Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Horsman Brothers - Otorohanga Memorial

"Brothers give their Lives" 

In the Poverty Bay Herald on 16 January 1917 the deaths of two sets of brothers were reported from the Front.  One set of these brothers were Sergt-Major Arthur W.C. Horsman and Private Gordon C. Horsman.

The brothers originally from South Canterbury worked with their father on bush land at Otorohanga before enlisting.

Arthur had been a keen military man before enlisting being a member of the Legion of Frontiersmen, he was also reportedly a skill axeman.  He embarked on 8 January 1916 as part of the  3rd Reinforcements 1st Battalion, E Company.  He was killed in action on the 15th September 1916 at the Battle of Flers on the Somme, he was 24 years old

Gordon embarked prior to his brother on 14 February 1915 with the 3rd Reinforcements attached to the Canterbury Infantry Battalion (CIB).  Whilst serving at Gallipoli Gordon received shrapnel wounds to the head and contracted Enteric fever causing him temporary memory and speech loss.  After a long period of convalescence in England he rejoined the CIB at the Front.  He too was killed in action at the Battle of Flers on 16 September 1916, aged 22.

Both brothers are remembered together on the Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial.

Their parents Christopher and Amy Horsman would have been devastated to have lost both their sons in the same battle.  The Battle of Flers on the 15 September 1916 incurred the greatest loss of the New Zealand life so far in WWI.  Passchendaele would eventually hold that unenviable record.

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