BALLYMENA 1914-1918

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Ballymena New Zealand Soldiers


Entrenching battalions are often mentioned in relation to soldiers arriving in France, etc.  They were temporary units formed in the British Army during WW1. Allocated at Corps level, they were used as pools of men from which drafts of replacements could be drawn by conventional infantry battalions.


7/1433 Sergeant Thomas Agnew, Wellington Mounted Rifles, was the son of John Agnew, Portglenone. He gave his address at enlistment as Park Road, Hastings, North Island, New Zealand.  He was in the army for 4 years and 111 days, and he served in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in 1916, 1917 & 1918.  He was wounded in November 1917.  He returned to New Zealand on Ayrshire and was discharged from the army on the 19 October 1919.


12958 Private Alexander Armstrong, 1st Canterbury Regiment, named his brother Andrew, Fairview, Broughshane, as his next of kin.  He died on 31 December 1917 and another brother, John, became Alexander's executor after he was KIA.


Alexander was training in New Zealand from 19 January - 5 May 1916, in Egypt from the 23 June - 7 August 1916, in England from 8 - 20 August 1916, and then in France after 21 August 1916.  He received a gunshot wound in the right arm on the 18 September 1916, recovered and rejoined his unit on 18 November 1916.  He transferred to the 1st Canterbury Regiment on the 3 September and was killed in action while serving with them on 3 December 1916.


61030 Private James Black, 2nd Canterbury Regiment, came from Glenarm and was the son of Mrs M J Black; he married Mary Little Gibson in Belfast on 13 June 1919 and she gave her address as c/o Mrs Harken, (aunt) Egmont Street, Patea, North Island, New Zealand. 


James Black served 2 years and 124 days in the army, his overseas service being in France and Belgium.  He suffered no physical injury and was discharged from the service on 23 November 1919.  He died on the 17 November 1956.


63290 Private Samuel Gordon Buick, a farm labourer, had been in NZ for 13 years by the time of his enlistment, and he lived c/o Mr James Fleck, Riverton, South Island.  He served 2 years and 326 days, 2 years and 198 days of it in the European theatre.  He survived the war but was one of its casualties.


He enlisted on the 17 November 1917, left New Zealand on 22 November, and reached Etaples, France, via Liverpool, and was taken on strength with the 1st Entrenching Battalion on 29 March 1918.  He transferred to the 2 Battalion, Auckland Regiment on the 29 August 1918. Two days later he was caught in an artillery barrage and severely wounded in both legs.  His left thigh was the badly damaged and his left leg was eventually amputated; he also had damage to his right leg/foot; worse followed.  A medical report reads as follows sicthis man cut his throat - with a razor- while lying very severely wounded on the battlefield with a barrage coming towards him. He has had his leg amputated from the thigh. Was admitted to the mental ward of this hospital (No 2 Stationary Hospital, Abbeville) suffering from sub-acute delirium due to (presumably) exhaustion. His mental condition is still unstable & he is unfit for further service due to wounds received in action & is mentally unstable as well. I consider that he should be absolved of all responsibility for the suicide attempt (which was made under exceptional circumstances) & be evacuated to the UK. He was eventually taken to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham.  His Commanding Officer wanted a prosecution by Field General Court Martial but the GOC, taking the advice of a Medical  Board, overruled him.  Buick was discharged from the army on 7 June 1920, a broken man.


24789, Rifleman James Burnett, 1st Bn, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, a fit 5-9- 5-10 tall labourer, was a local man who served in the New Zealand army during World War 1.  Though older, he gave his age at enlistment as 37 years.


James Burnett was born on 22 July 1876 at Burnetstown, Ballylummin, Ahoghill, (Burnetstown is a clachan.  It is near the Crosskeys Road at Ballylummin; when James was born there were three houses and a number of cottages owned by the Burnett family. Burnetstown comprised of three farms run by three Burnett brothers and, according to Public Records Office NI, there were Burnetts there from late 1600s, so the area was named after them.


James was the youngest of eight children of Robert Burnett and his wife Peggy (nee Picken). The family were farmers. His mother died when he was only thirteen, and like most farmers' sons, James worked on the farm from when he was a boy.  In 1903 this was left to his older brother Robert, who did not manage the finances very well. So in 1910 James, at the age of 34 travelled to New Zealand, in order to find work and send money home to help maintain the family farm. Later, he was to join the army. James was described in his army papers as having light brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion, and he weighed 155 lbs.  He had his medical at Kilburne, Wellington on the 19th May 1916 and was formally enlisted in the forces on 22nd May 1916 at Trentham, Wellington.


He said his last employer was Mr. J. Craig, Longbeach, Ashburton, and he nominated a Mr Devon, Havelock Street, Ashburton and a Mr Robert Burnett of Hinds, Ashburton, the latter was his father's cousin, as his next of kin in New Zealand.  His next of kin outside New Zealand was given as his brother, a Mr Robert Burnett, Ballylummin, Ahoghill. 


He served for two years, 322 days and saw active service in Europe in 1916, 1917 and 1918. He was eventually discharged on the 8th April 1919 in England.


He was at times involved in railway construction and cable laying and was at some point apparently slightly wounded or injured, something to do with his right knee, though he rejoined his unit one week later.  More seriously, he was ill with trench fever for a time and was in hospital in London on the 3rd September 1917; one month later, on the 3rd October 1917, he was described as 'improving'. On the 15th October 1917 he was transferred to Hornchurch to convalesce and from there he was released on the 14th November 1917 to Codford, presumably to rejoin his unit soon afterwards.


After the war, and after three more years working in Ashburton, he came back to Ahoghill and later lived with his sister Eliza Dodds at Crankill, near Glarryford. James suffered from 'chest problems' for the remainder of his life, but like most of the Burnett clan, he had a ?good innings?.  He died, a confirmed bachelor, at Crankill, just north of Ballymena, in 1955, aged 79. 


Thanks to Yvonne Mitchell for her help in putting together this account.

2863, Private, James Caldwell,  was born on the 15 July 1890 and was as a farm assistant working for Mr David Caldwell, Edenvale, South Island.  He was single. He enlisted on the 11 June 1915, embarked for Egypt on the 9th October 1915, arriving there on 18 November 1915. He left there for France on the 16 May 1916. He was assigned to the Light Trench Mortar Battery of the 1st Otago Regiment, NZEF, and was serving with them when he was KIA on July 27th, 1916. 

He is buried in Cite Bonjean Cemetery, Armetieres, France. He was the son of James Caldwell, 1, Clonavon Road, Ballymena.  The family also had links with Dungall/Monaghan, two townlands near to Cloughwater Presbyterian Church. (Some NZ records wrongly state Donegal, Ballymena rather than Dungall, Ballymena).

47119 Private John Cameron, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, lived in Longbeach, Ashburton, South Island, NZ  but is listed in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church, and was born in Gloonan, Ahoghill, his father being David Cameron.  He was the youngest of four children of David Cameron and his wife Mary Ann Cameron (nee Cameron). His mother died when he was a young boy and his father remarried in 1892. In 1910 he followed some of his cousins to New Zealand. He commenced work at Longbeach were many of his Ahoghill relations were also employed. He became a teamster and named his employer as Mr J C N Grigg (or Gregg).  He listed his father as his next of kin and also volunteered the name of his cousin, Annie Hogg, Tinwald, Canterbury, NZ.


He was 30 years and 2 months old on enlistment, was 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall and weighed 154 lbs. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He was to serve a total of 1 year and 339 days in the army, 1 year and 239 days of his service overseas.


His military record is sketchy but it appears his only battle injury was a ruptured ear drum and concussion suffered in August 1918, this sufficiently severe to see him sent back to hospital in England.  It was decided to repatriate him via HT Ulimaroa and he was discharged from the army on 17 January 1919. 


He returned to work at Longbeach, where he became Farm manager. In 1930 he married but had no children. Other than a short visit back to Co Antrim, he spent all his remaining years in New Zealand. His wife was Mrs A Cameron, the couple's address being 157 Victoria Street, Ashburton; John Cameron, aged 79, died on the 12 October 1964.


This was where New Zealand experienced its 'Blackest Day' and where Robert Hugh Cameron and 845 others perished on the 12th October 1917.

The New Zealanders began their advance up the Bellevue Spur at 5.25 a.m. on the 12th. The artillery barrage had been largely ineffective and advancing troops were exposed to withering German machine-gun fire from both the front and the flank, and they were unable to overcome uncut barbed wire. Those who survived to the afternoon were pinned down in shell craters, and orders for another push at 3 p.m. were postponed and then cancelled. The troops eventually fell back to positions close to their start line. Continuing rain had made the entire area an almost impassable quagmire and many of the wounded who could not be reached drowned or perished in No Man’s Land.

48701 Rifleman Robert Hugh Cameron, 3rd Bn. NZ Rifle Brigade, was the son of John G and Sarah Anne Cameron, Ballycloughan, Broughshane.  The census returns of 1901 and 1911 show them living there. In 1901 John G was 70, Sarah Anne was 58, Annie E was 27, Robert H was 24, Joseph G was 20 Mary W was 19, Margretta was 18 and Samuel J was 15. Robert H and Samuel are not listed in 1911. 


He listed his father as his next of kin, also his sister, a Mrs C Smith, Alfredton, Eketahuna, NZ.  He was then a carpenter.


Robert Hugh Cameron left Wellington on Tofua on the 26 April1917 and arrived in Deport on the 20 July.  He left for France on the 6 September 1917 and was at Etaples, France on the 9th.  He was taken on strength with 'C' Company, 3rd Battalion NZRB on the 17 September and died on the 12 October 1917.  His records states, 'he went into action with the Battalion at Passchendaele on the 12 October 1917. He was reported as missing. No evidence forthcoming to show that he passed through hospitals or any military base since that date.' His body was later recovered and he is buried in Poelcapelle Cemetery, Belgium. His commemorative plaque and scroll went to Mrs Sarah Ann Cameron, Laymore, Ballymena. He is commemorated in the Congregational Church.

47268 Private David Campbell, 1st Battalion Otago Regiment, NZEF, was a farmer, the son of Mrs Margaret Campbell, Gillistown, Toomebridge, Co Antrim. He was born on 1 May 1891. He was working in NZ as a labourer, his last employer being Mr Adam Hume.  He said his cousin was Mr Robert McDowell, Wendside, Southland, South Island, NZ, and he said he lived at Wendon Siding.  Both addresses are remote locations north of Invercargill.


He was in NZ with his unit from the 30 January 1917 until the 25th Reinforcements for the Otago Infantry Battalion, 'D' Company, left Wellington on Willochra bound for Devonport, England on the 9 June 1917. He was soon serving on the Western Front and received a minor shrapnel wound in July 1918.  He returned to duty but was deemed to have influenza in August and did not return to France until the 14 September 1918.  He went AWL on the 24 September 1917 and was soon deemed to have deserted.  He was taken off strength on the 18 October but was then apprehended by the Royal Irish Constabulary at Gillistown, Toomebridge.  He was marched in under escort, taken on strength and returned to duty in France. He died on the 23rd October 1918 near Le Cateau.  He is buried '10 ½ miles SSE of Valenciennes' in Vertigneul Churchyard, Romeries, Nord, France: Vertigneul and Romeries were taken by the 1st Otago Regiment, the 2nd Canterbury Regiment and the 8th Lancashire Fusiliers on 23 October 1918.

45820 Private Thomas Carson, Wellington Regiment, was born in Ireland, the son of Mr S and Mrs Elizabeth Annie Carson, Randalstown.  He gave also his sister's address as Mrs D Henderson, St Johns Hill, Wanganui.


The 1901 census return shows  farmer Samuel (55) and his wife Eliza Anne (52) living in Terrygowan, Randalstown with six children: Jeanie H (24), Minnie G (21), Thomas (19), Francis (18) William James (13) and Hamilton D (11).  In 1911 Samuel is still living in Terrygown but the only children listed are May Graham (28) and William James (23), the latter reputedly a medical student.


He was born on 6 August 1882. He was about 5' 9" tall and weighed 176 lbs (elsewhere 156 lbs).  He had blue eyes and light brown hair.  He is described as a farmer and his last employment before enlistment was with C H Davis & Co, Ridgeway, Wanganui.  He may have stayed with his sister for a time but later gave his address as nearby Sanson, Manawatu.


He was in the army for a total of 2 years and 201 days, 108 days in NZ and 2 years 93 days on overseas service.  He was in NZ from the 29 December 1916 to 25 April 1917, and he then left home on the 26 April to travel to Devonport, England, arriving there on the 27 July.  He went overseas to France on the 5 September 1917 and was taken on strength on the 20th.  He had an uneventful war.  


He was with his battalion in the field until the 27 December 1917 and was then 'at school' until the 1 January 1918.  He returned and spent time with the 2nd, then 1st, Entrenching Battalions.  He was once mistakenly reported as wounded in action but his main problem was indiscipline.  He was given leave in the UK from 12 - 26 September 1918, but he failed to return until 10 October. He fined and given 28 days Field Punishment No 2.  He got a further 7 days FP No 2 for failing to comply with an order on the 5 December 1918.


Thomas Carson was sent back from Plymouth to NZ on Ruapehu on the 7 June 1919 and disembarked there on the 27 July.  He left the army in August 1919 and settled into civilian life.  He married at some point and his wife is named as Mrs V E Carson, Greatford Road, Bulls (Bulls, Sanson and Wanganui are close to each other on the North Island).  He died on the 22 February 1968.

59858 Private Alexander Craig, 1st Battalion, Auckland Regiment, was born in Co Antrim, the son of Robert and Jane Craig, Drumramer, Cloghogue, Ahoghill. The 1901 census return shows Robert, 54 and a farmer, and Jane (50) living with James (30), Robert (28), Chellie (25), Aleander (21) Rose A (17), Lizzie J (15), Mary (13), William (11) and Agnes (8). The 1911 return shows Robert (67) and Jane (61) with James (40), Robert (38), Lizzie (20) Mary (22), William (20) and Agnes (17).  It states that 12 children were born and eleven were still alive in 1911; James Craig (80) was also staying in the home.


Alexander Craig was born on the 20 December 1881.  He was 5 8 ½  tall, weighed 138 lbs, and he had hazel eyes and dark brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian, hence named on the tablet in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church, and a farmer. He was living on his own farm at Waitoa, Te Aroha; his next of kin, his brother W Craig, was also there.  He was to serve in the forces for a total of 2 years and 39 days, 135 days in NZ and the remainder in western Europe.


He enlisted on the 28 June 1917 and became part of 'E' Company, 30th Reinforcements.  He left Wellington aboard Arawa on the 13 October and reached Liverpool on the 8 December. He was thereafter posted to Sling Camp, to the 4th  Battalion (Training), and it was from there that he went to France.  He was attached to the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, France until marched out to the 1st Entrenching Battalion on 26 March 1918.  He joined the 1st Auckland Bn on the 1 April and stayed with them until he was sent on leave in the UK on the 5 January 1919.  He was back at Sling Camp on the 28 January and embarked for NZ aboard Ruahine on the 19 May 1919.  He was discharged from the army on 5 August 1919.

44829 Rifleman David Craig, 'B' Company, 4th Battalion, 3 NZ Rifle Brigade, was the brother of 59858 Alexander Craig (above).  He was a farmer and gave the same address as his brother for himself and his next of kin, No 1 Road, Waitoa, Te Aroha. He was single and gave his date of birth as 20 April 1883.  He said at the time of his enlistment that he had been in NZ for about 11 years.  He was then about 33 years and 7 months old, was 5-8 ½ tall and weighed 154 lbs. He was said to have had greenish brown eyes and black hair.  He was to serve in the army for 2 years, 317 days in NZ and 1 year 48 days overseas.


He enlisted on 21 November 1916 but his service is stated to start on 9 January 1917.  He left NZ on the 14 April and arrived in Devonport via Sydney, Australia, on 28 July 1917.  He went to Sling Camp but it was from Brocton Camp, Staffordshire on the 14 October that he went overseas to France.  He passed though New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, France and was taken on strength with the 4 Battalion, 3rd NZRB on the 27 November.


He was admitted to 3rd NZ Field Hospital and then 18 General Hospital, Camiers, France in  February 1918; they transferred him to England and he was admitted to Endell Street Hospital, London on the 28 February.  He was diagnosed with TB and moved to the hospital at Walton on Thames.  A medical ruled him unfit for further service and he was returned to NZ on Moreno from Avonmouth.  He was discharged from the army on 7 January 1919.


He died in about 1967, his next of kin notifying the authorities.  This was his son, Mr K Craig, 781 Great South Road, Papatoetoe, N Z.

62023 Private Robert Crawford, 4th Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade was a commercial traveller and hailed from Balclutha, Otago. He was originally from Clough, Co Antrim and is named on the list for Clough Presbyterian Church, this stating that he came from the townland of Glenleslie. His record states that he was the son of James and Hannah Crawford, and the family are listed in the 1901 and 1911 census returns.

James, 65 and a farmer, was married to Hannah, 66, and the couple of Glenleslie, Clough said they had been married in 1911 for 46 years and that they had had 13 children.  10 were still alive in 1911 and William (38), Sara (25) and grandson James (14) are listed as being present on the day of the census.

James, 54 and a farmer, and Hannah, 54, were at Glenleslie in 1901.  They listed the following offspring: David (20), William (26), Sarah (15) and Roger (12).  Grandson James (4) lived with them, as did Patrick McIntyre, 78 and a farm servant, and William Scilley, a boarder.

Robert had been born on the 20 July 1879 (The registration of his birth says Robert was the son of James Crawford and Hannah, nee Kirk, and that he was born on the 13 November 1879) and had arrived in New Zealand in about 1907. He was at the time of his enlistment in 1917 a commercial traveller employed by Sargood Son & Ewen Ltd, and he gave as his address the Grand Hotel, Hastings. He was said to be single, 5’ 7” tall with grey eyes and light brown hair.

Robert Crawford served 2 years and 19 days in the NZ army, 1 year and 243 days of that time overseas in the UK and Europe.  He had left Wellington aboard the HMT Tahiti on the 16 November 1917 and arrived in Liverpool on the 7 January 1918.  He went to France on the 20 March 1918 and served without incident with the 4th Battalion of the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade until his return to NZ. He was discharged on the 13 August 1919 and went to stay with his friend Mr Sydney White, box 4, Balclutha, Otago. He died at Balclutha on the 4 October 1958.
12/332 Corporal James Currie, 1st Battalion Auckland Regiment, was the son of William Currie, Lisnamurrican, Broughshane and at the time of his enlistment he was a farmer in Morrinsville, near Hamilton, North Island, NZ.  He had married Ellen McCollum in Broughshane Presbyterian Church on the 22 November 1911 and must have been trying to set up a new life for them.  His wife, however, was still in Ireland, her address given as Mrs E Currie, Blackstown, Broughshane.


He was born on 3 August 1891 and was about 23 when he enlisted.  He was 5 feet 10 ½ inches tall and weighed 168 lbs.  He had blue eyes and brown hair and said he was an Anglican.  The family that best fits his profile in the 1901 and 1911 census returns were Christian Brethren.  They appear to have started out in Ballynulto, Broughshane as farmers but had apparently moved to Duncairn, Belfast by 1911.  James had also served for one year in the Royal Irish Rifles, before 'purchasing discharge' as he was leaving the area.


James Currie served a total of 5 years and 51 days in the NZ army, 62 days in NZ and 4 years 354 days overseas. From 15 August - 15 October 1914 he was in NZ and thereafter until the 4 October 1919 he was abroad.  He was first sent to the Dardanelles but was almost immediately ill.  He reported ill on the 15 July, was transferred to the 15th Stationary Hospital, Mudros, and then to the base at Alexandria, Egypt.  He left Alexandria on 25 July 1915 bound for Malta on HS Neuralia and from Malta he was transferred in October to England on HS Panama.  He had enteritis. He was admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham on the 16 October 1915 and remained there until released to the NZ Base Depot at Hornchurch.


He was transferred New Zealand Provost Corps, to the Garrison Military Police, London, in June 1916 but again had to go to Roehampton Hospital, London for treatment.  He returned to the Garrison Military Police, London in September 1916 but took ill again, being admitted to No 2 New Zealand General Hospital with a 'septic throat'; this appears to have been Vincent's angina, a progressive painful infection with ulceration, swelling and sloughing off of dead tissue from the mouth and throat due to the spread of infection from the gums , and it was often referred to as 'Trench mouth'.  He also underwent surgery for appendicitis in January 1917. He was released on the 12 February to Hornchurch.  He transferred to the Garrison Military Police, Walton on Thames on the 23 March 1917. Despite being reprimanded for being AWL on the 5-6 June 1917, he was promoted to Lance Corporal and then Corporal.  He continued to serve until discharged from the army on the 4 October 1919.


23306 Corporal John Dickey was a labourer employed by Te Aroha Borough Council, Te Aroha, North Island before he enlisted, eventually serving in the 1st Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  He was also the son of Nathaniel Dickey, Ahoghill, Co Antrim.


John Dickey was born on the 18 August 1884 and was 31 ½ years old when he enlisted in 1916. He was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, weighed 154 lbs, and he had blue-grey eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian.  He eventually served 3 years and 161 days in the forces, 166 days in NZ and 2 years 360 days overseas.


He trained in NZ from 8 February  - 29 May 1916 and then sailed aboard Tofua from Wellington to Devonport, England on the latter date. He was marched out from Sling Camp for overseas duty on the 20 August 1916 and taken on strength with 'D' Company, 1st Battalion NZRB on the 28 September.  He served with them until granted leave in England between 26 August - 8 September 1917.  He was wounded in action, severely affected by gas shells, on the 29 September and was taken to England on HS Carisbrook Castle (sic) via No 1 Field Ambulance, No 3 Canadian CCS, and No 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen.  He went to No 3 General Hospital on the 16 October but transferred to No 3 Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch on the 19th. He was discharged to Command Depot, Codford on the 15 December 1917.  He was taken on strength at Brocton, Staffordshire on 14 February 1918 and was still there in October. There were various parts to this large camp, including a hospital, but records show he qualified in a musketry course there and so probably trained there.


One record says he transferred from Brocton to 'B' Group, Codford on the 4 January, took ill with influenza on the 7th and found himself in the famous Endell Street Hospital, London until the 20th. (The Endell Street Military Hospital in Covent Garden was opened in May 1915 by militant suffragists Dr Flora Murray and Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson. It was the first unit to be entirely run and staffed by women.) He went from Endell Street Hospital to the NZ Command Depot at Hornchurch and from there to Glasgow where he boarded Paparoa on 1 April 1919 for return to New Zealand.


John Dickey died on 21 July 1965.  Mrs E E Dickey was then living at 44 Victoria Avenue, Whakatane, North Island.

20975 Rifleman David Dornan enlisted in May 1916, giving his last address as Patumahoe, Auckland.  He also stated that his mother was Mrs E Dornan, Newtowncrommelin, Co Antrim.  His brother was  Mr T Dorman, 9 Mile Ferry, Westport, South Island (The 1911 census return shows a Mrs Ellen Dornan and her son Thomas living in Skerry East, Newtowncrommelin.  It may be the case that David had gone to NZ and Thomas has joined him later.)


Dornan, a Presbyterian, said he was born on 6 March 1886 and that he was a labourer. He was 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 168 lbs, had brown eyes and brown hair. He said he had been employed before enlistment in the Public Works Department, Waihuku. 

David Dornan served for a total of three years and 26 days, 204 days in NZ and 2 years and 187 days overseas in Western Europe.  He was in NZ training as part of the 10th Reinforcements for the 1st Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade and left NZ on the 19 August 1916 on Aparima (eventually sunk of the Isle of Wight on 19 November 1917 by the U40) and landed in Devonport, England.  He marched into camp at Sling on Salisbury Plain and was posted to 5th Reserve, NZRB.  He was sent overseas on 15 November 1916, and on 4 December 1916 was posted to 'D' Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd NZRB.  He was wounded in action by a shell while serving with them on 7 June 1916.


He was taken to 11 CCS, then 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen and onward by HS Western Australia to England and No.1 New Zealand Hospital.  He was there from 14 June - 17 August and was then discharged to the New Zealand Convalescent Depot at Hornchurch.  He went from there to NZ Command Depot at Codford and was granted leave from the 22 September - 8 October1917; he overstayed on leave and fined for being absent from 8 - 11 October. It was a second offence, Dornan having been given a punishment of 7 days CB for absence on the 1 June 1916.) He was admitted to No 3 NZ General Hospital on the 17 October for further treatment, discharged on the 30 October to the NZ Command Depot and then posted to the camp at Brocton in early 1918.  He was declared unfit for further service on the 7 September 1918 and sailed from Plymouth on Ruapehu. He was discharged from the army on 27 May 1915.


Dornan's injuries had been horrendous.  He had been wounded in an attack around Messines and by his own account sustained injury to his left leg, left arm, back and right buttock, and at the time of his medical he said he could not walk far without resting.  He said he could not straighten his toes; the doctor concurred in his report.  He said the second operation, i.e. in No 3 NZ General Hospital, was to remove a 'bullet', probably a piece of shrapnel, from his right buttock. The doctor noted five puncture scars, said there was a 4 inch scar on his upper calf, said movement of the knee was affected by damage to hamstring muscles, but, despite this and other damage, 'the organs appear healthy'.


His wife was with him when he left England. David Dornan had married Mary McCollum in Ballymena on 7 December 1918 and she had been living at 31 Upton Street, Torquay until he completed his service. They appear to have lived around Auckland, their address just before he received his medals in 1923 being 109 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket, Auckland. He died on 3 January 1969, his next of kin on his death certificate being Mr D R Dornan, 11 Campbell Terrace, Dargaville, North Island, NZ.


51707 Private Archibald Dysart enlisted in March 1917.  He was a single man,  a gold miner employed by the New Sylvia Company, and he lived in Tararu, Thames, NZ. He was the son of Robert and Mary Dysart, Aughnaclagh, Portglenone.  He said he had been in NZ about 9 years at the time of his enlistment, having emigrated from Ireland in about 1908.  The 1901 census return shows the family: Robert, a farmer, was 58, Mary was 51, James was 23, Mary Ann was 21, Archibald was 19 and Maggie was 17.  The 1911 census shows Mary (70), a widow, living with James (29), Mary an (26) and Maggie (23) - it is not unusual for ages, as here, to be inaccurate. The family were Presbyterians.


Archie was 31 years and 8 months old in 1917, his birthday the 4 July 1885.  He was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, weighed 144 lbs , had hazel eyes and dark hair. The doctor recorded him as having scars from burns on his lower arms, slight rheumatism of the legs and sciatica.  He was nevertheless deemed fit for service, eventually serving for 3 years and 33 days in western Europe.  


He was in NZ from 9 March - 12 June 1917 and the left from Wellington on Tahiti with the 27th Reinforcements for the Auckland Infantry.  He arrived in Devonport, England on the 16 August and was marched in to the 4th Auckland Reserve Battalion at Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain.  He went overseas to France on the 23 September and was taken on strength with 1st Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment on 1 November 1917.  He had influenza from 13 - 20 February  1918 and was then wounded in action on the 4 April. He was moved from 20th General Hospital, Camiers to England on board HS Jan Breydelto Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, Kent.  He had suffered a gunshot or shrapnel strike to the face and had jaw damage - The Queen's Hospital, Sidcup performed plastic surgery of the face between 1917 and 1925.  He wasn't removed from the seriously ill register until 6 May 1918 and was at the hospital for some considerable time thereafter. Records are sketchy but he returned from leave to the hospital on 16 January 1919 and got furlough from it from 23 January - 5 February 1919.  He was deemed unfit and sent back to NZ from Plymouth on 18 March 1919, and he was finally discharged from the army on the 30 April 1919.  He initially went to a convalescent home in Invercargill.


Archie Dysart married Jane Millar and returned to Tararu, Thames in the early 1920s.  He was killed in a car accident on the 27 April 1930.  His car left the coast road at Puru, Taharu, Thames, overturned and rolled on to the beach.  He was buried in plot 4330 in Shortland Cemetery, Thames.


45495 Rifleman Wilson Esler, 2nd Bn, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, had been a farmer who lived at Taupiri, North Island, NZ.  He was born in Ballymena, his parents being James and Ellen Jane Esler.  His father was dead in 1901 and Wilson, then 21, lived with his mother (58).  Both parents were dead by the outbreak of the war and Wilson had emigrated to New Zealand in about 1908. He listed his uncle, Mr John Esler, Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, as his next of kin and gave his cousin's address,  Mrs James Esler, Southlands, South Canterbury, as a local reference.  He later gave the army another Irish address, Mrs Adams, Whitesides Corner, Randalstown.


Wilson Esler was born on 29 October 1879 and was 37 ½ years old and single when he enlisted.  He was 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall and weighed a mere 119 lbs.  He had grey eyes and fair hair.  He served in the army for 2 years 125 days, 2 years and 4 days overseas and the rest in NZ.


He enlisted in January 1917 and was part of the 25 Reinforcements that left Wellington on the 26 April on 'Tofua'.  He arrived in Devonport on the 20 July and was marched into Sling to be part of the 4th Reserve Battalion.  He was posted to France on the 5 September and went 'to segregation' from 22 September - 4 December. He was posted to the 3rd Auckland Infantry Regiment on 29 December but was then detached to No 2 Field Company Engineers and spent a short time with the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company before being sent to 2nd Battalion on the 24 February 1918.  On the 5 April he received a minor gunshot wound to his right ear but was treated in France.  He was at the base in Etaples on the 15 April and was sent to 3rd Entrenching Battalion on the 17 June, transferring to the 2nd Battalion, 3 NZRB on the 13 August.


He got leave to the UK from 6 September - 10 October 1918 but was reported ill with myalgia (pains) on the 2 November.  He spent time in No 1 Southern General Hospital, Birmingham and No 2 Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch.  He was eventually diagnosed with chronic rheumatism, blamed on his military service, deemed unfit and was returned to NZ from Portsmouth on the SS Raranga.  He was discharged from the service on 27 May 1919 and died in Napier, Hawke's Bay, South Island on 15 February 1957.


15160 Robert Galbraith, 2 Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment, was the son of Alexander and Elizabeth Galbraith of Carnlea, Ballymena.  He was born on 4 January 1892 and was aged 24 when he enlisted in April 1916. Galbraith was 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall, weighed 147 lbs and had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian. He was before enlistment a ploughman working for Mr Tom Gemmell, Ancholme, Maheno, Oamaru.  He listed his father as his next of kin and also gave his cousin's address; she was Mrs A J Greer, Whetstone, Oamaru.  He said he was living at Maheno, Waitaki.


Galbraith was in NZ training from the 6 April - 25 July 1916 and then sailed from Wellington aboard Waitemata to Devonport, England as part of 'D' Company, 15th Reinforcements. He marched into Sling Camp on the 3 October 1916 and left for France on 20th October, joining the 2nd Battalion Otago Regiment on the 9 November. Six days later he was wounded in action, sustaining injury to the lower back, sacrum, and on the 15th was taken by 3rd NZ Field Ambulance to the 1st Canadian CCS; he was said to be dangerously ill. On the 18th November he was in 13th General Hospital, Boulogne. He died there on the 8 December 1916 and was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. His dead is recorded on his parents' headstone in Clough Cemetery - see list.


49535 Private Andrew Gribben, 1st Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment, lived in Ross, Westland, NZ and at the time of his enlistment in 1917 he was a labourer working for Mr W H Deakin, Westland.  He was the son of James and Ann Gribben of Broughshane, brother of soldiers Alexander, Robert and Samuel. He listed his brother Alexander as his next of kin and gave Alexander's address as Ross, Westland (later 9 Lipman Street, Wellington); he appears to have been living with Alex in Ross at the time.


The 1901 census shows the farming family living in Broughshane Upper. James was 60 years old, his wife Ann Jane 50 years old.  Their children were: Thomas (19), Samuel (17), Robert (14), Francis (12), Andrew (11) William (8) and Alexander (6).  In 1911 returns the family appears scattered and Rebecca Gribben (18) was living with the McClintock family. 


Andrew was born on 18 May 1891 and had been in NZ for about 5 years in 1917.  He was 25 years and 9 months old when he joined the army.  He was 5' 9 ½ " tall and ad hazel eyes and brown hair.  He was to serve 2 years and 154 days, 129 days in NZ and the remaining 2 years and 25 days in western Europe.


He left New Zealand aboard Tahiti from Wellington on the 12 June 1917 and arrived in Devonport, Plymouth on 16 August.  He was posted at Sling Camp to the Canterbury Company of the 4th Reserve Battalion and went overseas on 20 October.  He was then posted to the 13 Company of the 3rd Canterbury Infantry Regiment on the 9 November and was not being detached to NZ Division Wing Reinforcement Camp for rest until 8 February 1918.  He was posted to the 1st Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment on the 10 February.  He was sick and sent to No 3 NZ Field ambulance on the 15 May 1918 but was able to rejoin his unit on the 20 May and was with them until sent to rest camp on the 8 June.  


He rejoined his unit on the 24 June.  His record shows he was made the cook on the 11 July and remained so until sent on UK leave on the 15 September.  He came back on the 15 October and was reappointed cook on the 2 December 1918.  He relinquished the appointment on the 18 March 1919 to return to England and repatriation.  He embarked for New Zealand aboard SS Tahiti on the 27 May 1919, arrived back on the 7 July, and was discharged from the army on 5 August 1919.  He remained in NZ and died at Hokiliki, Westland, South Island on 29 January 1944.


28713 Corporal Francis Gribben left Wellington on Opawa bound for London, England as part of J Company, 11th Reinforcements for the New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 2 January 1917. He had been a police constable before enlistment. He gave his next of kin as Andrew Gribben, his brother, Ross, Westland, New Zealand - see Robert Gribben.


23/1393 Rifleman Robert Gribben, was born on 12 January 1886 and was aged 28 and 11 months when he enlisted on the 24 August 1915.  He was then single, a labourer residing in Martinborough, South Wairarapa, North Island and working for Featherston County Council. He was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall and weighed 11 stones, and he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian. Army sources say he was the son of James Gribben, of The Race Course, Lower Broughshane, Ballymena, Co. Antrim.


The 1901 census shows the farming family living in Broughshane Upper. James was 60 years old, his wife Ann Jane 50 years old.  Their children were: Thomas (19), Samuel (17), Robert (14), Francis (12), Andrew (11) William (8) and Alexander (6).  In 1911 returns the family appears scattered and Rebecca Gribben (18) was living with the McClintock family. 


Robert was training in New Zealand from enlistment until 13 November 1915.  He then sailed from Wellington on Willochra or Tofua with 'E' Company, 2nd Reinforcements to 1st Battalion NZRB.  He landed at Suez, spent about three months in Abbassia Hospital, and was then assigned on the 23 March 1916 at Moascar to 'B' Company, 1st Battalion.  He travelled onwards to France via Alexandria on 6 April 1916 on SS Arcadian


He had a short career on the Western Front. He was wounded on the 15 June 1916 and sent to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station, his condition 'dangerous'; he had bullet wounds to the chest, left arm and right leg. He died two days later. He is buried Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord. France and commemorated 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church. Robert?s name also appears on the Martinborough Memorial gates which are on the square in Martinborough.


Documents show that many of the family were in New Zealand. Miss R Gribben, Broughshane was named as his next of kin but the legal next of kin was deemed to be Mr Frank (Francis) Gribben, 15 Werly Street, Gisborne, North Island, NZ and Robert's medals went to Mr Alex Gribben, Ross, Westland, South Island. His brother, Corporal Samuel Gribben, 11th Highland Light Infantry, died of wounds received at Loos - see list.


68330 Private Francis Hall lived in Tokomaru near Palmerston North and enlisted on 1 March 1917 but, for reasons that are unclear, his service is reckoned from 11 November 1917 when he became part of 'A' Company, 38th Reinforcements.  It may have been because he had an ongoing medical problem.  He had medicals on the 24 April and 4 June 1917, these relating to his 'poisioned' or septic left hand. The early reference says he was suffering from an 'infected wound of left hand' and he is graded B2. The latter report says the wound is ' not scarring yet - will be crippled' and he is graded C2.  'Deferred one month' is written on the bottom of the sheet. This problem may have been resolved by November and a sheet dated May 1918 clearly gives him a Class A rating.


He described himself as single, a flax mill hand who worked for G Siefert; he had a damaged finger on his left hand, a classic injury of those who worked in a scutch mill.  He was born on 22 January 1879 and aged almost 38 when he joined the forces.  He was at least 5 feet 8 inches tall (some papers say 5' 10") and weighed at least 160 lbs (some papers say 170 lbs).  He had grey eyes and brown hair.  He was probably a Presbyterian, though he is said to be a RC on some documents.  He said he had been in NZ for 19 years and that his parents were Andrew (deceased in 1917) and Lydia Hall, and he gave his sister as his next of kin.  She was Mrs S Crawford, Springmount, Co Antrim (later Mrs S Crawford, Ballybogie (or Ballybogy), Clough.  He also mentioned a brother, Mr James Hall, 2115 Enoch Avenue, Zion City, Illinois, USA.


He was training in NZ from 11 November 1917 to 4 June 1918 and managed to add two minor offences to his record: he was AWL on 10 January  and Drunk on 11 February 1918.  He left Wellington on 5 June 1918 aboard Remuera and was in Liverpool on the 31 July 1918.  He reached Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain on the 1 August and left there for the base at Etaples, France on the 10 October.  On the 17th he became part of the 11 Company, 1st Battalion, Wellington Regiment.  His military career in the field was a short one.  He was killed in action at Le Quesnoy on 4 November 1918, just one week before the end of the war. He is buried in Le Quesnoy Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France.


His sister got his medals.  The 'best fit' from the 1911 census return would appear to make her Mrs Lizzie Crawford (39), married to Samuel Crawford (46), Ballybogy, Clough.  The couple had wed in about 1896 and they had eight children in 1911: Jane S (14), Lydia (13 - named after grandmother?), Andrew (11 - named after grandfather?), Sam (9), Robert (7), Lizzie Mary (5), Annie (4) and Rosetta (newborn).


11/1325 Trooper James Beaumont Herbinson enlisted on 19 April 1915  and became part of the 'B' Squadron, 6th Reinforcements for the Wellington Mounted Rifles.  He was working as a draper's assistant in Napier, later collected his medals from a PO Box in Hastings, and in January 1920 was living at 28 Devon Street, Wellington.  In 1922 his address was Whitehall, New York, USA. J B Herbinson was, however, born in Ballymena, the son of Mr Alexander Herbinson, Ballyloughan (Valley Loughan sic). 


He was born on 20 May 1894 and was almost 21 years old in 1915.  He was a single man, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 168 lbs and he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian.  Hr was to serve a total of 4 years and 306 days in the NZ forces, 423 days in NZ and the remaining 1344 days overseas.


He left NZ aboard Tofua and was posted to the Wellington Mounted Rifles at Mudros on the 13 November 1915.  He was brought back on Honorata to Alexandria, Egypt and 'left for the canal', actually Zeitoun.  He spent some time in No 2 CCS, his illness NYD (Not yet Diagnosed), but transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps in Abbassia on the 16 July 1917.  From the 21 - 28 November he was in 31st General Hospital, Kantara with an inflamed left knee.  He spent some time at the camp at Abbassia after his discharge from hospital but joined 15th Company, Imperial Camel Corps on the 5 December.  On 4 January 1917 he was admitted to hospital at El Arish, transferred to 24th Stationary Hospital, Kantara and then 27th General Hospital, Abbassia.  He had 'abrasions' to his hands and on discharge from hospital was to spend 28 February - 10 April 1917 at Aotea Convalescent Home, Heliopolis.


He went to the Imperial Camel Corps Reserve Depot in Abbassia and was only posted to 15th Company on 8 August. In mid November he was back in 26 Casualty Clearing Station with scabies and was not discharged to early December and did not rejoin his unit until the 21 December.  He sprained his wrist in February 1918 and was sent to the Australian Stationary Hospital at Moascar.   He was sick again in May  and spent time in 27th General Hospital before being sent to Aotea Convalescent Home, Heliopolis. It was the 27 July before he was discharged to the NZ base at Ismailia. He was transferred to the 2nd Machine Gun Squadron on the 19 August and on the 31 August was sent aboard Norman to the UK via Taranto, Italy on leave. He returned to Port Said in November, transferred to the Wellington Mounted Rifles, sustained an injury to his foot, and on the 6 March 1919 was transferred to NZ aboard HMTKaikoura. He was discharged from the army on the 18 February 1920.


3/2855 Private Alexander Houston, New Zealand Medical Corps, enlisted on the 25 October 1916.   He was single, 31 years and 8 months old, weighed 146 lbs and stood 5 feet 8 inches tall.  He had blue eyes and fair hair.  He was a Presbyterian.  At the time of his enlistment he was a farm hand working for Mr B Atkins, Waituna West, North Island, NZ.  He said he lived on Denbeigh Street, Fielding and that he had been in NZ for about eight years.


He came from Co Antrim and gave his mother as his next of kin.  She was Mrs Sarah Houston, Lisnevenagh, Randalstown.  The 1901 census return shows Mr David Houston and his wife Sarah living with three children, William John (25), Alex (19) and Isabella (15); the family were farmers, though Alex is said to be a 'shopman'. The 1911 returns shows Sarah (60) and a widow, William John (32), Sarah (29) and Isabella (23).


Alexander Houston served in the army for a total of 2 years and 320 days, 114 days in NZ and the remaining 2 years 226 days in western Europe.  He trained in NZ at Awapuni Camp (Palmerston North) , Featherston Camp and Awapuni before leaving aboard Ulimaroa for England on 19 January 1917.  He disembarked on the 27 March and was marched out to the 21st Reinforcements at Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain.  He was taken in strength with them on the 26 April and was at the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Hazebrouck  on the 6 June. He was detached to the 1st Australian CCS on the 9 August but returned to his own hospital on the 2 September.  He stayed with them until detached to the NZ Division (New Zealand Infantry & General Base Depot) and then sent to NZ Field Ambulance on the 3 January 1919.  He went to the UK 'on duty' on the 16 February.  He went on UK leave 'with pay' from 22 February - 7 March and remained there 'without pay' from the 8 - 23 March 1919.  He went to Codford Camp and the 25 March and onward to Torquay on the 30 May.  He was sent back to NZ on the 14 July 1919 aboard 'Athenic' and was discharged from the army on the 29 September 1919.


The existing record cannot be complete. There is a reference to 'ex Germany', suggesting he came from service in Germany.  He must also have been in Ireland on 1 March 1918.  That day he married Ellie Campbell of Killen, Co Antrim (Crumlin area?) and for a time she lived at The Banks, Ardmore, Crumlin. Houston was recorded as living around 1919 at 277 Church Street, Palmerston North, and when he died on 22 May 1960 Mrs E Houston gave their address as Nireaha, RD 2, Eketahuna.


28883 Private David Houston, 2nd Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment, was born in Ahoghill and is commemorated in 2nd Ahoghill (Trinity) Presbyterian memorial tablet and churchyard. He was the son of Thomas   and Sarah Jane Houston of Carmacmoin, Ahoghill.        

                  

The 1901 census return shows Thomas, 53 and a farmer, living with his wife Sarah Jane (42) and four children: William (14), David (10) Joseph (7) and Mary Jane (4). The 1911 return shows Thomas Huston (sic) (63) and Sarah (52) and four children: Joseph (17), Janey (14), Wesley (13), Nelson (7) and Sam (5). Ten children had been born. Joseph, Sarah and Agnes died in infancy and William and David were probably already in New Zealand.         


David enlisted on the 28 January 1916, stating that he was a farmer in the employ of Mr J Davison, Hinds, near Ashburton; David also lived in Hinds.  He said he was born on the  24 January 1891 and that he was 25 years old.  He was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 142 lbs and he had blue-brown eyes and dark brown hair.  


He nominated his brother William as his next of kin, giving his address as Rotoorangi, Cambridge. (This address became 'Brenton Road, Greymouth' in 1920, an address where the army was unable to locate him, and 'Dairyman, Box 3 Hokitika' in 1922, the place to which David's medals were sent.) 


David Houston had a short military career.  He left NZ aboard Tofua bound for Devonport (Plymouth).  He arrived there on 11 October 1916 and went straight to Sling Camp where he was one of 'J' Company, 18th Reinforcements. He left Sling Camp to go overseas on the 1 February, arrived at New Zealand Infantry & General Base, Etaples, France on the 5th February and was taken on strength with 2nd Company, 2nd Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment on 3 March.  That same month, on the 29th March, he was killed in action in Belgium. Sarah Jane and the family were still grieving the loss of husband and father Thomas on the 22 January when news of David's death arrived.

                                                                                                                                              

8/2955 Private James Hutchinson, 1st Otago Regiment, was born in Knockboy, (Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, 1st Broughshane list says Coreen, Broughshane) Broughshane.  He was a labourer and at enlistment was employed in Templeton's Flax Mill, owned by William Templeton, Riverton, South Island, NZ.  


He was born on 3 August 1893 and he was 5 ½  feet tall, and weighed 129 lbs; he had blue eyes and brown hair.  He named his next of kin as his father, Mr Thomas Hutchinson, Otaitai Bush, Riverton, Southland. He gave the mill address as his when he enlisted but later early addresses are 31 Grey Street, Gladstone, Invercargill and Woodlands, Southland.


James served for a total of 2 years and 312 days, 154 days in NZ and the rest overseas.  He had enlisted on the 12 June 1915, served with 'D' Company, 7th Reinforcements, and had disembarked from Warrimoo in Suez on 18 November 1915.  He was posted to 8th Company, 1st Otago Regiment on the 9 January 1916 and arrived in France on the 6 April. 


He was in the 1st Canadian CCS on the 3 June 1916 and was suffering from gunshot wounds to the left thigh and chest; he was badly hurt.  He was transferred to 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, and then onward by HS Marama to a series of hospitals in England. His left leg was eventually amputated and, somewhat recovered, he was declared unfit for further service, placed on the list for repatriation, and returned to NZ on SS Willochra on the 1 February 1918.  He was discharged from the army in NZ on 19 April 1918.


James Hutchinson died in NZ on the 26 July 1973.  He and his wife, Mrs MD M Hutchinson, were then residing at 39 Bath Street sic (Bath Road?), Riverton, Southland, NZ.


46721 Private Thomas Hutchinson, brother of James, served in 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment.  He was single, a labourer, and gave his address as Otaitai Bush, Riverton, Southland, the same address as his father and employer, Mr Thomas Hutchinson.  He enlisted in 1917, stating that he had been in NZ for three years. He said his father had been there for six years but that his deceased mother had never been in NZ.


Thomas Hutchinson was born in Broughshane on the 22 November 1896 and was just over 20 years of age when he joined the army.  He was 5 ½ feet tall, weighed 142 lbs and had blue eyes and fair hair.  He was to serve in the forces for a total of 2 years and 202 days, 143 days in NZ and the remaining 2 years and 59 days in Europe.


He was initially in 'D' Company of the 25th Reinforcements, transferred to the 'B' Coy. 4th Battalion Otago Regiment for training and was then posted to 8 Coy, 2nd Otago Regiment.  He had left Wellington on Tofua on 26 April 1917 and had arrived in Devonport, England on the 20 July.  He went to France on the 5 September 1917 and was taken on strength with the 2nd Otago Regiment on the 23 October.  He was in hospital from the 1 June 1918 - 24 August 1918 and was then marched out to the 2nd Entrenching Battalion on the 31 August.  He got leave from the 5 - 23 October 1918, returned to his unit and then received 14 days Field Punishment No 2 for 'drunkenness'. He left Europe on SS Maunganui bound for New Zealand on 17 May 1919.


33370 Private Hugh Irwin before his enlistment was a labourer working for Mr Miles Doyle, Gisborne, Matawei and he lived in this area on the east coast of the North island. When he left the army he was associated with the west coast, with Ohaupo, Weikato, near Cambridge.  He was the son of Mrs Elizabeth Irwin, Ballyclose, Cullybackey, and he named her as his next of kin when he became part of the 21st Reinforcements for the Wellington Infantry Regiment. He listed his sister, Mrs Elizabeth Galliers, Maungaraki, Petone as his closest relative in New Zealand.


The 1901 census return records Henry Irwin, 70 and a farmer, living with his wife Elizabeth (54) with three daughters, Jinney (23 and a teacher), Mary Ellen (15) and Francis Barcly sic (13). The 1901 return shows the much larger full family.  Henry was said to be 69 sic, Elizabeth 43, Elizabeth H (20, the future Mrs Galliers), Margaret J (18), Agnes (15), Jennie (13) Hugh Henry J (9), Mary Ellen (5) and Francis (3). Nine children had been born of the marriage but only seven were alive in 1911. At least two were to go to New Zealand.


Henry Irwin was born on 12 April 1892 and he was 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 150 lbs.  He had brown eyes and hair and he was an Anglican.  He was to serve in the forces for 2 years and 239 days, 178 days in New Zealand and the remainder overseas in western Europe.


He enlisted on the 18 September 1916 and left New Zealand on the 19 January 1917 aboard Ulimaroabound for Devonport, Plymouth, which he reached on the 27 March.  He was sent into Sling Camp to become part of the Wellington Company of the 3rd Reserve Battalion and he remained with them until he was marched into the Codford Depot to join the 4th Brigade on the 24 April.  He embarked for France on the 28 May.


He was reported wounded, a slight gunshot wound to the face/eye, and was taken by 4th New Zealand Field Ambulance to 2nd Australian CCS on 10 August 1917; they sent him to the 1st South African General Hospital in Abbeville the next day and he was released to the Convalescent Depot at Cayeux on 11 September.  He was released  on the 8 October and was sent to the New Zealand  wing of 22nd Corps Reinforcement Camp on the 8 February 1918.  He was taken on strength on the 26 March 1918, seemingly with the 1st New Zealand Entrenching Battalion. He got UK leave from the 10 July - 1 August 1918 and he was transferred to the 22nd Corps Cycle Battalion on the 16 August.  He was admitted to 12 General Hospital on 4 November 1918, apparently suffering from the effects of gas.  This wasn't too serious and he was at No 2 Convalescent Depot the next day.  He was back at N Z I & G B D in Etaples on the 9 November and rejoined his unit on the 16 November.  He was appointed as a cook on the 23 February 1919 but relinquished the post on the 24 March.  A few days after that, the 24 March to be precise, he was at Codford Depot in England and on the 31 May he was aboard the Kigoma and on his way to New Zealand.  He was discharged from the army on 12 August 1919.


10/676 Private William Andrew Jamison, a fireman working for Mr J Leister, Gordon Road, Toko, enlisted on 17 August 1914.  He was born on 5 August 1892 and he was the son of farmer Mr James Jamison and his wife Matilda of Ballely, Randalstown.  The 1901 census return shows James (51) and Matilda (47) living with all six of their children: Mary (12), Lizzie (10), David (9), William (7), Emma (6) and Annie (3).  In the 1911 return James (63), now blind, Matilda (59) recorded David (21), William A (19), Emma (17) and Annie M (13).


William Andrew Jamison was a 22 year old labourer when he enlisted.  He was 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 150 lbs and he was a Presbyterian. Little is known of his military career.  He left New Zealand on 16 October 1914 as part of the Wellington Infantry Battalion (11th Taranaki) and arrived in Egypt on the 4 December.  He trained for a time and then left Alexandria for the Dardanelles on the 12 April 1915.  Nothing more is recorded except that he went missing in action on the 8 August 1915. A Board of Enquiry at Moascar Camp, Ismailia reported on his case on 16 January 1916, concluding he had been killed.  His body must have been recovered later as he is buried in Chunuk Bair (NZ) Cemetery, Gallipoli.  He is commemorated in Randalstown Old Congregation Presbyterian Church.


46355 Lance Corporal Joseph Edward Adams Kane, 2nd Auckland Regiment, NZEF, was killed in action near Bapaume, France on the 30 August 1918.  He was the son of Elizabeth Adams (formerly Kane) & the late James Kane, of Ballymena, Co Antrim. NZ records show him living at the time of his enlistment with Mrs Elizabeth Kane and his brother at 14 New Bond Street, Kingsland, Auckland, NZ.


He was born on 21 January 1888 and was 28 years and 11 months old when he enlisted on the 23 December 1916; his service started on 6 February 1917. He was said to be 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall, though the doctor at his medical said he was 5 feet 8 inches tall. He was 131 lbs weight and was a contractor, partially responsible, he said, for the maintenance of his mother and brother. His father was dead and he said his mother had been in NZ for 8 years; he said he had been there for 3 years.


He left NZ on the 26th April 1917 with the 25th Reinforcements Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company and travelled to Europe on the troopship Tofua.  He was ill with influenza during the voyage and spent 4 - 7 July in the ship's hospital but was well when the ship docked in Devonport on the 20 July. He went to Sling Camp, then embarked for France on 5 September.  He was with the 2 Battalion of the Auckland Infantry Regiment after 1 November 1917 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 27 July 1918. He was killed in action on the 30 August 1918 and he is buried in Bancourt British Cemetery. 


His brother Alexander Millar Kane was also killed. 


16894 Private Alexander Millar Kane of the 3 Bn. Canterbury Regiment, NZEF was killed in action at Messines. He is listed by the CWGC as the son of James & Elizabeth Adams Kane, Paerata, Auckland.


He was born on 14 June 1895 and was 20 years and 6 months old when he enlisted on 17 January 1916.  He was single, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 128 lbs.  He had blue eyes and brown hair. He had scarring on his face, burn scars, from a cycle accident; one could speculate a problem with a carbide cycle lamp. He was a plumber who worked for a Mr R Allen. Records show him living at the time of his enlistment with Mrs Elizabeth Kane and his brother at 14 New Bond Street, Kingsland, Auckland, NZ. (She later moved to 1 Bannerman St, Tobin Street, Pukekohe, Auckland and 1 Albert Street, Pukekohe, Auckland. The Paerata address was where she collected his medals.)


He had left NZ on the 7 December 1916 with the C Company, 20th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, aboard the troopship Port Lyttelton and he marched into Sling Camp on 18 February 1917.  He was transferred to the Codford Depot on the 30 March and sent overseas to France on 28 May.  He attended the School of Instruction from 16 November  - 13 December 1917 and rejoined his unit thereafter.  He was killed in action on the 19 December 1918 and he is buried in Butts Cemetery, Polygon Wood, some 4 ½ miles east of Ypres (Ieper), Belgium.


7/1371 Second Lieutenant Patrick Kennedy, New Zealand Machine Gun Corps (NZMGC), enlisted and was initially part of the 6th Reinforcements for the Canterbury Mounted Rifles.  He gave his address as 69 Stevens Street, Christchurch and said he was a tramway motorman in the city.  He was, however, originally from Co Antrim and gave his father as his next of kin, giving his details as Mr Bernard Kennedy, Moneyglass, Toomebridge.  


Patrick Kennedy was to serve in the forces for a total of 4 years and 96 days, 89 days in NZ and the substantial remainder overseas, seeing service with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force,  in the Balkans (Gallipoli Peninsula) and in western Europe.

Having enlisted on 14 June 1915, Patrick Kennedy embarked for overseas duty on the 15 August. His records are very incomplete but we know he was appointed Temporary Corporal in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles on 1 January 1916.  The next entry on his record shows him rejoining the 2nd New Zealand Machine Gun Corps from the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham on 22 July 1916 and being taken on strength on the 29 July - Kennedy does not appear to have been wounded in action but had influenza, etc.  


The New Zealand Machine Gun Corps was formed after withdrawal from Gallipoli and was to comprise three companies for service with the Division and one squadron for service with the Brigade of Mounted Rifles. A nucleus of personnel was available from the sections of the battalions and regiments. This nucleus comprised officers and men who had already gained invaluable knowledge on Gallipoli, which facilitated the quick formation and training of the new corps. The companies were soon in full training in the desert at Moascar, Egypt, which permitted of every form of practice from section drill to field firing.


He went to the NZ Command Depot on the 20 December and had permission to be on leave until 4 January 1917. He was sent to the NZMGC Depot in Grantham, Lincolnshire on the 2 April and he reported to the 4th MGC on the 6 May 1917, having been appointed Company Quartermaster Sergeant on the 23 April.  He must have returned to France but was nominated for a commission on 18 November 1917 and sent to England on the 25 November.  He reported to No 6 Officer Cadet Battalion in Oxford on the 7 December and, having finished his course, he was appointed a 2 Lieutenant on 30 April 1918.  He was marched into the MG Depot on the 16 May 1918, and was made Quartermaster, Reserve Company and a Temporary Captain on 22 January 1919.  He relinquished the rank when his duties there ceased and was sent to Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain in June.  He was returned to New Zealand on the 2 July 1919 and discharged from the NZEF on the 17 September 1919.  He went on the General List and retaining his rank of 2nd Lieutenant.


23/811 Rifleman William James Lindsay, 1st Bn, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was a farm assistant employed by Mr D Caldwell, Edenvale, New Zealand and he had been born in Ireland, his father being Mr George Lindsay, Glenarm, Co. Antrim; Mrs M Lindsay was his step-mother. His legal next of kin was Mr Robert Lindsay, Altmore Street, Glenarm, though his medals went to his step-mother. 


The 1901 census return shows George (50) and second wife Mary (40) living in the Vennel with four boys; William James (15), Robert (14), George (13) and John (3), the child of the second marriage.  The 1911 return says George (66) and Mary (56) were living with Robert (25) and John (13).  George and his son Robert were shoemakers.


William James Lindsey was born in 1883 and was 31, nearly 32, years old when he enlisted in 1915.  He was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 146 lbs; he had grey eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian.


William James has a very sparse military record. He enlisted on 28 May 1915 and left Wellington, NZ for overseas service on 9 October, his destination Suez, Egypt. He arrived there on the 15 November, part of 'C' Company 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He was appointed a cook while at Zeitoun. He left Alexandria bound for Matruh on the 19 December but was back at Alexandria on the 18 February awaiting dispatch to western Europe, something that happened on the 6 April 1916.  He got to France, probably via Marseilles, and reached the Somme area.  There he was killed in action on 19 September 1916.  He is buried in Thistle Dump Cemetery, High Wood, Longueval, France and is remembered in St. Patrick's Church of Ireland  (Tickmacrevan), Glenarm.


26/364 Rifleman Johnson (sometimes Johnston) Mark, 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade, later Gunner with 4th Battery, New Zealand Field Artillery, was working as a farm labourer for a Mr T Dorset in Te White (sic) when he enlisted on 12 October 1915.  However, Johnson Mark was born on the 14 April 1893, the son of Mrs Mark, Gloonan, Ahoghill, Co Antrim and his service is recorded on the tablet in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church. The 1901 census return records Thomas Mark, a 73 year old farmer, and his wife Maggie (75) living in the Gloonan with Annie (33), Maggie (30), Thomas (27 and a linen bleacher), and Johnston (6), their grandson. The 1911 return records Johnston Mark (17) employed as a farm servant in the household of Mary Blair (68) at Ballylummin, Ahoghill. Her family were Joseph M (36), Katherine (29) and Mary Agnes, a grandchild. He was 22 years and 6 months old at enlistment in 1915.  He was 5 feet 4 ½ inches tall, weighed 140 lbs and he had brown eyes and black hair.


Johnson Mark was in the army for 3 years and 239 days, 144 days in NZ and the remaining 3 years and 95 days overseas. He enlisted on 12 October 1915, left Wellington, NZ on Mokoia on the 5 February bound for Suez, Egypt and arrived there on the 15 March. He sent a short time in hospital at Ismailia before boarding RMS Alaunia on the 7 April bound for France. (RMS Alaunia - On 19 September 1916, on a voyage from London to New York, she struck a mine laid earlier that day by SM UC-16 off Hastings, East Sussex and sank.) On the 20 April he transferred to the NZ Field Artillery and while at Estaires on the 5 May was attached to the Light Trench Mortar Battery. on the 26 May he was in the Australian Hospital, Wimereux with shrapnel wound to this right thigh.  On the 7 June he was moved by HS St Dennis and admitted to County of London War Hospital, Epsom.  He wasn't discharged to the Grey Towers Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch until the 7 July.  From there he went to Codford Camp and then onwards to Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain on the 6 October.


He was taken on strength with the NZFA (New Zealand Field Artillery) at Aldershot on the 15 January 1917 and on the 10 February was sent overseas; the day before he left he used bad language and disobeyed an order from an NCO, a offence for which he was later given 96 hours detention and a fine.  He was posted to 4 Battery, NZFA on the 1 March 1917.  He appears to have stayed with them until granted leave in the UK on the 10 February 1918. He continued to serve with them until wounded a second time, this time by a gas shell.  It was a minor affair; he was treated by No 14 Field Ambulance and returned to his unit the same day. Gunner Mark was to compete his service with them, returning to the UK only in early 1919. He was at Sling Camp because he was given 12 days CB (confined to barracks) and fined for being AWL from 24 February - 2 March 1919. 


On the 28 March 1919 he embarked from Liverpool aboard Northumberland en route for New Zealand and was discharged from the army on 7 June 1919. He gave his address then as Brooklyn Road, Carterton but could not be found there when his medals were issued.  He died on the 16 November 1959, Mrs J Mark giving her address then as Old Te Kuiti Road, Otorohanga.


42526 Rifleman Joseph Marshall, was initially part of 8 Company, 23rd Reinforcements, 3 Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment but later transferred to 'B' Company 3rd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  He enlisted in Mosgiel and said he lived at Henley, Otago, and having no other family in New Zealand, he gave the name of a friend as a local contact.  He was David Clark, Moneymore, Milton. 


Joseph Marshall was the son of James and Mary Marshall, Longstone, Ahoghill.  The 1901 census return shows James Marshall, 45 year old Presbyterian farmer, and his wife Mary (42) living in Kilcurry, Ahoghill with their eight surviving children - two had died: Joseph (20), Robert (17), Maggie (13), Eliza (11), John (9), Thomas (7), William (3) and Francis (1).  They are still in Kilcurry in 1911. James (60) and Mary (56) live with Robert James (27 and a teacher), Maggie (23), Eliza (20), John (19), Thomas (16), William (13) and Francis George (11); Joseph was already in NZ, having gone there in about 1907.


Joseph Marshall was 35 years and 5 months old when he enlisted.  He was almost 5 feet 11 inches tall and had grey eyes and brown hair.  He was single and was a railway employee (permanent way man).


He was in the army for 2 years and 83 days, 131 days in NZ and the rest, 1 year and 316 days,  in western Europe.  He enlisted on 2 January 1917 and sailed from Wellington aboard Ruapehu on the 14 March.  He reached Devonport on the 21 May and went to Sling Camp, leaving it for France on 21 June.  He joined the Otago Battalion on the 9 July but was accidentally wounded on the 26 July by a grenade splinter from a Mills bomb that exploded prematurely during a training exercise.  The fragment embedded itself in his thigh.  He was taken by 4th Field Ambulance to 2nd Australian CCS and on the 28 July he reached No 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen; he was treated and sent by them to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen the next day.  They moved him to No 11 Convalescent Depot, Buchy on the 1 August and from there he was discharged to the Etaples base.  He rejoined his unit on the 30 August.


He was detached to HQ on the 30 September for some unrecorded reason and only returned to his unit on the 26 October 1917.  He was wounded in action, apparently not too seriously, on the 20 November and treated by 4th Field Ambulance and No 10 CCS, rejoining his battalion on the 30 November.


On the 8 February 1918 he was detached to 22 Corps HQ and transferred to 3rd Battalion, 3 NZRB.  He got UK leave from 15 June and returned to his unit on the 4 July.  He was wounded in action for a third time on the 26 August. No 1 field Ambulance took him to 29 CCS and they sent him onwards to 9 General Hospital, Rouen on the 28 August.  He was treated and was back in England, a patient in No 2 NZ General Hospital, Walton on Thames on the 1 September. He wasn't released to convalesce at Hornchurch until the 29 October. A bullet had gone through his upper left arm, damaging tissue and fracturing the humerus. A medical assessment on the 25 September had decided he was unfit for further service and he had been put on a list for return to New Zealand. He sailed on Ruahine and docked in Auckland in January 1919. He was discharged from the army on 25 March 1919 and went to Moneymore, Milton.


11/202 Samuel White Maxwell had been born at Killyless, Cullybackey in 1893 and the 1901 census records him as a 7 year old living with his widowed aunt Mary J Gregg (Grigg sic), a farmer,  and her family.  Her family were Jane, Sarah A, Alexander, Mary E and John, a blacksmith.  They are recorded in 1911.  Mary Jane was living with her children Sarah A, Alexander and Mary E, a dressmaker.  Samuel had emigrated in about 1909 with sister Elizabeth, and father Alexander. His mother had died shortly after his birth and his sister Mary died in approx 1905.  His brothers Tom and Jack (John) had emigrated earlier. 


He was working as a labourer for Mr Burrage, Petone, NZ when the war started.  He was just 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall and he had blue eyes and light brown hair.  He was but 20 years and 8 months old when he enlisted in August 1914, initially as a trooper with the Wellington Mounted Rifles, and he was to serve 5 years and 101 days in the army before being discharged on the 28 November 1919.  His later service was with the New Zealand Field Artillery.


He trained in NZ from 14 August 1914 to 15 October 1915, finished his training in Egypt in 1914-15, and he was sent to Gallipoli in 1915.  There he was wounded 'early in September 1915 by shrapnel in the back', according to a Ballymena newspaper.  His record does not record this, only that he was ill. He was transferred eventually to England and then spent leave in Ireland before rejoining the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in 1916.  He transferred to the Western Front in 1916 and remained there until the end of the war. During leave in Ireland in 1918 he stayed with Miss E Gregg, Killyless, Cullybackey.  He died on the 14 May 1968. (See also Weekly War 1916)


12/1727 Private Daniel Joseph McAllister served in the 1st Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment.  He had been working as a waggon driver for Mr E P Paul Mangere in Auckland prior to his enlistment. He was, however, born in Glenarm, Co Antrim and gave two Irish address for his next of kin.  His brother was Mr Joseph McAllister, 54 Glenarm Road, Larne, and his sister Mary was Mrs John McGlade, 110 Ardilea Street, Belfast (previously 22 Ballymena Street, Old Park Rd, Belfast).


Daniel Joseph McAllister was born on 27 April 1887 and was 27 years and 9 months old when he enlisted on 14 December 1914.  He was a 5' 5" tall Roman Catholic who weighed 149 lbs and who had blue eyes and dark brown hair.


He left New Zealand aboard HT Tahiti (14 February 1915 as HMNZT- 18 departed with 3rd Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force 1,719 persons all accommodated with two other vessels Maunganui (HMNZT 17) and Aparima (HMNZT 19) on 14 February 1915 and was discharged at Suez, Egypt on the 26 March.  He was admitted to hospital on the 14 August suffering from gastritis. He was sufficiently ill to be moved by HS Iconia to Malta and admitted to St Patrick's Hospital there on the 28 August. They then sent him onwards to England aboard HS Scotian on the 10 September and he was admitted 'slightly sick' to 1st Southern General Hospital in Birmingham on the 19 September. He was discharged from hospital on the 16 October and arrived back at his depot on the 22 October. He did not disembark from HT Briton in Alexandria until the 23 January 1916. Something had transpired just before he boarded the ship or during the voyage which saw him being awarded a punishment of fourteen days detention on 21 December 1915.


He was taken on strength at Moascar Camp, Ismailia on the day he disembarked. He stayed there until, aboard HT Franconia, he left Port Said, Egypt on the 6 April 1916 bound for France.  No other entries on his record, just the recording of his being killed in action on the 28 September 1916.  This happened on the Somme and he is named on the Caterpillar Valley (NZ) Memorial, Longueval, France.


29802 Private Moses McBride, initially 'D' Company, 18th Reinforcements, was a farm labourer employed by Mr A McPherson, Pahia, Southland, NZ and was the brother of Mrs Mary Armstrong of nearby Orepuki, Southland.  He was also the son of John McBride, a farmer of Coreen, Broughshane, Co Antrim.


The 1901 census return shows John McBride (50), a Presbyterian farmer, and his wife Sarah (40) living in Coreen with their nine children: Nannie (17), Gardiner (15), Mary E (13), Moses (11), Maggie A (8), Hannah J (8), William (6), Robert (2) and Rachel (infant).  The 1911 return shows the parents and six of their family: Moses (20), Maggie Amelia (18), Hannah Jane (18), William M C (12) and Rachel (10).


Moses was born on 11 May 1890 and was just over 25 years old when he enlisted on 28 June 1916.  He was 5' 8" tall and weighed 152 lbs.  He had hazel coloured eyes and red hair, and  a scar on his right leg.


He was in NZ from his enlistment until he left aboard HT Willochra on the 16 October 1916.  Hs training there appears to have been without incident, except that he was confined to barracks for three days and fined for overstaying leave from 17 - 20 September. He landed at Devonport, Plymouth and was marched into Sling Camp on the 29 December. He appears to have earned some extra money during the voyage, 6 days @ 2 shillings (10 pence) per day, for 'shifting coal'.  He left Sling for France on the 1 February 1917 and was attached to the NZ Infantry & General Base Depot at Etaples on the 5 February.  He went to 8 Company, 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment on the 25 May and was killed while serving with them on the 7 June 1917. Records say he was 'buried Boyle's Farm behind ADS just east of Wulverghem about ¾ mile west of Messines'. Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show this son of John and Sarah Paul McBride, of Coreen, Broughshane is now buried in Wulverghen-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery, Belgium. 


19024 Rifleman William John McBride, 'C' Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade,  was before his enlistment a carter in the employ of Carrol & Thompson, Invercargill and he lived at 230 Spey Street, Invercargill, NZ.  He came originally from Broughshane and is listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919 for 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church; at enlistment he said he was the brother of Mrs Maria Thompson, Teeshan, Ballymena. The individuals are hard to trace on census returns but Maria McBride, 32 in 1911, appears to be living with her brother Samuel (39) and his wife Mary (38) and their two children, Anna (9) and Margretta (7), in Ballycloghan, Broughshane.


He was single and quite old when he joined the forces on 6 April 1916.  He had been born on the 24 December 1871, this making him 44 years and 4 months old at the time.  He was 5' 9" tall, weighed 147 lbs, and he had brown eyes and greying black hair. He was to spend a total of 1 year and 255 days in the army, 167 days in NZ and the remaining 1 year and 88 days in western Europe.


William John McBride embarked on HT Ulimaroa from Wellington for Europe on the 29 July 1916.  He reached Devonport, Plymouth and Sling Camp on the 28 September, not leaving there for France until 10 October.  He remained attached to the NZ Infantry & General Base Depot at Etaples until he was posted to 'C' Company, 3 Battalion, 3rd NZRB on the  29 October.


He was wounded for the first time on the 30 December.  He received treatment for a 'GSW', gunshot wound, on his right thigh, from No 1 NZ Field Ambulance and was back with his unit on the 3 January 1917.  He was wounded in action a second time on the 4 June. No 9 Australian Field Ambulance took him to No 2 Australian CCS and he went from there to No 1 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples on the 8 June.  He was described as having sustained a 'severe' gunshot wound to the right hand side of his chest.  He was moved to England on HS Princess Elizabeth and to No 2 NZ General Hospital at Walton on Thames on the 17 June.  He remained there until discharged to leave on the 1 August, being told to report on the 22 August to the discharge centre at Torquay; he had been deemed unfit for further service on the 30 July 1917.  He returned to New Zealand aboard Remuera and was discharged from the army on the 17 December 1917.  He died at Invercargill on the 5 August 1951.


13787 Rifleman Michael McCauley, 2nd Battalion 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was a farm labourer employed by Mr L Higgins, Moteo, Puketapu (near Napier, North Island). He was the brother of Thomas McCauley, Ahoghill, Ballymena, Co Antrim.  He was born on 1 October 1877 and was 39 years and 5 months old when he enlisted on the 7 March 1916.  He was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall and weighed 183 lbs.  He had blue eyes and brown hair. He was a RC. He was to serve in the army for a total of 2 years and 337 days, 137 days in New Zealand and the rest, 2 years and 200 days, in western Europe.


He trained in NZ from 7 March to the 25 June 1916, part of the 14th Reinforcements, and then departed Wellington aboard HT Maunganui on the 26 June; he was bound for Devonport, Plymouth and he arrived there on the 22 August.  He went to Sling Camp and was posted to the Otago Company of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, and he went to France with them on 19 September 1916.  He was marched out to the NZ Division on the 1 October and posted to 'A' Company of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd NZRB on the 3rd.  He was detached  to a railway construction party on the 7 January 1917 and didn't rejoin his unit until the 11 March. He was again detached to the NZ Division and sent to the NZ Wing 2nd Anzac Reinforcement Camp, probably for a period of rest and recuperation. He rejoined his unit on the 18 June but was again detached on the 23 July, this time to No 2 Field Company, NZ Engineers. He rejoined his unit on the 6 August and was granted leave in the UK between 7 - 21 September 1917.  He was wounded in action on the 12 October and sent to 35th Field Ambulance for treatment.  The wound was not serious, he remained in the field, and he rejoined his unit on the 20 October.


He was wounded in action again on the 6 May 1918.  He was taken to No 29 CCS and from there to 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen on the 7 May. Two days later, on the 9 May, they sent him to the UK and he was admitted to 1 NZ General Hospital, Brockenhurst, Hampshire the next day.  He wasn't discharged to No 2 Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch until the 12 June and did not go from there to Codford Command Depot until 25 July. He was making some progress but could not undertake military training or drill and was granted 'agricultural leave', harvesting crops, from the 26 August for one month.


He had been struck by a machine gun bullet in the right buttock and this appears to have travelled through his body to damage his left thigh.  He complained at a medical about a month after his wounding of 'numbness on inner side of thigh', 'pain in the left groin and numbness of the left thigh'; records show that while he was at Brockenhurst an 'FB', foreign body, presumably a bullet, was removed, having entered his right buttock, from his left thigh.  The army doctors considered him unfit for service and he was put on the 2 December roll for return to New Zealand.  He embarked aboard Maunganuifrom Liverpool on the 12 December 1918 and was discharged from the army on the 8 February 1919.  


Michael McCauley returned to the Napier area and was tragically drowned in the Ngaruroro River on the 13 August 1936.  He is buried in Taradale Cemetery, Napier (Plot 123, Section 6)


17576 Sergeant Robert McCay, enlisted and eventually became part of the 21st Reinforcements for the New Zealand Mounted Rifles. He was a teacher employed by the Wanganui Education Board and gave his address as Makohau, Turakina, NZ. He was, however, from Co Antrim and nominated his mother as his next of kin.  She was Mrs S McCay, Inchamph, Clough.


Samuel McCay, 61 and a farmer in 1901, lived with his wife Hesse, 47, and nine children are recorded on the census return for that year: Daniel (26), Minne (24) William (22), Margaret (20), Hessie (14), John (12), James (9), Robert (6) and Agnes (1). Mary McCay (87) and Samuel Hamilton (15), a farm servant, lived with them. The 1901 return shows Samuel (71) and his wife Hessie Jane (57)  and five children: Daniel (36), William (32), James (19), Robert (16) and Agnes A E (11); John McCaughey (15), their farm servant, is also named. The return states that eleven children were born and that ten survived.


Robert was born on the 7 June 1894 and was 21 ¾ when he enlisted on 9 March 1916.  He was 5' 10 ½ " tall and he weighed 175 lbs. He had blue eyes and fair hair, and he was a Presbyterian. He was to serve in the forces for 351 days in New Zealand and 2 years 48 days overseas in western Europe, a total of 3 years and 34 days.


It was January 1917 before McCay left New Zealand from Wellington aboard Waitemata bound for Devonport, Plymouth.  He had been posted to Featherston Camp, as part of the 14th Reinforcements, but he took ill with flu and was in hospital from 13 - 18 March 1916; he got sick leave from 18 -21 thereafter.  He returned but was again ill with a cold and vomiting and had to go to the isolation section of Racecouse Hospital.  He was there from the 27 March - 14 April and was then on sick leave from 14 - 20 April.  He was posted to the 18th and then the 21st Reinforcements, his training to continue.  He was, however, ill with measles in Featherston Military Hospital from 19 October - 2 November 1916.  


He finally reached England on the 28 March 1917 and went to Sling Camp. There he transferred to the New Zealand Machine Gun Company and went on the 30 June via Tidworth Camp to the New Zealand M G Corps Depot at Grantham.  He returned to Tidworth Camp and was in hospital there with some unstated illness from 4 - 6 October.  On the 19 November 1917 he transferred to the New Zealand Field Artillery, Aldershot and trained with them until sent from Ewshott Barracks to France on the 1 March 1918.  He went to the 22 Corps Reinforcement Camp, New Zealand Wing on the 7 March and on the 19 May was directed to the 3rd Entrenching Battalion.


He had been there but a short time when he was again taken ill.  He was transferred via 48th Field Ambulance, 3rd NZ Field Ambulance and 29th CCS to 1st Australian General Hospital. The Field Ambulance and Casualty Clearing Station had deemed him to have pyrexia (fever) and 1st Australian General Hospital agreed and marked his record 'PUO' (Pyrexia Unknown Origin).  He was transferred to England, his record marked 'myalgia', and he reached 1st New Zealand General Hospital Brockenhurst on 12 July 1918.  They diagnosed trench fever/myalgia and kept him there from 12 - 29 July before sending him to the NZ Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch.  He was a patient at Hornchurch from 29 July to 16 October 1918.  He was to have leave but this was stopped and he went on duty at Hornchurch from the 17 - 26 October .


The decision to return him to NZ had been made and he left London on 25 January 1919 aboard the SS Port Melbourne. He was immediately granted 'privilege leave' from the 8 March - 4 April 1919 and then discharged from the army on 11 April 1919. 


McCay's medical problems were to resurface in New Zealand.  He was diagnosed with TB of the spine and, after a determined campaign, eventually won treatment at army expense, it being belatedly accepted that military service had caused the problem and that misdiagnosis had meant treatment had not been given at the time of his service.  He survived the problem and lived in NZ until he died at Rotorua on the 27 July 1987.


13/3058 Alexander (also Alec) McCully, MM, enlisted in November 1915.  He is listed in Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919 for 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church but the records available for Alexander McCully make no reference to Broughshane or family there. He gave the name and address of his brother when asked for next of kin and he was Mr William McCully, Chemist, Broadway, Marton, New Zealand. Alexander McCully did, however, give his birthday, 17 June 1890.  The 1901 census shows the McCully family living in Broughshane: James (55) and his wife Annie (50) lived with Charles (16), Jane (15), James (14) Annie (12) and Alexander (10). John McCully (58 and a widower) and Mary Jane McCully (50 and a domestic servant) lived with them.  Though Alexander is the correct age, his brother William is not mentioned.  The 1911 census return shows James (65) and Annie (60) living in Caugherty, Broughshane with their daughter Jane (23 or 25, writing illegible) and a servant called John Peters (24). The link to Broughshane would be tenuous if William had not joined the army and been more forthcoming about his origins.  Though not mentioned in the 1st Broughshane Presbyterian Church record, he said he was born in Broughshane and that his parents were James and Annie McCully. The family, according to the 1911 census return consisted of nine children, all of whom survived; Alec and William, residing in NZ, were two of them.


Alexander McCully embarked from Wellington with 'A' Squadron, Auckland Mounted Rifles aboard HT Aparima bound for Suez on the 29 February 1916. He served 132 days in NZ and would serve 2 years and 72 days overseas, a total military career of 3 years and 204 days.  He was 25 years and 5 month old at enlistment.  He was unusually tall at 6 feet and he weighed 158 lbs.  He had blue eyes and brown hair and was a self employed farmer, a Presbyterian from Waiuku, North Island, New Zealand. He is also associated in October 1920 with Warkworth, Auckland.


He arrived in Suez on the 7 April 1916 and went to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Training Regiment at Moascar.  He was transferred to the 2nd Infantry Brigade, Tel el Kebir on the 2 May and embarked for western Europe on HT Ivernia (RMS Ivernia was sunk 58 miles SE of Cape Matapan on the 1 January 1917, torpedoed by the U47. Of the 2400 troops on board, men of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, Royal Scots, Rifle Brigade and some yeomanry, 3 officers and 82 men drowned. 34 of the crew also died. The Captain was William Thomas Turner, previously of RMS Lusitania, torpedoed off Ireland in 1915.  He survived this second sinking.).  He was taken on strength with the 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment on the 22 June 1916 but was sent to the No 7 General Hospital, St Omer on the 25 June, possibly suffering with measles, and was not released to duty until the 4 September.  He stayed with the regiment and was made promoted to Corporal on the 5 June 1917.  He was wounded in action on the 30 July 1917 while serving with them and sent, via 3 NZ Field Ambulance and No 2 Australian CCS, to 5th General Hospital, Rouen on 2 August.  They dispatched him, courtesy of HS Panama, to No1 New Zealand Military Hospital, Brockenhurst; he was suffering from a gunshot wound to his right shoulder. That same day, 8 August 1917, he learned that he had been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry. He was released to the NZ Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch on the 7 September and did not get released to NZ Command Depot, Codford until 22 September. He was back at Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain on the 14 February 1918 and transferred to the  NZ Infantry Reserve. He attended a bombing course (hand grenades) at Lyndhurst from 29 April - 11 May 1918 and on the 14 May was transferred from 3rd Reserve Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment to the Otago Mounted Rifles. He went overseas with them, arriving at NZ Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD) on the 16 May. He reported to his unit on the 26 May 1918 and remained with them until granted UK leave on the 23 December 1918.  His leave ended on the 24 January 1919 and he returned to Sling Camp in preparation for return to New Zealand.  He left Liverpool aboard Northumberland on the 28 March 1919, reached New Zealand and was discharged from the army on 7 June 1919.


3/3572 William McCully, New Zealand Medical Corps, brother of Alec McCully and the self employed local pharmacist of Broadway, Marton, North Island, was born on 13 December 1877 in Broughshane, Co Antrim, the son of James and Annie McCully.  He was one of a family of nine children, all of whom survived into adulthood. He had emigrated to New Zealand about 9 years before his enlistment in March1917. He was 39 years and 3 months old in March 1917 and he was 6 feet tall and weighed about 154 lbs. He e had grey eyes and brown hair.


William McCully attested on the 24 March 1917 and his service is recognised from 30 May 1917. He transferred to the 2nd Reserve on the 12 July and was sent to the 30th Reinforcements on the 30 July. He trained at Featherston Camp and at Awapuni Racecourse Camp, Palmerston North before leaving Wellington on the 13 October bound for England.  He disembarked at Liverpool on the 8 December 1917 and went to New Zealand Medical Corps Reserve Depot at Ewshott on the 12 December.  He was marched in to the No1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst.  He served there until discharged to duty on the 1 November 1918.  He went to Medical HQ, London on 12 December and was to return to New Zealand.  He embarked on the Oxfordshire from Liverpool on the 19 December 1918 and was discharged from the army on the 2 March 1919.


62115 Trooper John McFetridge, 2nd Wellington Mounted Rifles, formerly 33rd Reinforcements, lived at Tariki, (later Tataraimake), Taranaki, New Zealand and was a self employed farmer. At the time of his enlistment in the forces he was single and nominated his mother as his next of kin.  She was Mrs L McFetridge, Clough, Co Antrim.  His attestation paper additionally names his father as Martin McFetridge.  The 1901 census return records Helena (Lena) McFetridge (59 and a widow), living with three daughters, Jane (19), Isabella (17) and Helena (15), at Eglish, Clough. The 1911 return shows Helena (68) and her daughter Helena (25) living with their granddaughter Isabella Currie (1).  


John McFetridge, 5' 4 ½ " tall and 129 lbs in weight, had brown eyes and black hair. He was born 26 June 1892 and said he had been in NZ about ten years when he enlisted in April 1917, this making him about 15 years old when he left his native Clough for New Zealand.  He was single in 1919 but had married after the war.  He died on 19 May 1964 in New Plymouth, his wife being Mrs E M McFetridge, 87 Ngamotu Road, New Plymouth.


McFetridge trained from 18 April - 12 November 1917 in NZ, was on overseas service from 13 November  1917 - 21 September 1919, returned to NZ and was given two weeks leave before being discharged on the 19 October 1919. In short, he had a total of 2 years and 87 days service, 1 year and 313 days of it overseas.


He left Wellington on HMNZT Tofua on the 13 November 1917 bound for Suez and on arrival there was posted to a training battalion at Moascar. He was posted to Imperial Camel Corps on the 5 January 1918, transferred to the ICC Depot at the Australian and New Zealand Reserve Base Depot on the 8 January, and he went to the ICC in the field on the 30 April 1918. He was posted to 16th Company on the 5 May. He was ill with diarrhoea on the 1 June, was at 36th Stationary Hospital, Gaza on the 5 June and in 27th General Hospital, Abbassia on the 7 June.  He was released to Aotea Convalescent Hospital, Heliopolis on the 14 June but did not return to the NZ base at Ismailia until the 15 July 1918.  He spent some time training with the NZ Mounted Brigade Training Regiment and was eventually posted to the 2nd Squadron, Wellington Mounted Rifles 'in the field' on 15 September 1918.  


He was detached from them to Regimental Transport Section from 23 October - 4 March 1919 and returned to 2nd Squadron only to be detached to do baggage guard at Rafa on the 17 March. He was sent to Brigade HQ for duty on the 23 March and was posted to NZ Mounted Brigade Training Regiment from 9 - 11 April 1919. He rejoined 2nd Squadron, Wellington Mounted Rifles thereafter,  but on the 23 May he was sent to Marseilles, en route for the UK, aboard Princess Juliana from Port Said.  He left the UK on Ayrshire and was discharged at Lyttleton (near Christchurch), NZ on the 20 September 1919.


63019 Private William Morrow, 2nd Otago Infantry Regiment, had been part of the 31st Reinforcements that left Wellington aboard Willochra on 22 November 1917. On enlistment he said he was single and a .farm labourer, a ploughman working for Mr P A Elworthy, Gordons Valley, Timaru. His next of kin was his father, Mr Thomas Morrow, Carnalbana, Co Antrim; he also listed his uncle, Mr Andrew McClintock, Hadlow, Gleniti (near Timaru)


The 1901 census return shows Thomas Morrow, 43 and a farmer, living with what could be his second wife Margaret (nee McLintock sic) (41), and six of their family: William (18), Jane (14), Maggie (11), James (10), Thomas (7) and Alexander (4).  The 1911 census return shows Thomas (56) and Margaret (54), living with Jane (25 and now Mrs McMullan), Maggie (22), James (20), Thomas (17), Alexander (14) and granddaughter Margaret McMullan (1). This return shows Thomas had 6 children alive in 1911 and Margaret had 1 child alive in 1911.  She was either his second wife or, rather unlikely, had a child before Thomas married her.


William Morrow was born on 12 March 1881 and was 36 years and 4 months old when he enlisted in July 1917.  He was 5feet 91/2 inches tall and weighed 189 lbs.  He had blue eyes and dark coloured hair.  He was a Presbyterian, probably a Unitarian. He said in 1917 that he had been in NZ for 8 years. 


William Morrow was training in NZ from 20 July - 21 November 1917, on overseas service from the 22 November 1917 - 28 March 1919, and complete his service in NZ from the 29 March - 25 April 1919.  He had served 1 year and 247 days, 1 year and 127 days overseas in western Europe.


Willochra arrived in Liverpool on the 7 January 1918. The next day William was in Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain and was part of the 4th Otago Reserve Battalion. He went to New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI & GBD), Etaples, France on the 24 March and was sent to No 2 New Zealand Entrenching Battalion on the 28 March. He transferred to 8th Company, 2nd Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment on the 14 April.  He remained with them and went on leave to the UK on the 15 July 1918.  He returned to his unit on the 31 July and was wounded in action on 3 September.  He was eventually taken to No 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen for treatment and while he was there he contracted influenza and bronchitis. He was transferred to England on the St Patrick and admitted to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst on the 10 November.  He stayed there until the 22 November and was then discharged to Sling Camp. A medical deemed him less than 100% fit and he was transferred to NZ Command Depot in preparation for return to NZ.  He left Liverpool aboard Ajana on the 7 February 1919. He was discharged from the army on 25 April 1919 and seems to have returned to Ireland, a 1924 document giving his address as William Morrow, c/o Mr Thomas Morrow, Ballyhone, Gleno(e), via Larne, Co Antrim.


48067 Rifleman James Palmer, 3 New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was a self employed farmer from Umutaora, Dannevirke. He was also the son of Thomas Palmer, Dickeystown, Glenarm, Co Antrim. The 1901 census return shows Thomas Palmer, a 49 year old farmer, and his wife Grace (37), both named on their son's attestation paper, living with James (16), Catherine (12), Thomas (6) and Walter (infant).  They were Anglicans. The 1911 return shows Thomas (62), Grace (48), Cassie (22) Lillie (18), Tom (6) and Walter (10) still in Dickeystown.  All the family are here: Grace said she had seven children, five of whom were still alive.

James was born on the 13 April 1883, and he was still single and approximately 34 years old when he enlisted on the 12 January 1917.  He was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 160 lbs, and he had light brown hair and grey eyes.  He was to serve from 12 January - 11 June 1917 (99 days service is stated on his record and is incorrect since someone entered his enlistment date incorrectly as 5 March 1917) in New Zealand and from the 12 June 1917 to the 11 March 1919 (1 year 273 days) overseas in western Europe. 

James Palmer embarked from Wellington aboard Maunganui with reinforcements for H Company on the 12 June 1917 and was to disembark in Devonport, Plymouth on 16 August 1917. He went initially to Tidworth Camp, Salisbury Plain but it was from the big New Zealand Camp at Brocton, Staffordshire that he set out for France on the 18 October. He went to NZ Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD, Etaples, France on the 20 October, was sent to the N Z Division on the 24 October and then posted to C Company, 3rd Battalion, 3 New Zealand Rifle Brigade on the 25 October. He remained with them until he fell ill on the 2 April 1918.


2nd New Zealand Field Ambulance took him to No 29 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) and he was transferred via the hospital at Etaples to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst. He was suffering from pyrexia,  which on Palmer's records is simply referred to as 'trench fever'. He was there from the 12 April until the 15 May 1918, and he was then transferred to the NZ Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch.  Records become sketchy at this point but he stayed there until for some time, possibly until he was eventually sent to NZ Command Depot, Codford on the 5 August 1918; another record says he went to Codford on the 20 July 1918.  Codford posted him to the Reserve Battalion, Brocton Camp on the 14 September and he appears to have remained there.  He was AWL from the camp from the 11 - 21 January, for which he was fined 10 days' pay, and went from it on the 8 February 1919 to Sling Camp.  He was discharged in the UK on the 11 March 1919.

41014 Rifleman Robert James Pullin of Glenarm was born on the 30th June 1885  and was the son of William Blackwood Pullin, a watchmaker and jeweller.  His mother was Mary Hume Pullin, nee Houston. She had married William on the 14th September 1876 and was to bear him three boys and two girls.  He emigrated to New Zealand in 1905 and sought to build himself a life there.

He was working as a ‘bridge carpenter’ in New Zealand before he underwent a religious conversion on the 7th December 1913.  Soon afterwards he joined the Salvation Army and had risen to the rank of Captain by the time he was enlisting for the duration of the war in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on the 26th October 1916.  He was posted to the Otago Regiment, and after what must have been the most basic of training, was on his way to France on the 21st June 1917.  He was at that time a member of ‘D’ Company, Number 13 Platoon of the 23rd New Zealand Reinforcements, and he left New Zealand on His Majesty’s New Zealand Transport Number 79.

184 lbs in weight and 5’ 9” in height,  the impressive-looking Pullin was drafted, according to fragments of his surviving diary, into No. 3 Platoon of ‘D’ Company, New Zealand Entrenching Battalion as soon as he arrived at Otago Camp in Belgium – the entry is dated 24th February 1918.  The next day he records that he ‘did half an hour’s fatigue repairing bombproof revetting around huts  and later that he was on duty ‘cable laying up to the front line. One man was wounded by shelling during the latter operation.  Next day his unit was at their ‘working point before dusk and he noted, machine guns busy.  They were again cable laying around Zonnebeke.  Shells were landing round the roadways where [we were] working but none were close to us.  He returned to the area the next day and recorded, Quiet where working.  The unit was next day diverted to road … construction Sans Souci Road and it led to him noting, one man not returned from work.  He was still missing the next day.  On the 4th March the team was carrying shingle and cement for pillbox Jackdaw and work continued as ‘Fritz’s guns [were] firing on the ridge in front of work’. The following day ‘Fritz’ was on target and three shells fell where we were working’.  One was a dud and, by the grace of God, it was the one that fell among a number of the men.  ‘No casualties’, Pullin records, and they returned to the work, this despite artillery being active on both sides.  Similar work went on around Zonnebeke Gully amid ever increasing artillery fire from both sides and a German attack on our sector’ on the 8th March 1918.  However, the changes that would take Pullin away from Belgium were underway by this stage.

On the 6th March Pullin had recorded that the unit had received orders for '85 men to proceed to training camp on Thursday to reinforce New Zealand Rifle Brigade’.  He was not one of the men chosen and records on the 7th March that new men were drafted to different Platoons’ and that reinforcement draft left here [Otago Camp] to join unit’.  Shortly afterward Pullin moved to ‘A’ Company of the 4th Battalion of the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

On 21 March 1918 at 4.20am the Germans opened the Kaiserschlacht (‘Kaiser’s battle’, better known in Britain as the Spring Offensive). Over the next six days the Germans would advance 40 miles, an extraordinary distance when success was generally measured only in yards.

Since it was no secret that Russia had surrendered in 1917 and that the Germans would move troops to France, a general scheme of defence had been prepared in anticipation of an attack.  First and Second Army commanders had created from troops under their control a special force of reserve divisions that could be sent to crisis zones as required.  The New Zealand Division, then part of Second Army and in reserve around Ypres, was part of this force.  Pullin’s diary of the 10th March 1918 says that his unit was inspected by Colonel Stewart.  General Fulton was away on leave when the unit moved to the Somme and the same Lieutenant Colonel A E Stewart of the New Zealand Entrenching Group assumed command of the Brigade on the 22nd March.  It entrained on the 24th and 25th March for the Somme, the area of the Third Army, at Houpoutre Siding near Poperinge, Belgium.   The troops were soon there but they had problems.  Owing to bombing of the railway around Amiens, the 4th Battalion was able by 12.00 o’clock to get no further than Hangest, twelve miles to the west.  They marched through Amiens and bivouacked on the Albert Road until 8.00 a.m. on the 26th and were then transported to Hedauville by lorry.  They were soon in action.

As Harper puts it:at a time when well-trained, high quality soldiers were desperately needed, the New Zealand Division, widely acclaimed as one of the best Allied divisions in France, was thrown into the thick of the action in the most dangerous sector of the line. There between Hébuterne and Beaumont-Hamel, they brought the German advance to a standstill.’  The History of the New Zealand only records that during this period: 'the situation could only materially be improved by an operation which would effect greater depth in our defences east of Hebuterne and give us at least the high western edge of the wood.  Active measures were accordingly undertaken with a view to achieving these objects, and the next 6 weeks [including 3rd May] were to see the application of an unrelaxed pressure on the enemy, which, though overshadowed by the great battles of the autumn, yet exemplified in a striking manner the principles of an aggressive defence and the fine fighting qualities of the New Zealand soldier.'

Sadly, the death in action of 41014 Rifleman Robert James Pullin was reported on the 3rd May 1918 as the above events unfolded.  He died there on the Somme while serving in the old La Signy Sector to the east of Colincamps.  That month his unit lost 3 Officers and 55 Other Ranks killed, 11 Officers and 203 Other Ranks wounded, and 6 Other Ranks missing.  

Robert James Pullin’s obituary appeared in ‘The Otago Witness’ on the 12th June 1918.  There he is describes as a hearty Irishman’ and as a man who radiated good humour wherever he went’.  Colleagues in the Salvation Army recorded that he ‘was a popular and earnest man devoted to his duty’.  Captain M Elford of the Salvation Army recalled a letter from Pullin to the Corps Sergeant Major in which he told of his joy in carrying on God’s work on the battlefield, presumably among his fellow soldiers, and of how he had a sense of God protecting him in the midst of danger. It was by such dedication to his work that he had also earned the respect … of the citizens of Port Chalmers’.

‘Robbie’ seems to have made a trip back to Ireland just prior to his death.  A Mr J. J. Toomer, back in New Zealand and writing of Pullin at the time of his death, said he had sometime previously received a letter from his own son Leslie.  The soldier said, ‘I have just had a talk to Bob Pullin.  He looks splendid in body and is well in his soul.  He is just off to Ireland to see his people.  He has waited a long time for this and is in high spirits.’  

Robert Pullin is interred in Sailly-au-Bois Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.  Sailly-au-Bois is a village between Arras and Amiens.

44106 Private Christopher Redmond, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, was a farmhand employed by Mr Henry Patterson, Prebbleton, Canterbury and his mother, as stated on enlistment papers, was Mrs Jane Redmond, 60 Mackworth Street, Woolston, Christchurch.  He was, however, the son of John and Jane Redmond of Aughafatten, Broughshane.


The 1901 census records John, a 35 year old farmer, his wife Jane (33) and eight children; Hannah was (14), Christopher (11), Charles (9), John (7), James (4), William George (2) and twins, Mary Jane and Samuel (infants). In 1911 they were still in Aughafatten. John (46) and Jane (44) record  eight children - Charles (19), John (17), James (14), William George (12), Mary Jane and Samuel (10), Robert (8), Barbara (6) and Thomas (2).  Christopher had just gone to New Zealand for, as he stated in attestation papers, he had been in NZ for six years in 1916. The parents had had twelve children, eleven of whom were alive in 1911. They had probably all moved to New Zealand.  Christopher stated that his parents had been at the time of his attestation in New Zealand for two years, roughly 1914.


Christopher Redmond was born on the 5 January 1890 and was 26 years and 10 months old when he attested.  He was short, a mere 5 feet 3 ½ inches, and weighed 128 lbs.  He had blue eyes and brown hair. His records say he was a Presbyterian, though census returns show the family were Anglicans.  He gave his address as Prebbleton, Christchurch, and it was at Christchurch that he died on 17 September 1965, as notified to the army by Mr P J Redmond, Kimberley, NZ.


His service began on 5 January 1917 and he trained in NZ until the 2 April that year.  That day he embarked from Wellington en route, via Capetown, South Africa, for Devonport, Plymouth, a destination he reached on 10 June 1917. Corinthic, in conjunction with Ruapehu,  sailed on 2nd April 1917 with a combined total of 2,094 troops aboard under command of Captain H.E. Burrell. Christopher Redmond was thereafter to serve in the western European theatre until 20 August 1919, a total of 2 years and 141 days out of a military career of 2 years and 156 days.  He was part of C Company, 23rd Reinforcements for the Canterbury Regiment and he was posted to the 4th Training Battalion Canterbury Regiment on his arrival at Sling Camp.  He arrived at the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples on the 9 July 1917 and transferred to 13th Company, 3rd Battalion Canterbury Regiment on the 27th of that month.  He was with them until detached for market gardening duties on the 11 January 1918, not returning to his unit until 8 February.  He was taken ill with trench fever and No 10 CCS sent him to No 7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne on the 11 April. He was moved to No 10 Convalescent Depot, Ecault on the 13 April and then to the Convalescent Depot at Etaples.  They sent him HQ NZ Entrenching Group on the 11 May and he was attached to No 2 Entrenching Battalion from the 17 - 30 June 1918.  He rejoined the 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment on the 28 August and stayed with them until granted leave in the UK on 12 September.  He came back to the unit on 1 October and remained with them until he was marched out to Sutton Coldfield, England on the 24 February 1919.  He was at Sling Camp on the 27 April and then went to Liverpool for return to New Zealand on Somerset. He was discharged from the army in New Zealand on the 17 September 1919.


23/2078 Private John Ritchie, 2nd Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment, was a labourer working for Mr W A Amner, and he lived at 9 Station Road, Napier. He was also the son of John and Hannah J. Ritchie, of Carncoagh, Rathkenny, Co. Antrim, Ireland. He listed his eldest brother Thomas Ritchie, Rathkenny as his next of kin.


John Ritchie, born June 1872,  was 43 years and 5 months old when he enlisted in November 1915.  He was 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 150 lbs.  He had grey eyes and brown hair.  His attestation paper says, almost certainly mistakenly, that he was a Roman Catholic; the family were Presbyterian.


He was assigned to E Company in the 10th Reinforcements on enlistment on 19 November 1915 (some records say 4th Reinforcements 1st Battalion, E Company) and left New Zealand on the 5 March 1916 with them.  He disembarked at Suez on the 10 April and travelled onwards aboard Kinfauns Castle to western Europe after the 13 April.  He was at the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, France on the 28 April and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Wellington Infantry Regiment on the 26 May.  He was killed in action while serving with them on the 15 September 1916. 


The 15 - 22 September 1916  actions were part of the Battle of The Somme (Flers, Courcelette, France). This was the New Zealanders first major engagement on the Western Front. They went over the top at 6.30 in the morning  and by the day's end they had taken the village of Flers. It cost some 1200 casualties, 600 of them dead and Ritchie amongst them.


Private John Ritchie  is commemorated on the Caterpillar Valley Memorial, Somme and in Clough Cemetery and Cloughwater Presbyterian Church. The Public Trustee requested 'any undrawn field pay'and 'the Active Service Gratuity' go to his Ritchie family: Thomas, Robert H, Samuel J, William R, Margaret J, Sarah R, Annie, Harriet, Martha, and Hannah M. Thomas, the eldest, got his medals.


55623 Private William Robinson was a butcher working for A C Street, Methven (near Christchurch, South Island) when he enlisted on the 28 May 1917. He was also the son of Mr John Robinson, Tamybuck (Tainey Beck sic), Co Antrim and a nephew of Mr James Robinson, Methven. William was born 17 August 1894  and was 22 years and 9 months old when he enlisted.  He was 5 feet 4 ½ inches tall and weighed 132 lbs.  He had blue eyes and light brown hair, and he was a Presbyterian.


The 1901 census return shows John Robinson, 30 and a shoemaker, living with his wife Lizzie (28) and their children: William (6), Joseph (5), Laurance sic (4), Thomas (3) and Matthew (1).  The 1911 return shows John (45), Lizzie (39), William (16), Joseph (15), Thomas (13), Matthew (11), Samuel J (14), Robert (9), Abram (8), Maggie (6), Susan (3) and Arthur (1).  Mrs Robinson confirms she had eleven children and all were alive in 1911.


He enlisted into the New Zealand Rifle Brigade and became part of G Company, 29th Reinforcements. He trained at Featherston Camp until he went overseas aboard HMNZT Ruahine on 15 August 1917.  He was bound for Glasgow by way of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He took ill during the passage and was admitted to the ship's hospital on the 16 September; he spent the last sixteen days of the voyage there.  The ship reached Glasgow on the 2 October and he was transferred to No 3 Scottish General Hospital, Glasgow, and he was not transferred to No 2 New Zealand General Hospital, Walton on Thames until 1 December 1917. He was classified as unfit for military service and placed on the New Zealand Roll, a list of men to be returned to New Zealand, on the 11 December.  He left Avonmouth aboard Maheno on the 24 December and was discharged from the army on 3 February 1918.


Robinson had been suffering from pleurisy 'with effusions'. A letter of the 15 December 1959 records his attempt to claim a war veteran's allowance on the basis that he had suffered 'arduous and dangerous'military service with 1st NZRB.  He said he had acted as a 'submarine sniper' on the Ruahine voyage to Halifax, Nova Scotia and as a result of exposure had become ill. He had supporting material from two other men on the trip to support his claims. Other men could not remember such duties and records for the ship did not show any harassment by submarines. Records do not show if he was successful.

62712 Private Arthur Skillen, 31st Reinforcements and 8 Company, 2 Otago Regiment,  lived at 107, Sheehan Street, Gisborne with his wife, Mrs Sarah Jane Power Skillen  and their one year old son Arthur Samuel Skillen, born 5 June 1917. At enlistment in 1917 he said he had been in New Zealand for about one year and that he was employed in brick making by Gisborne Brick & Pipe Company.

Arthur Skillen was born near Kilkeel, Co Down.  His parents were Hugh Skillen and Susan Cousins, and the couple had married in Mourne Presbyterian Church on the 12 October 1880.  Hugh said he was a carpenter from Ballyveagh, Kilkeel and Susan was from Brackenagh, Kilkeel. The marriage didn’t last long.  Hugh died in Kilkeel aged just 27 on the 4 May 1884, and Susan was left to bring up their young son Arthur, born 29 August 1883.

The 1901 census records Susan, aged 38, as a widow and shopkeeper, and Arthur, then 17, was listed as a stonecutter, presumably working in the granite quarries of the Mourne Area.  Susan does not appear in the 1911 Irish census because she had remarried on the 18 November 1903, her new husband being James McAfee, a stonecutter, from Brackenagh Upper; Susan said she was from Brackenagh Lower, and her father Robert Cousins, also at her first wedding, was present. Arthur wasn’t listed either and may already have left Co Down.

Arthur is listed on the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour 1914-1919 for Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. We know from records that he was married by the Rev. Gilmour in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church on 27 October 1915, his bride Miss Sara J P Wallace, a schoolteacher and 25-year-old daughter of Mr Samuel Wallace, Galgorm Parks, Ballymena.

Arthur Skillen trained in New Zealand from the 29 April 1917 to 21 November 1917 and next day went overseas aboard Willochra from Wellington. He landed in Liverpool on the 7 January 1918 and was marched into Sling Camp to complete his training. He went to France on the 20 March and was serving with the 2nd Entrenching Battalion after the 25 April.  He was wounded on the 8 May 1918, receiving a slight scalp wound caused by a piece of shrapnel, and was treated for his injury by New Zealand Field Ambulance for two days.  He was discharged and was posted to the 2nd Otago Infantry Battalion on the 8 June.  He was gassed by mustard gas from a shell on the 18 August, and again it wasn’t too serious an injury.   He was taken to the 12th General Hospital (US) but was at No. 2 Convalescent Depot on the 23 August, No 11 Convalescent Depot on the 25th August.  He was discharged to New Zealand  Base Depot on the 9 October 1918 and then posted to 10 Company, 1st Otago Infantry Regiment on the 30th October.

Skillen was returned to England after the 25 January 1919 and returned to NZ aboard Waimana.  He arrived in New Zealand  on the 1 July 1919 and was discharged from the army on the 21 July. 

Arthur Skillen died in New Zealand on the 19 August 1970.
55633 Rifleman John Robinson Smyth, 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was working for W T P Lock, Methven, Canterbury, and his uncle and executor was Mr James Robertson, also of Methven. He was, however, the son of James and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Smyth, Tamybuck, (Tamneybrack sic), Aughafatten, Broughshane.


John Smyth was born on 29 November 1892 and was 24 years and 6 months old when he enlisted.  He was single, 5 feet 3 ½ inches tall, and he weighed 127 lbs. He had grey eyes and brown hair.  He was a Presbyterian. He had emigrated to New Zealand in about 1911 and was working as a farm labourer.


Smyth served in the army for 197 days. He was training in New Zealand from 9 May 1917 until 14 August.  He sailed aboard Ruahine from Wellington on the 15 August and was to reach his destination, Glasgow, on the 2 October.  He was then part of G Company, Reinforcements, New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  He arrived at Brocton Camp, Staffordshire thereafter and was posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion to complete his training.  He left Brocton Camp for France on the 23 October and was attached to the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot at Etaples, not joining his unit, now 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, until the 2 November.  He was killed in action while serving with them near Ypres on the 7 December 1917. An early annotation on his records says, Buried at Ypres close to Crucifix Dump in a military cemetery. A cross marks grave'. He is now buried in Polygon Wood Cemetery, Zonnebeke, Belgium.


59551 Lance Corporal Thomas Johnston Smyth, MM, 14th Company, 2nd Battalion Otago Regiment, gave his address as Box 10, Takapau and said he was a carrier by trade and worked for a Mr Thomson, Takapau (about half way between Dannevirke and Hastings, North Island). He was also the son of John and Annie Smyth, Spruce Bank, Portglenone, Co Antrim.  


Thomas Johnston Smyth was single,  5 feet 9 inches tall and he weighed 164 lbs.  He had blue eyes and fair hair, and he was an Anglican. He was born on the 7 June 1891, in Tamlaght O'Crilly, Co Londonderry, and was 26 years old when he enlisted in June 1917; he said he had been in New Zealand about six years. He served in the army for a total of 1 year and 279 days, 1 year and 156 days of that time in western Europe, both in France & Belgium and as part of the army that occupied part of Germany after the Armistice. (Occupation details were worked out by Foch and the British were allocated Cologne and surrounding area. British troops crossed into Germany on 2 December 1918. The occupation was originally intended to last for 15 years, but the British left Cologne in January 1926; some troops stayed on in Wiesbaden until 30th June 1930.)


He left Wellington on the 13 November 1917 aboard HMNZT Corinthic , which departed New Zealand with, among others, part of the 30th Reinforcements, New Zealand Expeditionary Force; Smyth was then in D Company, 30th Reinforcements.  The ship arrived safely at Liverpool on the 8 December and Smyth went to Sling Camp and the 4th Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment. There he completed his training and qualified as a Signaller, 1st Class.  He set out for France on the 6 June 1918 and was at New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot at Etaples on the 9 June. He was allocated to N0 2 Entrenching Battalion on the 11 June and went to 14 Company, 2nd Otago Infantry Regiment on the 29 June.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 17 September and won the Military Medal for gallantry on the 15 November 1918.  He got leave in the UK on the 14 January 1919 and was discharged from the army in the UK on 17 March 1919.


His brother was 41205 Private John Smyth,  9th Royal Irish Fusiliers (formerly 1435 North Irish Horse), who died of wounds on the 1 December 1917. He is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.


41037 Private John Speers, 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment, was a farmer/granger living in Riverton, New Zealand and he was employed by Mr J Flack. He was the son of John Speers of Rathkenny, Co Antrim.  


The 1901 census records John Speers, a 43 years old farmer, his wife Elizabeth (43) and their children Isabella (12), Jennie E (10), John (8), James S (6), Annie (3) and Martha (1) living in Rathkenny. The 1911 return shows them again: John (53) and Elizabeth (53) are living with all seven of their children. Isabella Strachan is 22 and a dairymaid, Jennie Elizabeth is 20 and a creamery clerk, John is 18 and a farm hand, James Sloan is 16 and a farm hand, Annie is 12, Martha is 10 and the new member of the group is Robert, aged 8.


John was born on 10 June 1893 and was a single man of about 23 years when he enlisted on the 14 November 1916. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 168 lbs.  He had blue eyes and dark coloured hair. He is said to be a Presbyterian on his attestation paper, and the family described themselves as such in 1901. The family were, however, Baptists in 1911.


John Speers served a total of 3 years and 60 days in the army, 94 days in New Zealand and the remaining 2 years and 331 days overseas.  He left Wellington aboard HMNZT Aparima on the 16 February 1917 and reached Devonport, Plymouth on the 2 May.  He went to the 4th Battalion, Otago Training Regiment at Sling Camp and left there for France on the 6 June.  He was posted from the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, to 8th Company, 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment on the 25 June. 


He received a gunshot wound to his wrist while serving with them on 12 October 1917.  No 1 New Zealand Field Ambulance took him the No 12 Casualty Clearing Station and they sent him onwards to No 11 General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers on the 13 October.  He was released to No 6 Convalescent Depot, Etaples on the 15 October and went from there to No 5 Convalescent Camp, Cayeux on the 20 October.   He went to New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, France on the 12 November, was attached to the New Zealand Division on the 27 December and rejoined the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment in the field on 29 December 1917.


He was wounded in action again on the 10 January 1918, this time receiving shrapnel wounds to his lower left side.  His left thigh took much of the impact but he also had compound fractures of both legs. No 3 NZFA took him to No 10 CCS and from there he went to hospital.  He was at the No 4 General Hospital in Etaples on the 19 February and he was sent to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst on the 23 February.  They transferred him to No 2  New Zealand General Hospital, Walton on Thames on the 2 April.    He was still there on the 6 October and was not discharged to leave until the 31 January 1919. He reported to No 2  New Zealand General Hospital, Walton on Thames on 14 March 1919 and the notes refer to the amputation of his left leg and the provision of an artificial limb. He was discharged to New Zealand HQ on the 21 June, and he was then granted extended leave from 22 August - 22 September pending his discharge from the army in the UK on the 12 January 1920. He seems to have gone to Ireland and a note in his file reads, John Speers, 5 Finsbury Street, Cregagh Road, Belfast, though he had moved from there by the time the army was trying to forward his medals.


64163 Trooper John Ross Elliott Strahan, Wellington Mounted Regiment, was a farmer employed by his father, Mr Ross Strahan, on a farm at Ridge Road, Apiti (near Fielding). The family were from Ireland.  Mr Ross Strahan (40) , according to the 1901 census return, lived in Dunbought, Clough with his wife Hannah (36).  Their recorded offspring at that time were Margaret J (15), Samuel J (11), Thomas Alexander (7), John Ross (5) and Evangeline (infant). John Ross Elliott Strahan was born on the 29 January 1896 and, like the rest of the family, he was raised as a Presbyterian. He enlisted in  March 1917 and was to serve  a total of 2 years and 49 days in the army, 1 year and 303 days of it overseas with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.  


He left Wellington aboard Tofua, part of B Company, 32nd Reinforcements, and disembarked in Suez on the 21 December 1917.  He went to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Training Units and Depot and was posted to the Imperial Camel Corps for training on the 5 January 1918. He was moved from the ICC Reserve Depot to the ICC at Abbassia on the 26 June and then transferred to the Wellington Mounted Rifles on the 31 July 1918.  He appears, apart from periods of illness and two days training, to have remained with them.


He took malaria and was sent to No 27 General Hospital on the 10 October 1918 and went from there to the Aotea Convalescent Home, Heliopolis on the 30 October.  He was posted to Cairo on the 1 December and then to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade on the 23 December.  They sent him for training and he returned to the Wellington Mounted Rifles from New Zealand Engineers Field Troop on the 1 January 1919.  He was with them until detached to the Desert Mounted Corps Rest Camp at Port Said on the 3 March for a period of seven days. He rejoined his unit and was with them until marched out to Suez. There he embarked on HS Ellenga on 23 July 1919 and eventually returned to New Zealand.  He was discharged from the army on the 9 October 1919 and continued to live there until he died at Fielding on the 14 May 1977.


John Ross Elliott Strahan's brother ,Thomas Alexander Strahan, also served with New Zealand forces in WW1 - see below.

10399 Robert Strahan served in the 12th Reinforcements for just 99 days and was then discharged medically unfit as he suffered from epilepsy. He had previously been rejected by the army in December 1915 at Otorohanga, near Hamilton, North Island on medical grounds but attempted to re-enlist in 1917, possibly for service at home in New Zealand.

Robert Strahan said he was born on the 12 March 1892 in Ireland and that he was a single man and a farmer, and that he had been in New Zealand for seven years.  He was a Presbyterian and is named on a memorial roll of Cloughwater Presbyterian Church, his address given as Dunbought. This townland is contiguous with Killygore, the townland named in the 1901 census. He was at least 5’ 10” in height, and was said to have blue eyes and light brown hair.  He said his parents were Thomas and Selina and that they had been in New Zealand for six years.

Thomas and Selina appear in the 1901 Irish census.  Thomas, an 86-year-old farmer at Killygore, was the head of the household, and Thomas (35) and Selina (30 - ‘Selina’ is incorrectly rendered as 'Lebina’ on the scan of the census, but the name is clear on the original sheet.) lived on the farm with their children. Robert (10), May (9), Ellenor (7 sic), Thomas Edwin (6), Jack (3), Hester M (1) are listed, as are two farm servants.

He was the brother of 13/2925 Thomas Edwin (sometimes Edward) Strahan. Thomas rendered his mother's name 'Lena'.

25962 Lance Corporal Thomas Alexander Strahan,  7th Company, 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, said he was self employed on his own farm at Apiti, near Fielding. The family were from Ireland.  Mr Ross Strahan (40) , according to the 1901 census return, lived in Dunbought, Clough with his wife Hannah (36).  Their recorded offspring at that time were Margaret J (15), Samuel J (11), Thomas Alexander (7), John Ross (5) and Evangeline (infant). 


Thomas was born was on 12 September 1894 and was 22 years and 8 months old when he enlisted in May 1916. He was 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 154 lbs.  He had dark grey eyes and dark brown hair, and he was a Presbyterian.  He had previously served in D Company, 7th Regiment, a militia force, and had been registered for compulsory military service (Area 23). He asked to go to 17th Reinforcements, a request that was granted.  He was, however, to serve in New Zealand for 247 days before embarking for service in western Europe, the long period and his transfer to 18th Reinforcements being explained by his being ill with measles at Featherston Camp.


He left Wellington aboard Tofua, with part of the 18th Reinforcements, on the 11October 1916 and arrived in Devonport. Plymouth on the 28/29th December, and he was posted to the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Wellington Infantry Regiment.  He went to France with them on the 1 February 1917, arrived at Etaples on the 3 February and was posted to the 1st Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment on the 1 March.


He was wounded in action, slightly affected by a gas shell, on the 24 June 1917 and 3rd New Zealand Field Ambulance took him to 2nd Australian CCS; they moved him to No 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne on the 25 June.  He moved to No7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne on the 30 June and then to No 12 Convalescent Depot on the 4 July. He was released to New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, France on the 28 July and rejoined his unit on the 29 August 1917.


He was detached to the 3rd Canadian Tunnelling Company from the 15 December 1917 to 18 January 1918 and got leave in the UK from the 20 January until the 1 February. He was detached to a musketry school from 18 February to the 27 May 1918, and he was thereafter sick with influenza from 1 July 1918. No 3 CCS sent him to No 9 (USA) General Hospital, Rouen on the 3 July and they transferred him to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen the next day.  He transferred to No 11 Convalescent Depot, Buchy on the 10 July and he was not back at the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot, Etaples, France until the 14 August.


Thomas Strahan was posted to the 1st New Zealand Entrenching Battalion on the 25 August and rejoined 7th Company, 1st Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment on the 31 August. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 7 September.


His stay with the 1st Battalion ended when he was caught in a shell blast on the 30 September.  Shell shrapnel caused severe wounds to his left side.  He was taken by 15th New Zealand Field Ambulance to No 56 CCS and he was moved to No 18 General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers on the 2 October. Once he was off the SI (seriously ill) List and well enough to be moved they sent him to the UK and the 4th London General Hospital.  He moved from there to No 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton on Thames on the 28 January 1919, and he left hospital in March 1919.


He won the Military Medal for gallantry on the 30 September 1918 but was to bear the scars of his injury received that day for life.  He lost his left eye and a medical report talks of a 'FB (Foreign Body) in outer and upper part of left orbit (eye socket)' and elsewhere of 'FB palpable in floor of mouth'.  Another 'FB' was 'present in the left knee joint'.  It isn't clear if these were, or could be, removed. One report refers to 'Eight incisions ... in the left thigh and round left knee' and comments 'healed, except one on the outer side of thigh bone and one on outer side of knee. Left patella (knee cap) moveable'. There was also some damage to his left ankle. Of the hand wound doctors said, 'fracture to 3rd left metacarpal bone' and 'movement of left hand fairly good'. He suffered with abscesses and fever at the commencement of treatment. 


He had embarked for New Zealand aboard Maheno on the 12 March 1919 and arrived in New Zealand in April.  He wasn't discharged from the army until the 14 August 1919.

13/2925 Gunner Thomas Edwin Strahan, (often Thomas Edward on military papers but not on record of death)  3rd Brigade, New Zealand Field Artillery was the son of Thomas and Lena Strahan.  The 1901 census return records Thomas Strahan , 86 and a farmer, living with Thomas (35), his wife Lebina (30), Robert (10), May (9), Ellenor (7), Thomas Edwin (6), Jack (3) and Hester M (1). They had two servants, John Money (19 & RC) and Mary McCaw (30 & Presbyterian.)


Thomas Edwin Strahan was born on the 23 October 1895 into a Presbyterian farming family from Killygore, Co Antrim. He was 20 years and 3 months old when he enlisted and he was then a farmer on his father's farm in Otorohanga, King's County, North Island, NZ. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 175 lbs, and he had blue eyes and fair hair. He was to serve a total of 3 years and 245 days in the army, 3 years and 141 days of them overseas.


Strahan was in New Zealand from the 19 October 1915, when he was posted to A Squadron, 9th Reinforcements, Auckland Mounted Rifles, until he went overseas aboard Maunganui to Suez on the 8 January 1916.  He disembarked in Egypt on the 12 February 1916 and on 23 February he transferred to 14th Battery, 3rd New Zealand Field Artillery. He left Alexandria for England on the 7 April. There is no record of when he went to France but he was posted to the 12th Battery, 3rd New Zealand Field Artillery on the 22 January 1917 and he stayed with them until granter UK leave from 1 - 16 August 1917.


He was wounded in action on the 4 September 1917 and 42nd Field Ambulance took him to 2nd Australian CCS.  He went from there to No 18 General Hospital at Dannes-Camiers and was suffering from gunshot wounds to his right leg. He was transferred to the UK aboard HS Ville de Liege on the 12 September and admitted to No 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton-on-Thames the next day.  They sent him to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst on the 17 September and he remained there until sent to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch on the 19 October. He was discharged to the New Zealand Field Artillery Depot at Aldershot on the 23 November 1917.  He was there for some time, going AWL from the 5-9 January 1918 and earning 96 hours detention and a fine.


He was posted to France on the 1 March 1918 and arrived at the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples, France on the 3 March. He quickly went, via 22 Corps Reserve and the NZ Division, to 12th Battery, 3rd Brigade on the 26 March. He remained with them until taken ill with influenza on 3 November.  He went to 4th General Hospital on the 8 November and to the 6th Convalescent Depot on the 16 November. He was discharged to Base Depot on the 18 November but hadn't fully recovered as he was ill again on the 12 December and had to be transferred to the UK from No 6 General Hospital. He was in Endell Street Military Hospital for a time and then transferred to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch on the 16 January 1919.


He was eventually returned to New Zealand on Rimutaka and was in New Zealand from 29 May until his discharge from the army on the 25 June 1919.  He continued to live in the Otorohanga area and died there on the 12 December 1961.  Mrs M Strahan, No 3 RD, Otorohanga informed the army of his passing and used his name as given in the 1901 census, i.e. Thomas Edwin Strahan.

47649 Private James Telford, 11 Company, 3rd Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment, was a driver for Mr T Parker and he lived at 77 Owen Street, Newtown, Wellington.  His brother was Mr W Telford, Rua Street, Lyall Bay, Wellington. James and his brother were the children of William John and Martha Telford.


The 1901 census return shows William John Telford, 44 and a farmer,  and his wife Martha Telford (45) living with their family in Ballylummin, Ahoghill, Ballymena. Mary (22), David (20), Samuel (16), Lizzie (14), Hannah (12) James (11), Annie (9) and Tillie (7) shared their house, as did retired farmer William Telford (76).  The 1911 census return shows William John Telford, 55 and a farmer,  and his wife Martha Telford (56) now living with their family in Ballygarvey, Kirkinriola, Ballymena; this was the address James gave on enlistment. Mary (30), Jane (25), David (22), Lizzie (21) Hannah (20) James (18), Annie (17) and Tillie (15) shared their house, as did retired farmer William Telford (93). The two returns do not show all the family. The 1911 return says the Telford's had twelve children, all of whom survived; James' brother, initial W, living in Wellington does not appear on either document. The family were Brethren.


James Telford was born on 14 September 1891 and was 25 years and 5 months old when he enlisted in 1917.  He was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, weighed 165 lbs and he was said to have blue-grey eyes and brown hair. He said he had been in NZ for about 3 ½ years in 1917, and the first address he gave was Tahi Street, Miramar, Wellington.  Later papers give the Owen Street address.


James was to serve 129 days in New Zealand and then went overseas, serving a total of 1 year and 37 days in western Europe; his total service was 1 year and 166 days. He began his service on the 28 February 1917 and he remained in NZ until 8 June 1917. He boarded HMNZT Willochra on the 9 June and sailed to Devonport, Plymouth, part of B Company, 26th Reinforcements.  He landed in England on the 16 August and went to Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain.  There he transferred to 4th Reserve Battalion Wellington Regiment, 1st Wellington Company and went to France with them on 27 September.  He was posted to 11 Company, 3 Battalion Wellington Regiment on the 8 October 1917.


James served with his regiment until he went sick on the 4 January 1918.  No 2 NZ Field Ambulance took him to No 63 CCS and they sent him on the 10 January to No 3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne. They transferred him to HS Jan Breydel and he was admitted to Tooting Military Hospital, London on the 13 January.  He stayed there until his transfer to Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital on the 5 February.  He was returned to hospital on the 19 February, this time to No 2 New Zealand General Hospital.


Telford had a severe illness, acute nephritis, inflammation of the kidneys. In its acute form, which he had, it is potentially fatal, and his medical records show he had many of its symptoms. He complained on back pain, headaches, swelling of the face, hands and ankles and general weakness.  Doctors recorded that it first appeared during service around Ypres (Ieper) and stated that it was caused by 'exposure and wet' and elsewhere said that it was 'attributable to service during the present war, viz. exposure'. He was designated unfit for further service.  


He left Plymouth on the 3 April 1918 aboard Mokoia on the 30 May and returned to New Zealand on the 15 July 1918.  He was discharged from the army on 12 August 1918.

63788 Private Alexander Thompson, 12th Company, 1st Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment, was born on the 9 October 1878 and died on the 13 May 1955 in Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand. He was the son of Alexander Thompson and his wife Margaret, Rathkenny, Co Antrim.


Alexander, a 60 year old Presbyterian farmer, and his wife Margaret (50) listed five children on the 1901 census return: William (28), Sandy (23), Martha (18), Hugh (14) and Ruth (12).  In 1911 Alexander was a 72 year old widower and William (40), Martha (29) and Hugh (24) lived with him.  He said he and his wife had had 12 children, 11 of whom were still alive.


Alexander Thompson was a labourer and worked for W Books Public Works, Motu, Gisborne.  He was still in the same area in 1922 but gave his address as c/o Mr A J Curtis, PO Watawai, Gisborne. He was 38 years and 9 months old when he enlisted in July 1917 and had been in New Zealand for about 12 years.  He was single, stood 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall and he weighed 131 lbs.  He had grey eyes and black hair. He was to serve in the army for 1 year and 150 days, of which 1 year and 29 were spent on overseas service in western Europe. 


He left Wellington as part of C Company, 32nd  Reinforcements on the 21 November 1917 and arrived in Liverpool on the 8 January 1918. He was posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment but was transferred to 3rd Reserve Battalion of the regiment on the 5 April.  He went overseas to France on the 14/15 April and was attached to the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples on the 17 April.  They posted him to the 1st New Zealand Entrenching Battalion on the 19 April but he transferred to 12 Company, 1st Canterbury Infantry Regiment on the 26 April.  It was while serving with them that he was wounded in action on the 5 June 1918.


Alexander Thompson had been wounded by a grenade that seems to have exploded close behind him.  It left fragments of metal in both his lower legs and heels. No 1 New Zealand Field Ambulance took him to No 5 Casualty Clearing Station and they sent him onwards to No 6 General Hospital, Rouen.  He went to England and was admitted to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst on the 9 June.  They were able to send him to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch on the 29 July and Hornchurch discharged him to Torquay on the 28 August 1918.  He was deemed to have been fully healed on the 26 June but was obviously having problems for some time thereafter and told doctors he experienced pain under both heels when walking.  They said there were no deep foreign bodies to cause trouble but admitted there were 'small foreign bodies in both heels ... [that were] too minute for removal'.


He was deemed unfit for immediate service and returned to New Zealand on Ulimaroa from Plymouth on the 7 November 1918.  He arrived in New Zealand on the 19 December and was discharged from the army on 16 January 1919.

28239 Corporal William Thompson, 3rd Battalion Wellington Infantry Regiment, was the son of Mr William Thompson, Cloghogue, Gracehill, Ballymena. The 1901 census return shows William, 44, a Presbyterian and a tailor, living in Cloghogue, Gracehill with his wife Mary (42) and his nine children. They were: Lizzie (19), Robert (17), Thomas (15), William (13), Maggie (11), Mary Anne (9), John (7), Samuel (5) and Jeannie (3). In 1911 the family were still living in Cloghogue but William, Now 55, describes himself as a farmer. Mary (53) is recorded with six of her children: Lizzie (27 and a seamstress), Robert (25), Maggie (19 and a tailoress), Mary Anne (9), John (17 and a carpenter), Samuel (15) and Jeannie (13).  Mary said she had had nine children of whom seven were alive in 1911. William was in New Zealand and, by deduction, Thomas and Mary Anne were dead.

William was born on the 29 September 1891 and was 24 years and 9 months old when he enlisted in 1916. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 147 lbs, and he had grey eyes and auburn hair. He was a farm labourer and worked for Ogilvey & Sons, Te Whiti, near Carterton, North Island, NZ.  He gave his address as c/o Mrs Conwell, Brooklyn Road, Carterton.  He said at attestation that his sister was Miss Elizabeth (Lizzie) Thompson, Carterton, New Zealand.


William enlisted on the 26 June 1916 and eventually served 3 years and 39 days in the army, 140 days in New Zealand and the remaining 2 years and 264 days overseas in western Europe. He left NZ aboard HMNZT Willochra on the 16 October 1916 and travelled to Devonport, Plymouth, gained on the 29 December, as part of B Company, 18th Reinforcements. He marched into Sling Camp and was posted to 3rd Reserve Battalion Auckland-Wellington Regiment, 2nd Wellington Company.  He transferred to the 3rd Battalion Wellington Regiment at Codford and went to France with them on 27 May 1917. He served with them, gaining the rank of Lance Corporal on the 5 October, but reported himself sick on the 15 November.  No 3 NZ Field Ambulance sent him to No 10 Casualty Clearing Station and they transferred him to the St John's Ambulance Brigade Hospital, Etaples on the 19 November. He was sent to England aboard HS Brighton on the 22 November and went to Newend Military Hospital, Hampsted, London; this was a former workhouse whose buildings were used as a military hospital after 1915. He underwent surgery there on the 23 November and was transferred to No 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton on Thames on the 30 November.  They considered his wound healed by the 14 December and he was transferred to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch on the 28 December 1917. He was given some leave after leaving Hornchurch but was attached to Codford Depot after  the 10 January 1918. They posted him to Sling Camp on the 18 March.


William Thompson had been diagnosed with cellulitis of the right forearm. Cellulitis is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin and the underlying tissue. The main symptom of cellulitis is the affected area of skin suddenly turning red, painful swollen and hot. One record says Thompson's problem was an abscess and refers to being 'incised under local anaesthetic' and a 'quantity of pus (being) evacuated'


Thompson was sent to an NCO training course at Tidworth Camp after his return to duty. He was then posted overseas on 4 November 1918 and he joined the 2nd Battalion Wellington Regiment from the NZI&GBD, Etaples on the 10 November 1918.  He was promoted to Corporal on the 15 January 1919 and transferred to the UK on the 18 January.  He was marched into Sutton Coldfield Camp on the 24 February and remained there until moved to Sling Camp on the 12 May 1919.  (Sutton Coldfield Park was placed at the disposal of the government in 1914 and the Birmingham city battalions of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment received their training there, and they were followed by other units. New Zealand troops also were sent there prior to their return home at the end of the war.)


William Thompson left London aboard SS Tahiti for return to New Zealand on 27 May 1919 and was home in July. He was discharged from the army on 3 August 1919.


William Thompson's name appears on the WW1 memorial in 1st Ahoghill Presbyterian Church.

56883 Rifleman John Warden,  H Company, 28th Reinforcements, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, died on the 24 September 1917 and is buried in Plymouth (Efford) Cemetery, England.  He was the 33 year old son of Samuel & Sarah Warden (nee McAuley) of Artlone, Randalstown, Co. Antrim and was a self employed farmer. 


The 1901 census return shows Samuel, a farmer aged 46 and his wife Sarah (40) and lists ten of the family: Thomas (19), Minnie (18), John (17), David (16), Elizabeth (15), Agnes (13), Samuel (12), Sarah (10), William (8) and Robert (3). In 1911 return Samuel (60) and Sarah (53) lived with Thomas, 29 and a engine driver in a bitter factory, Mary Jane (27), David (25) Agnes (20), Samuel (19), Robert (18 and a grocer's assistant), Sarah (17), Willie (130, George (10) and Eva Lyla (8).


John Warden was born on 28 September 1883 and was one of 12 surviving children from a Presbyterian family of 13.  He was single, 5 feet 9 ½ inches tall and weighed 164 lbs.  He had blue eyes and fair hair.  He had emigrated to New Zealand in about 1907. He left the address of Messrs Davies & Co, Wanganui as a place where he could be reached in New Zealand and gave the address of a friend, Mr David Henderson, St John's Hill, Wanganui.


Warden was killed in a tragic accident in Devon, England. Reinforcements H Company for the NZ Rifle Brigade had left Wellington on HMNZT 90, Ulimaroa, and had only just arrived in Devonport, Plymouth, England. They left Friary Station, Plymouth at 3pm. Ten privates were killed while on their way to join their comrades at Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain for preliminary training.


At 3.50 pm the train approached Bere Ferrers. The soldiers hadn't eaten since breakfast at 6 am. They had been told the train would stop at Exeter, and that two men from each carriage would carry provisions from the brake-van, actually cups of tea and buns provided by the Mayoress' Comforts Fund. When the train made an unscheduled stop at Bere Ferrers, men in the rear section of the train decided that this must be Exeter, and breaking the rule of two from each carriage, jumped down. Some of them spilled onto the down-line track, just as the Waterloo-to-Plymouth Express rounded the sharp curve on its entry into Bere Ferrers. Although the fireman shouted a warning, and the train driver applied the brakes, the train pulled up about 400m beyond the station. Nine soldiers died instantly and another died the following morning in Tavistock Hospital. The inquest revealed that the men had got out of the train on the wrong side simply because they had assumed the door of entry was the correct door to exit by.

Samuel Warden received his son's memorial plague after the war and on the receipt he wrote, 'I thank you for the remembrance of my dear son.'

29891 Private Walker Welsh, 8 Company, 1st Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment, is listed on the tablet in Wellington Street Presbyterian Church, and the family originally came from Ballee, Ballymena. The 1901 census return records James Carson Welsh, 51 and a farmer, living with his wife Ruth (41) and six of their children: John Wilson (19), Samuel Hugh (17), Harry (16), Matilda Carson (13), Fredrick sic Alexander Hall (9) and Walker (7). They also had two servants; these were William Doyle (50) and Jane Cathcart (25 and from Scotland).  The 1911 return shows little trace of most of the individuals. James Carson Welsh (30) is living with his grandfather, Mr James Alexander Hall (75) and the two servants, William Doyle (55) and Jane Cathcart (37).


Walker Welsh, born 4 November 1893, was a farm labourer and was working in the area around Invercargill, Southlands.  He mentioned working for J Anderson, Wright's Bush on his attestation paper and elsewhere records Wrynts Bush (? illegible) as his last address.  He was living at Seaward Downs, Southland, Invercargill after 1922 and Mrs Jane J Welsh gave their address as 44 Miller Street, Invercargill when he died on the 2 May 1973.  He was a Presbyterian, 22 years and 5  months old when he enlisted on 29 June 1916.  He was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall and weighed 136 lbs, and he had grey eyes and brown hair. He had married Jane Hood on the 18 October 1912 in Invercargill, the Reverend Ryburn presiding, and the couple had one child when he enlisted, a boy born on the 30 May 1915 and named Carson Walker Welsh.


Walker Welsh enlisted on the 26 June 1916 and was posted to D Company, 18th Reinforcements. He was to spend a total of 3 years and 305 days in the army, 2 years and 215 days of that time on overseas service in western Europe. He left Wellington aboard HMNZT Willochra on the 16 October and arrived in Devonport, Plymouth on the 29 December. He became part of the reserves at Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain and went to France from there on the 11 February 1917.  The New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot, Etaples posted him to 8 Company, 1st Otago Infantry Regiment on the 3 June 1917.  He was mistakenly reported missing on the 7 June but it was then discovered he was wounded.  He was dealt with by No 77 Field Ambulance and No 1 New Zealand Field Ambulance and returned to his unit on the 21 June. He remained with them until again wounded on the 8 January 1918. No 1 New Zealand Field Ambulance took him to No 3 Canadian CCS and he ended up in No 4 General Hospital on the 13 January.  He was sent to England on the 30 June and admitted to Tooting Military Hospital, London.  He was transferred to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst on the 3 March and was declared unfit for service on the 26 March.  He left England aboard Marama from Avonmouth on the 6 April. His problems had arisen from a gunshot wound to the right arm which had caused severe fracturing of the bones.


He was back in New Zealand on the 19 May and was discharged from the army on the 28 April 1920.


Walker Welsh's son fought in World War Two. New Zealand records show 2nd Lieutenant Carson Walker Welsh, MM, son of Walker and Jane Johnstone Welsh, Invercargill, Southlands, aged 29 and serving with the 26 Infantry Battalion, was killed in action on the 22 March 1944 in the Battle of Monte Cassino.  He is buried in Cassino War Cemetery.

45303 Rifleman James White, A Company, 2nd Battalion 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade, was a farmer employed by the Blackball Coal Co and he lived in Blackball, Greymouth. Asked for his next of kin on enlistment, he said he was the son of Mrs J White, Kinbally, Broughshane, and that his siter was Mrs M Caulfield, Mangapapa, Gisborne.

The 1911 census return records Samuel and Jane White, the parents named by James on attestation, in Kinbally, Broughshane.  Samuel, a labourer, was 52 years old and his wife Jane was 47.  Their listed children were Samuel, 23 and a labourer, William (18), Margaret (16 and a mill worker), George (11), John (8), Rachel (4) and Rebacks (sic) (2).  The 1901 census return shows the family in Waring Street, Ballymena. Samuel was said to be 34 and a railway servant, Jane was 30, Samuel was 14 and worked in the mill, William was 8, Maggie J was 5, George was 7, Marey sic was 15, James was 17, and Robert was 10. Jane said she had had 11 children but only 8 were alive in 1911.  The family were all Anglicans in 1901 and most still were in 1911.  Samuel Snr. claimed to be a Presbyterian in 1911 and James did so on enlistment.

James White was born on the 17 March 1883.  He said he was 33 when he attested in 1916, though he was actually 8 months older.  He was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 160 lbs, and he had blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He said he had been 3 ½  years in New Zealand when he enlisted.  He was to spend 2 years and 84 days in the army, 2 years and 1 day of it overseas in western Europe.

James enlisted on the 12 January 1917 and left New Zealand aboard HMNZT Devon bound for Devonport, Plymouth.  He was part of G Company, 24th Reinforcements.  He reached port on the 11 June  and joined the 5th Reserve Battalion at Sling Camp.  He went to France in July, was attached to the NZ Division on 8 August and was sent to A Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade on the 9 August.  He served a short detachment with Brigade HQ Tunnellers, 16 - 28 November 1917, but was serving with his own unit when he was wounded on the 19 February 1918. He had received a gunshot wound to his left arm and it was considered severe. NZ Field Ambulance took him to 10 CCS and they moved him onwards to No 18 General Hospital on the 25 February.  He went to England and No 1 New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst on the 4 March and was not released to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch until the 2 April.  He went from there to No 2 Command Depot, Codford on the 30 May 1918.  He was back in No 3 New Zealand General Hospital receiving treatment for a hernia on the 1 June and went back to Hornchurch on the 27 June to convalesce. He got leave when he left Hornchurch on the 26 July and did not report to Codford until 3 August 1918.  Thereafter he spent some time at Brocton Camp, Staffordshire before returning to Sling Camp on the 26 February 1919.  He was demobilised in the UK on 5 April 1919.
11753 William James Whitla,  born on the 6th March 1895, was the eldest child of Thomas and Sarah Whitla, High Street, Ballymena (1901 Irish census) and his Anglican father was a carpenter.  In 1901 the family had four children: William (6), Ellen (4), James (3) and George (1). In 1911 the census return tells us Thomas and Sarah had been married for seventeen years and by that they had had eight children, seven of whom were then still alive.  The new additions were Marge (9), Thomas (6) and Robert (4).  Thomas, 32 years old in 1911, said he was a carpenter master, and he and his 31 year old wife and family were living in Broughshane.

Sometime after 1911 the family moved to New Zealand and William James Whitla gave his address at the time of his enlistment on 12th January 1916 as 38, Silvester Street, Woolston, Christchurch. He was then a carpenter and was described as being 5’ 4” tall and as having grey eyes and black hair. He was to serve in the army for a total of 2 years and 189 days, 2 years and 16 days of that period overseas with the 1st Bn Canterbury Regiment.  He had gone from C Coy, 12th Reinforcements, to the 3rd Reserve Battalion and transferred to the 1st Bn Canterbury Regiment at Sling Camp in England. He had travelled from Wellington via the Suez and Alexandria to Southampton. He went to Etaples, France on the 9th January 1917 and was soon with his unit in the field.  He served with them until he was wounded in action on the 12th October 1917, the shrapnel wound to his left arm shattering his radius. NZ Field Ambulance took him to 44 CCS and thereafter he passed through 14 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne and 3 General Hospital before being sent to 2nd  London General Hospital in Chelsea. He later transferred to 1st NZ General Hospital, Brockenhurst, Hampshire. His wounds healed but a medical board took the view that he ‘was no longer physically fit for war service’  and he was soon taken aboard the SS Athenia at Glasgow and returned to New Zealand. He was discharged from the army on the 18th July 1918.

He married after WW1 and was living with his wife Fiona S Whitla and two children at 12, Livingston Street, Christchurch at the time of his enlistment for service in WW2 in October 1940.  This time he was to serve in the Royal NZ Air Force and his medal allocation, additional to his British War Medal and Victory Medal from WW1,  would suggest that he saw extensive service.

He survived WW2 and died while living at 31, Merrington Crescent, Christchurch on the 24th September 1964.  He was survived by his wife.

71588 Private William James Whyte, 3rd New Zealand Field Ambulance, New Zealand Medical Corps, was a farm labourer working for Mr J C Nelson, Otane, New Zealand and he gave his address at time of attestation as c/o Mrs Walker, Lovedale Road, Hastings (in 1924 his address was Hodgson's Road, Pakowhai, Hawkes Bay), but he was the son of James and Elizabeth Whyte, Carncairn, Broughshane.  The 1901 census return records James (40 and a farmer) living with his wife Elizabeth (36) and their five children: Martha (10), Willie (8), Maggie (6), Robert (4) and Mary (1). Elizabeth's widowed mother, Mrs Margaret Houston (76), a former nurse, lived with them.  They had two servants, Mr Tom McKeown, 55 years old and a RC, and Lizzie Wallace (16). The family were themselves Christian Brethren. The 1911 return records the family still together. James (51 and a farmer) was living with his wife Elizabeth (48) and their five children: Martha (20), Willie (18), Maggie (16), Robert (13) and Mary (11). William or Willie said he had been in New Zealand about five years when he attested in October 1917 and so must have left home soon after, possibly in 1912.


He was born on 3 November 1892 and was 24 years and 11 months old at the time of attestation, the 11 October 1917.  He was tall, 6 feet 1 ¾ inches in height, and he weighed 182 lbs.  He had grey eyes and dark brown hair. He was to serve in the army for 1 year and 297 days, 1 years and 110 days overseas and mostly in France.


On enlistment he went to E Company, 35th Reinforcements and in December was at Awapuni Camp at Awapuni Racecourse, Palmerston North training with the NZMC.  He transferred to 36th Section on 31 March 1918 and left Wellington on the 23 April aboard Willochra bound for Suez, Egypt.  He was at the Australian Camp until able to board Ormonde for onwards transport to Southampton, England, which he reached on the 18 July 1918. There he was marched into NZMC Reserves, Ewshott Camp to complete his training.  He went overseas on the 30 September and joined the New Zealand Stationary Hospital on the 6 October 1918. While on night duty on the 28 November 1918, he tripped on a duckboard while carrying a bundle of wood along a trench and lacerated his lip.  He was in the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France until the 8 December. Thereafter he was moved around.  


He was posted to the New Zealand Division and was at the New Zealand Infantry & General Brigade Depot (NZI&GBD), Etaples for a time before being posted to No 3 New Zealand Field Ambulance again on the 3 January 1919.  He was detached to No 1 New Zealand Field Ambulance on the 4 February and then to No 2 New Zealand Field Ambulance on the 15 February.  He went to the UK on the 18 March 1919, being marched into Codford Camp on the 24 March.  From there he went to Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain on the 3 June 1919, pending return to New Zealand. He embarked on Matatua on the 28 June 1919.


He was in New Zealand after 11 August and was discharged from the army on 7 September 1919.  He died on 16 May 1960, his wife, Mrs M Whyte, 39 Flanders Avenue, Napier, informing the army.

10/3127 Private Robert Wilson, 9th Company, 1st Wellington Regiment, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, died of wounds on the 25th September 1916 in No 4 General Hospital, Camiers, France.  He was the son of James and Sarah Anne Wilson, born, as he says on his attestation paper, in Ballymena, though the family was not together.  The 1901 census return shows the Wilson boys and a sister, Robert (18), Hugh (16) George (10) and Alice (8), living at Ballymacombs, Bellaghy, Co Londonderry with Alice Junkin, 76 and a farmer, and Margaret (48) and Hugh (38) Junkin. Robert's will says Hugh Junkin is his uncle, and he made a bequest to him and also his sister Margaret. The rest of his estate went to his brothers Hugh and George and his sister Bessie, mostly residing at Woodhill, Ballymacombs, Bellaghy, Co Londonderry.  


The 1911 census return shows Hugh Junkin (48) had married Mary (39) and they had two children, Alice Maud (2) and Joseph Hamilton (infant); Margaret Junkin (59) lived with them as did Hugh Wilson (27) and Alice Louise Wilson (18).

Hugh Wilson had emigrated before his brother's death, first to New Zealand and then to Australia.  The army had redundant addresses for him at Homewood Estate, Masterton, NZ, and at Strandon House, New Plymouth, NZ. They sent Robert's medals to Hugh Wilson, c/o Miss Basstin, 403 Riley Street, Surry Hill, Sydney, NSW, Australia. No mention is made of his mother or father in the will, and the army seemed to think his father James was somewhere in the Americas.


Robert Wilson had been a shepherd employed by R C Murphy, Panikau, Tolaga Bay, Gisborne, and he gave his address on enlistment as Kanakanaia, Te Karaka, Gisborne.  He had been born on 11 June 1884. He was single and about 30 years and 4 months old on enlistment in 1915. He stood 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, weighed 140 lbs and he had blue eyes and fair hair. He was a Presbyterian.


Robert's military record is short.  He enlisted on the 13 June 1915 and left Wellington on the 9 October 1915 with B Company, 7th Reinforcements.  He arrived in Suez,  Egypt on the 18 November and was posted to 9th Company, 1st Wellington Infantry Regiment at Moascar Camp, Ismailia. He travelled onwards to France thereafter, but no details are provided.


He was wounded in action by a shell on the 18 September 1916. He sustained injury to his right leg and groin, as well as a fracture of his left hand.  Medics considered his injury severe.  He was moved by 2nd Field Ambulance, certainly via an unnamed CCS, to No 4 General Hospital, Dannes-Camiers, France.  He was admitted on the 21st September and died there on the 25th September. He was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, France.