Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tomarata Memorial

Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette , 14 July 1920, Page 5

I loved finding this memorial, I had never heard of Tomarata before I took this photograph and for me it epitomises part of what my project is all about, recording those memorials and the men and women on them that are off the beaten track.

Matakana Memorial

The Matakana memorial was unveiled on the 12 January 1919.   The statue on top is that of King George the V and was sculpted by W.H. Feldon a New Zealand sculptor.  The memorial was moved to its present position in 2007 after restoration due to the fact that it had been damaged by vandals.

Once again I would like to know who unveiled the memorial if anyone knows let me know.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Three more memorials

Have just added three more Memorials to the list, visited Pokeno, Ngaruawahia and Gordonton in the Waikato at the weekend, on my way to the Family History Fair in Hamilton.  Had a great day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Private Peter Gilbert Richards - Queenstown Memorial

Private Richards embarked with the NZ Medical Corp, No. 1 Stationary Hospital on 21 May 1915 aboard the 'Marama'.  Private Richards was killed in action (most likely drowned) on 23 October 1915 aboard the 'Marquette' troop ship which was torpedoed and sunk on  its way to Lemnos Island in Greece.  

There are a couple of older posts which give more details about the sinking of the 'Marquette':



I found this interesting postcard on the Alexander Turnbull Library website made in memory of those in the NZ Medical Corp and NZ Nurses who were lost when the 'Marquette' Sunk.

Image of the hospital ship Marquette with list of members of the New Zealand Medical Corps, and New Zealand nurses lost in the sinking on 23 October 1915. http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=43286

Thursday, August 25, 2011

From the Splendour of Queenstown to the Devastion of Gallipoli

Embarking with the Main Body from Port Chalmers were eight young men from Queenstown who had all volunteered to take part in what they thought would be their 'great adventure'.  Sadly those eight men never returned to the beauty of Queenstown perishing at Gallipoli in 1915.

 Private William Black killed in action on 26 April 1915, remembered at the Lone Pine Memorial.

Private Wilfrid Jack Bunting received a gunshot wound to stomach on 3 May 1915, died of his wounds at sea on 5 May 1915, aged 19.  Buried at sea and remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial.

Private Robert Sampson Chapman killed in action sometime between 2 May 1915 - 23 May 1915, aged 21, remembered at Lone Pine Memorial.

Private James Mulholland killed in action 2 May 1915, aged 24, remembered at Lone Pine Memorial

Trooper Charles Birse died of wounds at sea from Gallipoli on 8 August 1915, aged 24, buried at sea, remembered at Lone Pine Memorial. 

Private William Henry Cable killed in action on 16 June 1915, aged 25, remembered at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery. 

Private Ernest Cable (brother of the above) killed in action 26 April 1915, aged 20, remembered at Lone Pine Memorial. 

Lieutenant Walter Michael Mackenzie killed in action on 9 August 1915, aged 25, remembered at Chunuk Bair (NZ) Memorial.

(Private Ernest Cable is not on the Queenstown Memorial)

While researching this blog entry I read from Maurice Shadbolt's book 'Voices from Gallipoli' the memories of George Skerret a member of the Otago Battalion and the NZ Medical Corp, his description of the horrors he witnessed at Gallipoli were difficult to read.  He especially supported the view that the Otago Battalion was "...the bad luck battalion.  We were, we really were.".  The list above certainly supports that view.

Fitzpatrick Brothers - Queenstown Memorial

On 19 January 1917, the troopship 'Ulimaroa' embarked from Wellington headed for Plymouth, England.  On board were the 21st Reinforcements which included three brothers who before enlistment were all shepherds from Arthur's Point, Queenstown. 

Private Matthew Fitzpatrick, 39204 (aged 39), 
Private Thomas Fitzpatrick, 39205 (aged 34)
and Private Edward Fitzpatrick, 39203 (aged 24). 

For their parents Charlotte and Daniel Fitzpatrick it must surely have been an emotional time to have farewelled three sons together headed for a War which had already taken the sons of many Queenstown families .  Some comfort may have been taken by the knowledge that the three brothers together would have each other to look out for.  I am sure that the sadness of their departure was also mixed with the pride of having three sons doing their bit for 'King and Country'.

All three were part of the Otago Infantry Battalion and most likely found themselves taking part in the Battle of Broodseinde on 4 October 1917 as part of the 3rd Otago.   It was at the Battle of Broodseinde that the youngest brother Edward was killed in action.  He is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Arrowtown War Memorial Gun


Next to the Arrowtown Memorial is a Turkish field gun, a German made model, 1903, 75mm it was  one of 558 delivered to Turkey between 1903 and 1907 by the German munitions company FRIEDRICH KRUPP at the Essen factory.  Partially destroyed, the gun was captured in the Middle East between March 1917 and September 1918.

The gun was one of many artefacts brought back to New Zealand as part of a plan to develop a national war memorial in Wellington.  Artefacts were distributed around the country and the Arrowtown Town Board applied for the gun which they received in 1921.  The Memorial was unveiled in 1923. 
The above information is taken from 'Arrowtown war memorial ', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/arrowtown-war-memorial, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage)'

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lance Corporal James Jopp Obituary - Lake Wakatipu Mail

On Saturday last Mr A. Jopp of Arrowtown received the distressing news that his brother, Lance-Corporal James Alexander Jopp, M.M., had been killed in action in France on 29th August. Although Lance-Corp. Jopp left New Zealand with the 17th Reinforcements and had been in the firing line for a considerable time, he had escaped mishap of any kind right up till the time he was killed. He enlisted from Taranaki, where he had been proprietor of a mail carrying and livery stable business, and went forward with the 9th Hawkes Bay Company. Lance-Corp Jopp who was between 33 and 34 years of age, was a native of Arrowtown, where he received his primary schooling. He finished his education, however, at the Southland Boys' High School. He was the youngest son of Mrs and the late Mr J. L. Jopp of Arrowtown.  Like all the male members of the worthy house of Jopp, deceased soldier was a keen footballer and a fine all round sport in the truest sense of the word. He was generous, broad-minded, and a man of honour, and as such was highly respected and immensely popular wherever he went. He was also possessed of determination and a calm, strong courage, so that it was not surprising to his friends and acquaintances that he was recommended a few months ago for the coveted honour of a Military Medal.  Deceased was unmarried. Much sympathy will be felt in this district for the members of the Jopp family in their bereavement. Deceased's widowed mother lives at Gore with her youngest daughter, Miss Marguerite Jopp.  His other sister is Mrs R. Martin (Otama). Mr A. Jopp (Arrowtown), W. and R. Jopp (Riversdale) and Jack Jopp, Pleasant Point (Canterbury), are brothers.

More men from the Arrowtown Memorial

Trooper James Sangster Ritchie born in 1894 was the son of Beresford and Janet Ritchie.  Enlisting at the age of 21, Trooper Ritchie embarked with the 7th Reinforcements, Otago Mounted Rifles on 9 October 1915 headed for Gallipoli.  After surviving the Gallipoli campaign he was killed in action on 24 November 1917 at Ypres.

Driver James Wilcox was most likely only 19 when he enlisted.  He embarked with the Main Body on the 16 October 1914.  He served at Gallipoli and survived only to be killed in action on the Somme aged 22 on 7 October 1916 almost two years to the date he left New Zealand for his 'great adventure'.

If anyone has further information about the above two men or any of the men on the Arrowtown memorial I would love to hear from you.

For Courage and Gallantry - Arrowtown Memorial

Lance Corporal James Alexander Jopp a farmer embarked on the 27 September with the 17th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Battalion, B Company aboard the Pakeha from Wellington.  Lance Corporal Jopp was awarded a Military Medal for his brave actions on the 4 October 1917, below is the citation from the London Gazette:

London Gazette, 17 December 1917, p13201, Rec No 1361: East of Ypres on the 4th October 1917 this stretcher bearer throughout the operations showed the greatest courage and utmost devotion to duty working in the open under heavy shellfire, bandaging, carrying, and collecting the wounded. He also collected prisoners and organised carrying parties of them to remove wounded to the Regimental Aid Post, and later when his Company was consolidating its objective, and was subjected to heavy shellfire, he never ceased to work in the open till he had the wounded under cover. His extraordinary devotion to duty in very dangerous positions was a magnificent example to his comrades.

In Glyn Harper's book 'Dark Journey' he recounts how difficult the job of the stretcher bearer was on this day:  'Working four men to a stretcher, it took about four hours to cover the 3 miles to safety'.

Lance Corporal Jopp's luck ran out on 29 August 1918 when he was killed in action at Bapaume, France

Lance Sergeant George Edward Fletcher was born in 1893 the son of William and Mary Fletcher.  His father William had been one of the early settlers to the area - arriving in the 1860's.  Lance Sergeant Fletcher was a waterside worker before enlistment and he embarked on the 6 May 1916 with the 3rd Reinforcements, New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

On 12 October 1917 when so many New Zealand soldiers were killed Lance Sergeant Fletcher won a Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Below is the citation from the London Gazette.

During the attack on the Belle Vue Spur on 12th October 1917, when all his Company Officers had become casualties, this non-commissioned officer showed the greatest contempt for danger and the greatest skill in re-organising his Platoon to renew the attack. He personally reconnoitred the position to look for a gap and in the wire, and the handling of his men during consolidation and re-organisation under heavy enemy barrage called for the greatest admiration. L.G. 14 January 1918, p847, Rec No 1508. 

After surviving the horrors of the 12 October 1917 and being awarded a Military Medal for his efforts, it is hard to be reconciled with the knowledge that just over a fortnight later Lance Sergeant Fletcher died of disease in Belgium.

Lance Sergeant Fletcher also had two brothers who served in WW1 John Benjamin Fletcher who embarked with the 37th Reinforcements on 9 May 1918 and Robert Leslie Fletcher who embarked with the 40th Reinforcements on the 10 July 1918, both survived the war.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Men of the Bannockburn Memorial

Private James Crabbe son of James Crabbe Senior and grandson son of Captain Thomas Bruce Crabbe of Bannockburn.  Embarked on 13 November 1915 with the 8th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Battalion.  Killed in action on 12 October 1917 at Ypres as is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. His brother Thomas Alfred Crabbe embarked with the Main Body on 16 October 1914, wounded at Gallipoli he survived the war and died in 1983.

Private Andrew Winnick Cooper a Miner from Bannockburn was the son of John and Mary Cooper emmigrants from Scotland. Before enlisting in April 1917 he married Sarah Todd in January 1916 and a daughter was born in December 1916.  Private Cooper embarked  on 14 July 1917 on the Waitemata from Wellington with the 28th Reinforcements, New Zealand Rifle Brigade.  He was killed in action on 9 September 1918 at Havrincourt, France aged 25.  Private Cooper is remember on a special memorial at Gouzeaucourt British Cemetery.  (In the cemetery 381 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 34 casualties known or believed to be buried among them).

Private George Begg Cooper brother of Private Andrew Cooper embarked on the 9 October 1915 with the 7th Reinforcements, Otago Mounted Rifles.  Private Cooper who at the end of the war was serving with the New Zealand Maori (Pioneer) Battalion died of disease in France on 9 December 1918 and is buried at Etaples Cemetery, France.  It is a tragic, sad twist when a soldier who survived the horrors of WW1 then dies of disease after Armistice.

Private James William Gibson was the son of Ellen M. Gibson, of Bannockburn, Otago, and the late James L Gibson was a miner at the time of his enlistment.  He embarked on 5 April 1917 on the Devon from Wellington with 24th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Battalion.  He was killed in action at Ypres on 12 October 1917 and like so many others remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Rifleman William Scott Murray was the son of Henry and Alice Murray, of Bannockburn, he embarked with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade on the 9 October 1915.  He died of his wounds on 8 February 1917 in France, aged 21 and is buried at the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras.

Trooper Robert Stanley Smith enlisted in Bannockburn and left with the Main Body on 16 October 1914 with the Otago Mounted Rifles. He was killed in action on either 6 or 7 August 1915 at Chunuk Bair and is remember of the Chunuk Bair Memorial.

I could not find S. Smith who is also mentioned on the Bannockburn Memorial.  I would love to know who he is if anyone knows or has further information on any of the men remembered on the Memorial please let me know.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fleming Brothers - Cromwell Memorial, Central Otago

Corporal Mostyn Fleming was born in Mostyn Cottage, Arrowtown on 10 June 1879 the third son of James and Elizabeth Fleming.  His father was the gold receiver and Clerk of the Court in Arrowtown until 1884 when he was moved to Cromwell to carry out the same role.  Before enlisting Corporal Fleming was a town clerk for the Alexandra Borough Council.  He embarked from Wellington on 5 April with the 24th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Regiment, D Company and died of his wounds on 12 October 1917 (like so many others on that ill-fated day).

In the Settlers Museum in Alexandra there is a large framed photograph of Corporal Mostyn Fleming.

Evening Post, Volume XCIV, Issue 130, 29 November 1917, Page 7, National Library of New Zealan

Corporal Rhyl Vaughan Fleming brother of Corporal M. Fleming (as mentioned in the above article) was killed in action on 15 November 1916 at the Somme.  Corporal Rhyl Fleming had embarked on 8 January 1916 and before enlisting had been a stock buyer.

 Colonist, Volume LVIII, Issue 14289, 19 December 1916, Page 2, National Library of New Zealand

Corporal Rhyl Fleming is also remembered on the Balclutha War Memorial.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Captain William David Jolly - Cromwell Memorial

Captain Jolly was the son of David Anderson Jolly who ran a General Merchants store in Cromwell,  D.A. Jolly & Sons.  When I started to research Captain Jolly I was pleased to remember that whilst on a recent visit to Cromwell I twice visited a cafe called the Grain & Seed Store in the Old Cromwell township which is in the building which was once D.A. Jolly's Grain & Seed Store.  This realisation added a personal note to Captain Jolly's story.  Old Cromwell township is a lovely spot and a fantastic job has been done of preserving the old buildings - a must visit spot for anyone who is down that way.  I digress back to the real story Captain Jolly.

Captain Jolly born in 1870 enlisted in 1915 making him 45 years old (an old man by comparison to the majority of recruits).  He was married with six children and in partnership with his father in the family business.  He embarked with the 7th Reinforcements attached to the Otago Infantry Battalion on 9 October 1915.  His war was not destined to be a long one however, he made certain he would be remembered for his bravery.  Captain Jolly was killed in action at the Somme on the 14 July 1916.  I found several references to his bravery at that time in newspaper reports including a letter sent home by a soldier from Dunedin who recounts the battle in which Captain Jolly was killed.  For his efforts Captain Jolly was mentioned in dispatches, the details are below:

London Gazette, 4 January 1917, p261, Rec No398: For devotion to duty while in the trenches at Armentieres from 21st May to 13th July 1916. Captain Jolly was in charge of a Company raid on the night of 13th/14th July, he was hit and placed on a stretcher, but seeing other wounded near, he immediately got off the stretcher and refused to be carried until his men had been got in. Shortly after he was killed by a shell.

Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 14049, 20 July 1916, Page 3

Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 14106, 25 September 1916, Page 3

Elizabeth Jolly, Captain Jolly's wife must have felt bereft,  left to care for her six children ranging in age from 5 to 14.  While trying to find information on the family he left behind I came across the story of his son Douglas Waddell Jolly (11 years old when his father was killed) after training to become a doctor he became a hero himself in the field of medicine - to check out his story follow the link below:

If anyone has any further information please contact me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Attack on Polderhoek Chateau and the Wanaka Memorial

On the Wanaka Memorial there are three soldiers named, who were killed in action on the 3 December 1917.  These soldiers all served with the 1st Otago Infantry Battalion who together with the 1st Canterbury were given the job of the implementing the attack on Polderhoek Chateau in Belgium.  The attack took place at noon in broad daylight with the help of a planned smoke screen to give an element of surprise (most attacks went ahead in early light).  However the wind blew in the wrong direction, and to make matters worse 1st Otago were hit by friendly fire which fell short of its intended target.  The attack was an undoubted failure and casualties were heavy for the New Zealand.  An important factor which contributed greatly to the failure of the attack was that many of the soldiers who took part were recent reinforcements and who as a consequence were inexperienced.  Two of the soldiers on the Wanaka memorial killed on this day had been at the Front only a few months.

The three soldiers were:

Private Corrie Common Halliday a farm labourer who was initially reported missing before he was reported killed in action.  He embarked on the 26 June 1916 from Wellington.  Private Halliday is remembered at Buttes New British Cemetery (NZ) Memorial, Polygon Wood.

John Alexander Barclay a farmer from Hawea Flat, embarked 26 April 1917 with 25th Reinforcements aboard the Tofua from Wellington.  He is buried at Hooge Crater Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

John William Kingan  a farm hand from Hawea Flat,  embarked on 26 July 1917 with the 28th Reinforcements aboard the Ulimaroa from Wellington.  He is also remembered at Buttes New British Cemetery (NZ) Memorial, Polygon Wood.

Scaife Brothers - Wanaka Memorial

Corporal Stanley Scaife and Sergeant Arthur Scaife were the sons of Willis Ashton Scaife and Mary Emma Scaife well known sheep farmers in the Wanaka area.  The Scaife family are still well known in Wanaka today.

Arthur Scaife was the first of the brothers to embark from Port Chalmers with the Main Body attached to the Otago Mounted Regiment and served throughout the Gallipoli campaign.   His brother Stanley embarked with the Otago Mounted Regiment on 14 August 1915 with the 6th Reinforcements although it is unclear whether he too served at Gallipoli as I have not been able to check his military records.  It does seem he joined the Pioneer Battalion and was posted to France.  On the 15 September 1916 the New Zealand Division took part in its first major action near Flers, as part of the Somme offensive. In 23 days of constant fighting 1560 New Zealanders were killed and 5440 were wounded. (source: http://www.army.mil.nz/culture-and-history/nz)  Stanley Scaife was killed in action on the first day of this action.

After the death of his brother Arthur transferred to the Otago Infantry Regiment most likely as the newspaper report below implies as a result of his brothers death at the Front, maybe hoping in some way to avenge Stanley's death.  After surviving Gallipoli Arthur's luck ran at at Passchendaele and he was killed in action on the 18 October 1917, only days before the NZ Division was relieved by 3rd Canadian Division on the 23rd October 1917.

Evening Post, Volume XCIV, Issue 116, 13 November 1917, Page 7

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sister Catherine Anne Fox - Wanaka Memorial

Sister Catherine Anne Fox was one of several nurses known in the Waimate area, Canterbury who drowned when the troopship 'Marquette' was sunk by a German torpedo in the Aegean Sea on the 23 October 1915.  When news of the sinking reached Waimate the town flew its flags at half mast.  Sister Fox trained as a nurse at Dunedin Hospital for four years, afterwards she continued her nursing at Waimate.  At the time of enlistment on 6 July 1915 she was working in Auckland as a private nurse. 
Sister of Miss M. Fox, of Hallenstein's Buildings, Auckland. Born in Central Otago. Staff Nurse Fox was Mary Gorman's close friend had enlisted on 6 July 1915. The daughter of Mr & Mrs John Fox of Studholme. Catherine was born in Central Otago, trained at Dunedin Hospital for four years, and afterwards nursed at Waimate, Christchurch and Auckland.  She was nursing privately at the time of her enlistment so at the outbreak of hostilities she volunteered for services. So anxious was she to serve and fearing she might not be accepted at once she made arrangements to pay her own passage to England to volunteer for service in France. However, she was accepted by the New Zealand Government and sailed in the hospital ship Maheno. For some time she was attached to the Hospital in Port Said. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzlscant/marquette.htm#FOX
Sister Fox as mentioned was born in Central Otago the report of her father John Fox's death gives some background into the family's association with the region - hence why Sister Fox is remembered on the Wanaka memorial.

New Zealand Tablet, Volume 14, Issue 24, 14 June 1906, Page 20

Sister Fox is the second nurse I have found on a memorial, Sister Margaret Rogers was on the Akaroa memorial her story is also on this blog together with some background to the sinking of the Marquette.

Below is a link to a stirring report on the sinking, definitely worth a read:


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wanaka Memorial

The Wanaka memorial remembers those who gave their lives from Wanaka and also had a separate plaque for those from the Upper Clutha Region.  Would love to know when and whom unveiled the memorial, does anyone know?  While I was in Wanaka met a lovely gentleman at the top of Mount Iron who had lived in the area all his life.  His father and uncles had all left the area to serve in WW1, he also told me about an interesting book called the "The Waiareka Warriors" ."The story of the military service and sacrifice of the men and women of the Waiareka Valley" by Lindsay Malcolm (an area in North Otago close to Oamaru)  I am still trying to locate the book it sounds right up my street.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Papers Past and Auckland Museum Cenotaph database

My project would be virtually impossible without the use of two great resources online those of Papers Past and the Auckland Museum Cenotaph project and I would like to acknowledge my use of these invaluable websites.


I am happy to share information from my blog but if you do please acknowledge where it came from 100nzmemorials.blogspot.com, thanks.   If you have any further questions or information on any of my blogs feel free to contact myself at 100nzmemorials1914@gmail.com.

Thanks  Helen Vail

12 October 1917 - New Zealand's 'Blackest Day' - Rakaia Memorial

As mentioned several times in this blog the 12 October 1917 was a dreadful day for New Zealand in terms of casualties, Rakaia was yet another New Zealand town which suffered losses on this day.  Below are the men who died in the attack on Bellevue Spur, Passchendaele:

Percy James Benbow was farewelled with a social and dance on the 6 January 1917 before leaving for camp and finally embarking aboard the Navua from Wellington on the 16 January 1917.  He was initially wounded on the 9 August 1917 but was soon back in the field with the Canterbury Infantry Regiment.  He was intially reported missing and then reported killed in action on 12 October 1917. He was 28 years old and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

William Croy a ploughman from Chertsey, Canterbury was originally from the Orkney Islands.  He was given a send off by the people of Chertsey on 23 June 1916 where he was presented with a 'luminous wristlet watch and a pair of military hairbrushes, suitably inscribed' . I wonder where these gifts are today?  (I am not sure how soldiers today would feel about being presented with military hairbrushes before leaving for duty overseas).  William Croy embarked from New Zealand aboard the Tofua from Wellington on the 11 October 1916.  Almost one year to the day later he died of wounds received on the 12 October 1917 aged 33. He was serving with the Otago Infantry Regiment and is buried at Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Frederick Morey of Rakaia embarked on the 14 February 1915 from Wellington with the 3rd Reinforcements. He served at Gallipoli where he was wounded. He was also struck down with illness in Egypt.  Morey was invalided to the UK where he spent nearly 12 months.  He had only just returned to duty when he was killed in action on the 12 October 1917 and is also remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

John Thomas Pluck was the youngest of the eight sons of Charles & Caroline Pluck.  Before enlistment he worked as a shop hand in the family store in Rakaia.  He embarked on the 8 January 1916 aboard the Manganui from Wellington with the 9th Reinforcements Canterbury Mounted Rifles, C Squadron.  Pluck served at Gallipoli, the Somme and Messines before dying of wounds received on the 12 October 1917. On his military record it states that he was buried in the field at Bellevue Spur, however it seems his body was never recovered as he is remembered today at the Tyne Cot memorial.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Four more war memorials

Visited four more memorials, Matakana, Warkworth, Puhoi and Tomorata this weekend making the grand total visited now 46.  Today I am going to start researching the memorial at Rakaia in Canterbury.