Police World War I heroes unearthed

THIRTY police officers were killed in active service during World War I, but little was known about them until local Gladstone Police Sergeant Paul Ruge set out on a mission to find out who they were.

Next week Sgt Ruge and five other police officers will travel to Turkey and Israel to uncover the identities of these heroes, including two who came from the Central Queensland region.

'This trip has been in the pipeline for about two years ? it all came about through an inquiry I made at the Police Museum concerning 30 officers recorded on a memorial as having died in active service ? I was dismayed to find we knew very little about them,' Sgt Ruge said.

He said he began researching the individuals and found some 'remarkable stories' about the men who served in WWI.

'Some of the officers were seriously wounded twice before going back into the line and being killed ? back then you signed up for the duration of the war, and it was only those who were unable to fight at all that were sent home,' he said.

Sgt Ruge said each officer had his own story to tell and it was his aim to gain as much information about the lives of those officers killed to pass on to today's police officers.

'A small group of us have decided to visit each grave site and hold a memorial service there ... some of these graves have never been visited before and we'll be the first to acknowledge these officers and their role in the war,' he said.

Sgt Ruge said he hoped to eventually have photos and information regarding each officer's life and contribution to the war, which would then be passed on to the Police Museum.

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