Friday, March 25, 2011

Rev. Cecil Alfred Mallett - Matamata Memorial

The Reverend Cecil Alfred Mallett was born in London has emigrated to New Zealand returning to England to take the Holy Orders (he was ordained in 1910).  He returned to New Zealand in 1912 where he became the Vicar of Morrinsville.  In November 1914 he married May Parkinson.

He join the NZ Chaplains Department on the 27 April 1915 and was later nominated to replace the Rev.Guy Bryan Brown who had been killed at Passchendaele on the 4 October 1917.   Rev. Mallett embarked on the 16 November 1917 on the 'Tahiti'.  He died accidentally of unusual circumstances in France.   The Rev Mallett sleeping quarters were in the dental hut in the depot lines which at approximately 3am on the 30 September 1918 was burnt down.  When a search of the debris was conducted a skeleton was found which could not be identified but was thought to be that of Rev Mallett, a search of the camp was made but the Rev. Mallett he was not found.  Reverend Mallet who burnt to death was buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.  How the fire started is unknown.

By all accounts the Rev. Mallett did his job very well in his military records I found a statement dated the 28 March 1918 which stated that the Rev. C. Mallett "apart from his ordinary duties, has been indefatigable in looking after the welfare and general entertainment of the Troops" 

Army Chaplains would have been a great source of comfort to the troops at the Front.  The Chaplains not only served King and Country, but God as well. The War at times must have surely tested their faith in the latter.

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