies involves
a gun, and one in four a knife or a blunt
instrument, such as a hammer.
The data showed young offenders were the
age group most likely to be charged. In April
and May this year, 76 people were charged
with aggravated robbery of a commercial
premises. Of these, 41 of them — 54% —
were aged 17 and under. Ten were 13 or 14
“ Young gangs have been identified in a
large proportion of aggravated robberies and
are likely to be significantly more involved in
such robberies than analysis shows.
“These items return high profits for
offenders, with a $20 pack of cigarettes
gaining the offender $10 when on-sold which
is high in comparison to the returns for other
stolen goods, likely increasing their appeal.”
In response to the report, Superintendent
Eric Tibbott, national prevention manager,
said police were very concerned about recent
aggravated robberies across the country.
“Aggravated robbery is a serious crime and
if prosecuted, the offender can face serious
He said police had visited business owners
to offer crime prevention advice and a pilot
programme would be rolled out in the
coming months involving Maori and Ethnic
Wardens patrolling areas of South Auckland
identified as at risk of serious crime.
“ Items such as cigarettes, tobacco and
alcohol have long been a targeted commodity
for thieves. Cigarettes and tobacco in
particular are easy to transport and sell on.
“ Police takes this issue very seriously and
is taking every opportunity to prevent harm.
This includes working with partners to keep
our communities safe.”
Act Party leader David Seymour has
previously said it was “extraordinary” Police
were not recording the number of tobacco-
related robberies after his own Official
Information Act request was declined for a
lack of information. — New Zealand Herald
Improving speech for people who have
suffered strokes is the subject of a trial taking
place at Tauranga and Christchurch hospitals.
The clinical trial is also occurring in 16
hospitals in Australia, making it the largest of
its kind in Australasia.
The Very Early Rehabilitation in Speech
(Verse) study seeks to better understand the
best way of treating people having difficulty
with speech and language (aphasia) after
having a stroke.
The trial focuses on recruiting patients
within a fortnight of them suffering a stroke,
says speech/language therapist Dr Meghann
Grawburg, who is leading the research at
Tauranga Hospital with 11 other speech
“ We are interested to find out what kind of
therapy and how much therapy is needed for
best recovery in the early days after a stroke,”
Patients will be randomly assigned to one
of three different speech therapy treatment
programmes of various levels of intensity.
Over the course of a month they’ll go through
speech therapy exercises up to five hours a
Dr Grawburg said the aim is to have 10
patients at the trial in Tauranga.
“As well as language loss, the selection
criteria involves the patient having a certain
level of alertness, which in the early days after
a stroke isn’t always that common.”
Strokes kill about 2500 New Zealanders
each year, with 90 per cent of victims aged
Common signs of a stroke include
numbness in the face, an arm or leg, especially
on one side of the body; blurred or loss of
vision; sudden difficulty speaking; and loss of
balance. — NZN
Speech trial for stroke patients
A man was taken to Nelson Hospital in
a critical condition following a crash south
of Nelson. Police were called to the crash
around 3.30pm yesterday, which happened
on Stock Road in Golden Downs.
A heavy truck left the road and crashed
into a tree, and a man was trapped in the
vehicle for a time.
Emergency ser vices cut the man free and
he was taken to hospital.
Police said the other occupant was not
The Serious Crash Unit is investigating
and traffic control is in place in the area.
Man critical following crash near Nelson
kindness in schools
If you could choose a super power what
would it be?
Christchurch “super-hero” F latman
has the power to spread kindness, and
he’s been using his super power for the
past six years. Now Flatman is trying
get the support of Christchurch City
Council to take his super power one step
further, to educate children.
Flatman has been spreading kindness
since the 2011 earthquakes struck, and
he began dropping food packages off to
those in need.
“It’s so important to bring it back to
simple things like kindness and looking
out for each other, a simple act of
kindness might change someone’s life,”
Flatman wants to deliver that message
to as many children in Christchurch as
He spoke at a Christchurch City
Council meeting, to ask for support in
creating a school program so he can
continue to teach kids about kindness
and generosity all through a superhero-
Flatman said he proposed that council
could contribute funds towards his
programme, or could lead him in the
right direction for assistance.
In the current world climate, F latman
said it is important to get into schools
and emphasise how much kindness
matters. — NZ N
in four days
A petition for a mental
health inquiry started
by a woman who lost
her son to suicide
has received 21,000
signatures in just four
Corinda Taylor, whose
20-year-old son Ross
took his own life in 2013,
has decided to present
the petition to the new
government to demand
action on mental health.
“ I started a petition last
year, in January, and we
collected signatures by
hand,’’ Mrs Taylor said.
“ We were asked by the
Health Select Committee
in May to talk to them.’’
No action has been
taken since then, she said,
and an inquiry has not
been promised or begun.
Ross Mrs Taylor was in
the care of mental health
ser vices in D unedin for
a year before his death,
both as an inpatient and
in the community.
He initially presented
with symptoms of
psychosis, and his mother
said the family was not
told by mental health
ser vices he was suicidal.
“ My son became unwell
aged 19 — it was the first
time we noticed he was
The family found out
later he was hearing
voices instructing him to
kill himself. He had been
out of acute inpatient
ser vices for just a month
when he died.
Mrs Taylor started the
Life Matters Suicide
Prevention Trust in 2014,
which has helped run
events such as Hope
Walks and organised
She said she felt she
had few other options
following her son’s death.
“It left me with no
choice. I’m actually a
really private person,
this is really hard for
me to do. ’’ People were
commenting and sharing
their stories of mental
health issues and suicide
as well as signing the
“It’s remarkable when
they start sharing their
stories,’’ Mrs Taylor said.
“My personal story
is just an echo of other
“ When I hear that
nothing has changed
since my son’s death, it
breaks my heart.’’
Boy spends night
in police cells
A boy aged 13 spent
the night in police cells
before a serious driving
charge against him was
A police spokeswoman
confirmed in a statement
to the Herald that the
boy was arrested on
Thursday for endangering
transport, which is
punishable by up to 14
“He was driving a stolen
vehicle and failed to stop
for police. The manner of
his driving was extremely
dangerous — at times he
was driving on the wrong
side of the road and on
“He was subsequently
arrested and held in
police custody overnight. ’’
It is understood the
incident occurred in
Auckland. By law a child
held in police custody if
they have been charged
with a crime that carries
of penalty of at least 14
spokeswoman said it
was later decided the
boy would be dealt with
through the care and
protection provisions of
the Oranga Tamariki Act.
“ Dealing with youth
offending requires a
balance between the
four principles of public
safety - victims’ needs,
accountability and the
welfare and interest of
the youth offender,’’ the
“Offences are dealt with
in line with the act. They
are held accountable, and
encouraged to accept
responsibility, for their
“They are also dealt
with in a way that
needs and that will give
them the opportunity to
develop in responsible,
beneficial and socially
wider family and iwi
are involved in making
decisions relating to
causes. — NZME
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