Bangle made from wire from the Schutte-Lanz airship SL11: Mrs M A Rattigan, Anzac Buffet, London

Place Europe: United Kingdom, England
Accession Number RELAWM06183
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Metal
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bangle made from the wire from a Schutte-Lanz type German airship SL11. The ends have been joined together by a small cylindrical piece of metal.

History / Summary

Bangle made of a piece of wire from a Schutte-Lanz type German airship (not a Zeppelin), the first German airship to be shot down over England during the First World War. The airship was shot down by Lieutenant William Leefe Robinson, a member of the Royal Flying Corps No. 39 Home Defence Squadron on the night of 2/3 September 1916 and crashed at Cuffley in Middlesex, in full view of London. The entire crew of 16 were killed. For this action Leefe-Robinson was awarded the Victoria Cross. In April 1917 he was posted to France and was shot down wounded and taken prisoner. After returning to England, he died in the influenza pandemic on 31 December 1918. Many souvenirs were made from the wreckage of the airship. This bangle was acquired by Mrs Minnie Rattigan, who was a volunteer at the ANZAC buffet in London. Mrs Rattigan was one of the co-founders of the Anzac Buffet and ran the Buffet two days a week from 6am to 10.30pm. The Buffet was established by the London branch of the Australian Natives Association - an organisation of ex-patriot Australians - and was opened in late 1915. It provided free meals and entertainment to Australian servicemen in London. It was originally located at 130 Horseferry Road until September 1916, when it was relocated to 94 Victoria Road. The staff at the Buffet usually fed and entertained 1000 Australian servicemen a day. In addition to serving meals, the Anzac Buffet had a billiard room, reading room and music room. Minnie Augusta Rattigan was born Minnie Augusta McFarland, the daughter of Patrick and Eliza McFarland. She was born at Barooga Station near Tocumwal, NSW on 23 July 1870. She married firstly Herbert Whitty in 1892 in Corowa, NSW and secondly Alan Mansell Rattigan in 1912 in Victoria. The couple travelled to England where Alan Rattigan joined the 1st Life Guards, one half of the Household Cavalry. He was serving with them in 1914 as a second lieutenant interpreter when the First World War broke out. He later transferred to the Royal Fusiliers and was promoted to captain. The couple returned to Australia on 28 September 1919. By 1935 they were living in France and were there when the Second World War broke out. Mrs Rattigan died on 11 February 1943 from a medical condition at Hotel Savournin. She was buried at Cagnes-sur-Mer in the Riviera, south east of Nice.