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Rupert Lockwood

Who was Rupert Lockwood?

The journalist Rupert Lockwood (1908–1997) lived in Victoria, Australia, and wrote a number of (unpublished) articles on the history of the Wends in Europe and Australia, particularly those who settled in Victoria.

Lockwood hoped to publish the manuscripts one day, however in the early 1990’s his health deteriorated and he passed the manuscripts on to a friend not long before his death. His friend knew nothing about the Wends and filed his work away.

Twenty years later, the friend came across the manuscripts and considered taking them to the rubbish tip, but fortunately her husband typed the word ‘Wends’ into his internet search engine and found this website of the Wendish Heritage Society in Victoria. Lockwood’s friend contacted the Society in 2016 and offered to donate the manuscripts.

The members of the Wendish Heritage Society in Victoria are thrilled to publish the manuscripts on this website.

Click here to download Lockwood’s manuscript

An excerpt from each chapter

Lockwood’s manuscript runs over 40 pages and is divided into five chapters. Following is a small excerpt from each chapter.

Chapter One: “Background”

“The German princes, frustrated by the failure of sword and torch, enlisted the cross more fervently against the valiant Wends. An 1108 appeal for a crusade against the heathen Wends, issued by secular and ecclesiastical princes of North-East Germany, was in spirit and language not much revised until Hitler’s failure to remain in Poland, Russia and other Slav lands…”

Chapter Two: “Frederick The Great and Napoleon sent them to Hochkirk”

“Wendish suffering was made all the more acute by the disastrous 1811 harvest, with yields of grain, hay and straw down by two-thirds. Some French and Allied officers fed thatch from Wendish cottage roofs to hungry horses or turned them into planted fields to graze. The Grand Army requisitioned horses, cows, pigs, poultry, waggons, carts, hay, wheat, rye, preserves, wine, spirits and beer and forced Wends to fish for them in the lakes and streams. Wends were also impressed into Grand Army service to fell trees and cut tent poles. Cottages were jammed with billeted soldiers, sleeping in Wends beds or on floors covered with straw, littering rooms with uniforms, ration foods, muskets and ammunition and molesting wives and daughters. …”

Chapter Three: “Wimmera Wends”

“The small Wendish minority in Australia could scarcely survive for long the two-front cultural incursions, first from the Germans whose language they had to adopt in the Lutheran churches and schools and, more hopelessly, the engulfing Anglo-Australian culture. Children might learn to speak Wendish at home, but the Lutheran school gave instruction in German and the State school in English. And English was the language of bread and butter, of communication. There was sufficient difference between Upper Lucatian and Lower Lusatian dialects to make German a lingua franca among Wends, before English conquered German. …”

Chapter Four: “Church Burners”

“During the 1914–18 Great War and after Lutheran churches were burned and vandalised. Those carrying the kerosine and matches would assuredly have been fellow-Protestants, anxious to light the skies with proof of their service to the British Empire. God cared for the fallen sparrow and the lilies of the field, but not for the weatherboard Lutheran churches, with their galvanised iron roofs and rainwater tanks glinting in the sun.”

Chapter Five: “The Wends Came for Peace”

“Land was not easy to come by in South Australia by the 1850s and Western Victoria beckoned. The first nine Wend families, in 11 covered wagons, drove 50 livestock over the rutty track to Mount Gambier, along the Coorong coast and over steep wooded hills, fording marshes and streams. They lived on bread baked over campfires and what fish and game they could catch as they pushed through Mount Gambier and along the Victorian coast to Portland. No farm land awaited them round Portland and so they pushed north to Hamilton by their wagons, pack-horses and weary feet.”