Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bombardier Andrew Cadman - Palmerston North Memorial

Bombardier Cadman embarked from Wellington aboard the Maunganui with the 9th Reinforcements Wellington Mounted Rifles, B Squadron on the 8 January 1916.

He was awarded the Military Medal in August 1918, report below:

London Gazette, 24 January 1919, p1254, Rec No 2288: On 26th August 1918 near Baupame. Whilst the Battery was taking part in a barrage it was subjected to exceptionally heavy shelling by the enemy. This N.C.O. showed great coolness and bravery throughout, and when a direct hit on an ammunition dump set it burning, he, at great risk to himself, succeeded in extinguishing the fire, and getting the gun into action.

His family would have been very proud of their brave son.  Sadly the next news they most likely received about him was news of his death from disease on the 18 October 1918.  I found a moving memorial poem inserted into the Hawera & Normanby Star on the 26 October 1920 (Papers Past)  by Bombardier Cadman's parents.  

I remember the day when the cable came
And I knew that his race was run;
And nothing was left but an honoured name,
And the grave of our brave dear one.
He went with the hopes of returning,
along with his comrades so brave;
But with many a hero he is sleeping
Where his loved ones can never go near.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What's going on...

Been busy on the domestic front - so have had little time to spend researching.  Off to Central Otago and Christchurch in two weeks so hope to visit lots of memorials whilst I am down there.  Any suggestions? Palmerston North memorial is proving to be a mountain to research (over 500 names) which I am slowly climbing and there will be some more stories from Palmerston North to come. 

Thank you also to all those who have sent me great positive comments and messages lately.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lieutenant Malcolm Bartlett Beattie - Palmerston North Memorial

Malcom Beattie was the son of  Cyril Robert and Ethel Beattie, of 22 Fitchett Street, Palmerston North.

On leaving school in 1914 he headed for England to pursue a medical career something I am sure his parents would have been very proud of.  However war beckoned Malcolm and he enlisted whilst only 19 years old.  Below is an account of his outstanding military record despite his young age.
"Who left School at the end of 1914, sailed for England in the following February with the intention of entering upon a medical career. Like many others, he was unable to resist his country's call, and obtained permission to enlist at the age of 19. He joined the O.T.C. Camp and was finally gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, with headquarters at Portsmouth. Leaving for France at the end of October, 1916, he was in the firing line about a week later, and there remained, with occasional intervals, up to the time of his death. For rescuing a wounded man from the German lines he was decorated by the King of the Belgians when in England on leave in the following August. Returning to France, we hear of the splendid work he did up to the night of October 15th, 1917, when he was mortally wounded and died at a clearing station about three miles to the west of Arras. While with us here he upheld the very highest traditions of school life, leaving behind him an example of all that was best and noble in a boy's life." (In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School])

Lieutenant Bartlett is buried at the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France.

Argyle Brothers - Palmerston North Memorial

Percival Argyle and his brother Leonard Charles Argyle enlisted together most likely in Palmerston North.  They embarked together on the 14 February 1915 part of the 3rd reinforcements from Wellington.  On the 8 August 1915 a fateful day in New Zealand's Gallipoli history they were both killed in action -  one wonders if they were together then also.  Like so many killed on that day they have no known grave and both are remembered on the Chunuk Bair (NZ)Memorial.

Percival and Leonard were the sons of Henry and Alice Argyle, 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More about the Palmerston North Memorial

Folkestone War Memorial
Palmerston North Memorial
As mentioned in an earlier blog ( Palmerston North War Memorial was unveiled on the 7 February 1926 by the then Prime Minster J.G. Coates.  The Memorial was almost a replica of the War Memorial erected in Folkestone, Kent, England which was unveiled on 2 December 1922.

Below is a more detailed description of the Memorial taken from a brochure produced by the Palmerston North Library:

The Cenotaph, Palmerston North’s War Memorial, was constructed in 1926. Money for the monument was raised by the Palmerston North and Districts Soldiers Memorial Fund. At the time, there was considerable discussion over the form of the memorial and its location in the centre of the Square, which at that time was occupied by the railway line. Eventually it was decided to deviate the railway, to site the memorial in the central location. The monument is a copy of one found in Folkestone, England. The figure represents the spirit of motherhood and holds a wreath of remembrance and a New Zealand Flag. She looks North West towards the battlefields of Europe. The memorial has remained largely unchanged over the years until it was rededicated in 2005 with various additions including plaques listing the names of all the war dead from the region, six flagpoles, and steps bordered on either side by stone plinths.

 I find it very symbolic that the figure is facing North West towards the battlefields Europe.

The McNabb Brothers - Palmerston North Memorial

When I initially saw the above McNabb names inscribed on the Palmerston North Memorial, I assumed rightly that they would be brothers.  On further research I found that as a family five brothers in total enlisted to serve in World War One.

Tragically only two survived -  a great sacrifice by one family even in terms of World War One where family sacrifice was frequent.

Private Cyril Haare McNabb embarked with the Main Body with his brother Roy Alexander McNabb they most likely enlisted together as their military numbers are very close in sequence 10/819 and 10/830 respectively.   It seemed they were destined to follow each other in death as well, both sadly dying at Gallipoli - Roy on the 27 April 1915 aged 19 and Cyril on the 30 April 1915 aged 21.  Neither of them has a known grave and both are remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.

Losing two sons so soon after they embarked must surely have been devastating for their parents Edward and Phoebe McNabb.

A third son Vincent Irvine McNabb embarked on the 14 August 1915, his war also did not long he was killed in action on the Somme serving with the Otago Infantry Regiment on 12 July 1916 aged 28 years.  One cannot imagine how his parents felt losing a third son, especially with the knowledge that they had a further two sons still serving at the Front.

Louis and Owen McNabb enlisted together and embarked on 9 October 1915.  Both thankfully survived the war.

Only Roy and Cyril are mentioned on the Palmerston North Memorial.  There names most likely appear as a result of their brothers Louis and Owen who both enlisted at Palmerston North.

Below is a newspaper report which mentions the tragedy and sacrifice of the McNabb family whilst attempting to offer some sympathy in the knowledge that their sons did not die in vain.  Something as a parent myself would not necessarily have found a comfort.

from Papers Past.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Captain Joseph Joel Hammond

Captain Joseph Hammond was born in the Palmerston North area.  When I discovered him on the memorial I was amazed at the interesting and busy life he led - during its short duration.

Captain Hammond had flown in the World War One, becoming a test pilot.  He died on active duty in the United States when an aircraft he was flying on a war bonds promotional tour in 1918 crashed into a tree.  He was buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Rather than tell you in my inadequate words about his life I have entered a couple of links below which tell it so much better.  It is always a pleasure to come across such interesting stories on the memorials reminding me of how exciting and somewhat fragile were the lives of some who pioneered in areas which today we take for granted.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Burbush Brothers - Palmerston North Memorial

David Gordon Burbush was one of four brothers and the son of  Frank and Catherine Burbush, of Hamilton, New Zealand who served in World War One.  David a Draper in Hamilton was the first of the four brothers to embark leaving with the Main Body on the 16 October 1914.  He was killed in action at the landing on Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915.  He has no known grave and is remembered on the Lone Pine memorial.

His two brothers Frank Alan and Rob Roy McGregor Burbush followed shortly after their brother David's death embarking on the 9 October 1915 with the 7th Reinforcements.  They both survived the war.

Lastly George Edgar Burbush embarked on the 12 June 1917 and sadly died of his wounds on the 27 October 1918 most likely at Quesnoy and only days away from the end of the war.  He was 22 years old.  He is buried along with 19 other New Zealand soldiers in the pretty Vertigneul Churchyard in Romeries.

The Burbush family certainly contributed greatly to New Zealand's war effort sending four sons to fight with only two returning safely.

The Burbush brothers represented the earliest pioneers of New Zealand.  I found a newspaper entry which mentioned that the brothers were the great-grandsons of John Kerr of Murchison in the South Island the man who claimed to have first driven a plough in the soil of the South Island.

I have wondered what the Burbush brothers connection was with Palmerston North was.  Does anyone know?

Private Henry Apanui Broderick - Palmerston North Memorial

Private Henry Broderick was born on 16 October 1892.  His parents would have been blissfully unaware that on the 16 October 1914 his 22nd birthday their son would be part of New Zealand Main Body that embarked for World War One, from which he would never return. 

Private Broderick took part in the landing of the Gallipoli peninsular on the 25 April 1915 where his received a gun shot wound to the foot.  He was invalided to Alexandria but was back in Gallipoli by June 1915.  A month later he fell sick with diarrhoea and was transferred to Malta and eventually found himself in hospital in Leicester, England and then at a convalescent home in Epsom, Surrey.   During this time he met a young 19 year old girl, Ethel Florence Vaughan from Islington, London.  Romance obviously blossomed as they were married on the 14 November 1915 in Hoxton, London.  They spent precious little time together as a married couple as Private Broderick was posted back to the Middle East disembarking on the 23 January 1916.   However by May 1916 he was posted to the Western Front where he spent most of his time as a company cook.  

Private Broderick's busy war ended on the 31 July 1917 at Ypres, Belgium where he was killed in action, initially being reported missing. He is remembered on the Messines Ridge (NZ) Memorial.  

I wonder what happened to his young wife and if they ever had a child? One assumes like so many young girls who were swept off their feet by young soldiers during the war and who never returned, she most likely remarried.  Private Broderick medals were sent to his young wife a lasting memory and reminder of the her short marriage to a young New Zealand soldier.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Private Frederick William Mawhiney - Feilding Memorial

Gunner Mawhiney was born in Napier on the 14 December 1891.  At enlistment he was employed as a motor mechanic by J Tyler in Martinborough.   He embarked on 19 January 1917 from Wellington on the Ulimaroa as part of the 21st Reinforcements Specialists Company, Machine-Gun Section.

Mawhiney died of his wounds on 13 October 1917 from a gun shot wound to the neck received on the 12 October 1917.  The wound was most likely received at the New Zealand attack on Bellevue Spur, part of the first Battle of Passchendaele.  The battle was an ill fated one which incurred heavy losses for the New Zealanders with the number of reported killed varying from 640 to 845.

On Mawhiney's military record there is a small account by the Chaplain of the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing station which reports that 'despite every care and attention he died at 9:30 pm ...  He was practically unconsciousness and therefore suffered little pain.'  I hope his family knew this detail it may have given them a small comfort.

Below is a  remembrance notice from the Auckland Weekly News dated 10 October 1918, which I found extremely moving:
Frederick William Mawhiney, 21st Specialists, died of wounds, France 13 October 1917.  
[Parents, sisters, brothers]  [AWN 10.10.1918]
He left his home, the flower of youth; He seemed so strong and brave
We little thought how soon he would be laid in a hero’s grave.           
But the saddest blow is yet to come, when the warriors all return,
And we look for our darling boy who never will return.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Returning to New Zealand

Tomorrow I start my journey from UK back to NZ.  So I should be back on task by the end of the week.  Looking forward to getting back into it.