Friday, March 30, 2012

Alfred George Glastonbury - Havelock Memorial

Alfred Glastonbury (known as Jack) was a father of three and married to Minnie Leeks when he embarked from Wellington aboard the Devon on 25 September 1916.   The Devon arrived in the United Kingdom on the 21 November 1916.  Most likely Jack Glastonbury was already sick with gastritis. He died shortly after disembarking on 5 December 1916, aged 34 at Codford Military Hospital, where he is buried.

Jack volunteered to enlist most likely as a knee jerk reaction to the death of his younger brother Frank Glastonbury who was killed in action at the Somme on 14 July 1916. Frank a member of the Otago Infantry Battalion was most likely one of two hundred men from the Otago's who on 13/14 July 1916 went on a raid of German lines.  Of the two hundred men only six returned unhurt, fifty four were killed and one hundred and four were wounded.  Frank's name is not recorded on the Havelock Memorial.

Frank's death was reported in the Marlborough Express, Volume L, Issue 180, 1 August 1916, Page 5 (taken from Papers Past)

As the article above mentions the Glastonbury Family's contribution to the war effort was immense with a further three brothers serving Leonard, William Henry and Andrew Glastonbury all returned safely to New Zealand.

Havelock Memorial Marlborough

Havelock memorial was unveiled on 30 June 1921.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tasman Memorial

The Tasman War Memorial is outside the Tasman Primary School.  Many of the names on the Memorial are also recorded on the Mapua Memorial.

 Mapua Memorial Plaque

I have very little information on both these memorials.  If anyone can shed some light on when the memorials were unveiled I would be most grateful.

Lieutenant Robin Howell Deck - Tasman Memorial

Robin Howell Deck was born on 6 September 1890.  He was the eldest son of Major Henry O'Brien Deck and Ethel Deck.  His father a doctor had served in the Boer War and during WW1 held a medical position at several military hospitals in NZ. 

Lt. Deck had served with the 10th (Nelson) Mounted Rifles (his father had commanded this unit) before enlisting in December 1914.   He embarked with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles as part of the 3rd Reinforcements on 14 February 1915 only days earlier on 27 January he had married Mabel Skinner.

Lt. Deck was killed in action on the fraught attack on Hill 60 in the Dardanelles on 29 August 1915.  He has no known grave and is remembered on the Hill 60 (New Zealand) Memorial, Hill 60 Cemetery in Turkey.

His young wife must have been heartbroken having spent only days with her new husband before he left for war.  I found a letter printed in the 'Colonist' by Lt. Deck written to his wife Mabel the day before he was killed in action.  The letter gives a first hand account of the terrible conditions that the troops suffered.  The report also gives an account of an act of bravery performed by Lt Deck just before he was killed, which may have given some comfort to his grieving family.


Colonist, Volume LVII, Issue 13936, 16 November 1915, Page 7
Sourced from Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand