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.

No comments:

Post a Comment