Sunday, May 19, 2013

George Francis McGovern Bissett - Hawera Memorial


I first came across Bugler Bissett when I was researching the Fielding War Memorial and was touched by his story.  Below is some further information I unearthed from the 'Papers Past' website which add a real personal touch to Bissett's story.


Mr A. Bissett of Feilding, has received the following letter from Major Cunningham, referring to the death of Bugler George Bissett. The letter is dated May 25:— "Dear Mr Bissett, —Before you receive this note you will have heard officially of the death of your son, Bugler G. F. Bissett, of the 7th Wellington West Coast Regiment. He was killed in the fighting in which our regiment took part on April 27 last. He was in the firing line beside Lieutenant Cross when he was shot in the head, being killed instantly. He was a very willing, well-behaved lad, very popular with his platoon No. 3. composed largely of Feilding boys, and his death caused very general regret. A good many of our brave lads fell the same day, and though it was their first time under fire, they all behaved with the greatest gallantry arid coolness. We recovered your son's bugle which he was wearing at the time of his death. It has several bullet holes in it.  His body was buried during an armistice. The bugle I am forwarding to Lieut.-Colonel Hughes, commanding the 7th Regiment, Wanganui, to send on to you. Speaking for the officer's and men of the regiment serving here, we should all like to see the bullet-marked trophy which your son so honorably carried, installed among our regimental treasures at the headquarters of the regiment, where it would frequently remind the present and future members of the regiment of our brave lad who gave his life tor his country. The ultimate resting place of the bugle we recognise should be decided by you. In conclusion, permit me to convey to you from the officers, n.c.o.'s and men of this company our sincere and heartfelt sympathy with you and your family in their sad loss. 

Feilding Star, Volume XI, Issue 2772, 21 July 1915, Page 4

Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXIX, 1 June 1915, Page 4

The historic bugle which was being used on Gallipoli by Bugler G. F. MacG. Bissett the young Feildingite who was shot at Kaba Tepe whilst warning his officer against a surprise attack from the Turks, is now on  exhibition in the corner window of Mr I John Cobbe's shop.  All trace of the bugle was lost for 12 months, and then quite unexpectedly it reached Mrs Bissett, mother of the hero; and she has been so good as to allow the shrapnel-torn and bullet-shot instrument to be placed on exhibition.

Feilding Star, Volume XIV, Issue 3501, 22 March 1918, Page 2

1 comment:

  1. Hi Helen,

    Michele Ong here from the Taranaki Daily News. We would be keen to do a story on your research. I can be contacted at

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    Michele Ong