Thursday, August 25, 2011

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.

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