Deputy Superintendent of Stores – Joseph Osbertus Hamley

Maull & Co (Photographers) : Joseph Osbertus Hamley

Portrait of Joseph Osbertus Hamley in military uniform, photographed by Maull & Co, of London, circa 1885. Maull & Co (Photographers): Joseph Osbertus Hamley. Ref: 1/2-096511-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22824704

 

During the conflicts that occurred in New Zealand between 1847 and 1870, Joseph Osbertus Hamley was a key player in the provision of Logistical support to the Imperial and Colonial Forces. Although Hamley played an important role in supporting the Imperial and Colonial Forces he has faded into obscurity. However, Hamley legacy is a collection of paintings that record various landscapes that Hamley observed while in the field.

Hamley had joined the Ordnance Department as an 18-year-old in 1838 and appointed to the Ordnance Department in Sydney. Transferred to New Zealand in 1847, Hamley was appointed Deputy Ordnance Storekeeper in Wellington and participated in the Hutt Valley and Wanganui campaigns. In 1857 he was appointed Deputy Superintendent of Stores as the head of the Imperial Army’s Military Store Department.[1]

The Military Store Department is an organisation whose contribution to the campaigns of the 1860s has been overshadowed by the much larger and more well-known Commissariat, but existing records show that Hamley was well regarded and provided effective leadership of the Military Store Department.  Hamley was no military bureaucrat but a man of action who when fires threatened both Wellington and Auckland, Hamley would also play a key role in leading the firefighting efforts. [2] [3] On one occasion in Wellington, Hamley risked his own life saving the life of a girl who had fallen into Wellington Harbour.[4] A keep sportsman, Hamley was a keen cricket player and also established the Hamley Shooting Club and Swimming Baths in Auckland.

After thirty-two years of overseas service, of which twenty-Three had been spent in New Zealand, and one of the last Imperial Officers remaining in New Zealand, Hamley would return to England in 1870.[5]  Hamley would retire as a Major-General in 1880 after more than 42 years of service and died on 5 July 1911.

A keen painter and sketch artist Hamley produced over fifty-one watercolours of various scenes while on campaign in various part of New Zealand. Providing a value record of early New Zealand, this collection now resides in the Turnbull Library at Wellington.

 

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :[March on the beach between Wanganui and Taranaki. A stroll on the beach, Mount Egmont in the distance after marching all night. Wanganui Campaign. 16 February 1856]
Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :[March on the beach between Wanganui and Taranaki. A stroll on the beach, Mount Egmont in the distance after marching all night. Wanganui Campaign. 16 February 1856]. Ref: E-047-q-038. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

 

New Plymouth from Marsland Hill
Photograph of an ink and watercolour painting, dated 1860 and signed by Joseph Osbertus Hamley. Looks over New Plymouth from Marsland Hill. St Mary’s Anglican church is in the foreground. The Huatoki River is visible. The camp on the right is occupied by Imperial forces of the 65th Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Urquhart. Photograph taken by John Nicol Crombie circa 1861.  Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911. New P

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Auckland, Ordnance Store buildings, Fort Britomart [August 1864]
Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Auckland, Ordnance Store buildings, Fort Britomart [August 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-030. A

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Auckland, with St Paul's church, and Ordnance Store, Fort Britomart [August 1864]
Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Auckland, with St Paul’s church, and Ordnance Store, Fort Britomart [August 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-029. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22654738

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Taranaki, Mount Eliot in centre, landing place at base, New Plymouth [July 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Taranaki, Mount Eliot in the centre, landing place at base, New Plymouth [July 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-024. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22780364

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Auckland Cemetery. Graves of Commodore Burnett, R. N. and Captain Mercer, R. A. [Between late 1863 and 1866]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Auckland Cemetery. Graves of Commodore Burnett, R. N. and Captain Mercer, R. A. [Between late 1863 and 1866]. Ref: E-047-q-023. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22762994

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :[Sandhills and waterfall near Tauranga. 1864?]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :[Sandhills and waterfall near Tauranga. 1864?]. Ref: E-047-q-047. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22312176

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Soldiers bathing. Wanganui Beach [January 1865?]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Soldiers bathing. Wanganui Beach [January 1865?]. Ref: E-047-q-040. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22834039

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Near Nukumaru. [January 1865?]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Near Nukumaru. [January 1865?]. Ref: E-047-q-042. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22915539

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Maungatautari [March or April 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Maungatautari [March or April 1864]. Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Sketches in New Zealand [ca 1860 to 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-034. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22874689

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Whata Whata peach grove [Spring, 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Whata Whata peach grove [Spring, 1864]. Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Sketches in New Zealand [ca 1860 to 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-014. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22884414

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Kanniwanniwah, Waikato [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Kanniwanniwah, Waikato [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-032. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22340150

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Whata Whata peach gardens [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Whata Whata peach gardens [1864]. Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Sketches in New Zealand [ca 1860 to 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-013. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23089592

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :View from Razorback [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: View from Razorback [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-003. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22805954

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Soldiers making gabions, Pukerimu, Waikato [April? 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Soldiers making gabions, Pukerimu, Waikato [April? 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-033. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22801039

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Te Rore, Waikato [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Te Rore, Waikato [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-011. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23221070

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Ngaruawahia from opposite bank. General's quarters. King's palace. King's flagstaff. Council Chambers [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Ngaruawahia from opposite bank. General’s quarters. King’s palace. King’s flagstaff. Council Chambers [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-009. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23169418

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Meremere, Waikato [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Meremere, Waikato [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-006. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23192397

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Taranaki landing place [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Taranaki landing place [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-020. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22631635

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Taupiri, looking down the Waikato [March 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Taupiri, looking down the Waikato [March 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-008. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23082097

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Waiari. Hongi's pah on the left - 70th Regt's redoubt on the right. [February 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Waiari. Hongi’s pah on the left – 70th Regt’s redoubt on the right. [February 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-015. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23148710

Zealand. /records/22863632

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Waitotara. [1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Waitotara. [1865]. Ref: E-047-q-012. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22324767

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Camp at Patea [1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Camp at Patea [1865]. Ref: E-047-q-050. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22317949

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Horowhenua Lake, famous for wild duck shooting. [Lake Papaitonga, ca 1870]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Horowhenua Lake, famous for wild duck shooting. [Lake Papaitonga, ca 1870]. Ref: E-047-q-051. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23142967

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Camp at Waitotara, Taranaki - Wanganui [1864. One of our Brasier's non fighting days]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Camp at Waitotara, Taranaki – Wanganui [1864. One of our Brasier’s non fighting days]. Ref: E-047-q-036. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22772498

lymouth from Marsland Hill. Ref: PA1-q-250-05. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23179948

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :[Oakura Stream near Taranaki. 28 June 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Oakura Stream near Taranaki. 28 June 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-037. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23152927

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Wanganui, showing blockhouses from the sandhills. [16 January 1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Wanganui, showing blockhouses from the sandhills. [16 January 1865]. Ref: E-047-q-039. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22323722

lexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22813691

 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Te Awamutu from Picquet Hill [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Te Awamutu from Picquet Hill [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-017. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22794696

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Henui Bridge, Taranaki [June 1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Henui Bridge, Taranaki [June 1865]. Ref: E-047-q-022. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22634591

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :The Bluff Stockade, Waikato [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :The Bluff Stockade, Waikato [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-004. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23042698

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Near Ngaruawahia [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Near Ngaruawahia [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-010. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23160348

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Pukerimu, Waikato. [April 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Pukerimu, Waikato. [April 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-046. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23142277

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Martin's Farm, Drury, on the road to the Waikato. [1863]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Martin’s Farm, Drury, on the road to the Waikato. [1863]. Ref: E-047-q-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22788823

[Hamley, Joseph Osbertus] 1820-1911 :Blewitt's Redoubt. Rangiawhia. [ca 1864].

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Blewitt’s Redoubt. Rangiawhia. [ca 1864].. Ref: E-047-q-016. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22672192

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :[Maori fishing pa, Wanganui Coast near Hawera, possibly the Waingongoro River, South Taranaki, 1864 or 1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Maori fishing pa, Wanganui Coast near Hawera, possibly the Waingongoro River, South Taranaki, 1864 or 1865]. Ref: E-047-q-043. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23178467


 

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Nukumaru - Lieut. Johnson killed there. [Picket at Nukumaru, 30 January 1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Nukumaru – Lieut. Johnson killed there. [Picket at Nukumaru, 30 January 1865]. Ref: E-047-q-041. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23202880

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911 :Bell Block near Taranaki. [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus 1820-1911: Bell Block near Taranaki. [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-026. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23099222

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Taupiri from the Coal mines [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Taupiri from the Coal mines [1864]. Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Sketches in New Zealand [ca 1860 to 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-007. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23133076

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Marsland Hill, Taranaki [New Plymouth, 22 June 1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Marsland Hill, Taranaki [New Plymouth, 22 June 1864]. Ref: E-047-q-019. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23031226

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :Onehunga, near Auckland. [1864]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: Onehunga, near Auckland. [1864]. Ref: E-047-q-027. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23199887

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911 :View looking up the Patea River. [South Taranaki, 1865]

Hamley, Joseph Osbertus, 1820-1911: View looking up the Patea River. [South Taranaki, 1865]. Ref: E-047-q-045. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23030473

 

Notes

[1] Una Platts, Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists : A Guide & Handbook (Christchurch, N.Z. : Avon Fine Prints, 1980, 1980), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, Collective biography, 117.

[2] “Accident,” Daily Southern Cross, Volume XVI, Issue 1204, , 15 March 1859.

[3] “Fire in Wyndham Street,” New Zealander, Volume XIX, Issue 1944, Page 2, 12 August 1863.

[4] “Local Intelligence,” Wellington Independent, Volume XV, Issue 1328, , 2 March 1859

[5] “Projected Departure of Mr Hamley,” Wellington Independent, Volume XXV, Issue 3017, 9 July 1870.


Furness Bomb Disposal Camera and Control Panel

A Little bit of Ammo Tech Porn

Tales from the Supply Depot

The Furness bomb disposal vehicle was a remote controlled ‘robot’ that was a sacrificial tool used to blow up car bombs by placing a charge against the suspected bomb and then blown up to safely destroy the bomb. Parts of any sort of bomb disposal vehicle are pretty scarce, but I have been lucky enough to pick up both the control panel used by the EOD officer and the armoured video camera used to see what the robot can see:

The control panel is a large metal box with controls to move the Furness robot and control the cameras, lights and robotic arm:

The top of the control panel has a multi pin connector that is used to attach the panel to the control cable that ran to the Furness and sent the signals down to the machine to control it:

The side of the panel has more buttons and…

View original post 212 more words


Major Joseph Seymour Bolton

Today we mark the passing of a major influence on this website,  Major Rtd Joseph Seymour Bolton (1947-2020).

Joe authored the History of the RNZAOC that was published 1992 and it was with his blessing and encouragement that I have continued on this webpage the expansion of his original research to unpack the history of the RNZAOC.

20171124_082624-166274243.jpg

Joe joined the New Zealand Army as a Regular Force Cadet in the Bennett class of 1963. On completion of his RF Cadet Training,  Joe graduated into the RNZAOC on 2 May 1965.

Joe would have a varied and interesting career as an RNZAOC Soldier and Officer, including;

  • Operational service in South Vietnam during 1970

Vietnam 1Vietnam 2

  • Service in the Solomon Island with the first Tranch of RNZAOC ATO’s and AT’s clearing the islands of WW2 munitions.

Solomons

  • Officer Commanding NZAOD, Singapore: 21 May 1982 to 10 May 1984

NZAOD

  • Chief Instructor, RNZAOC School: May 1985 to December 1986
  • Chief Ammunition Technical Officer: 1986 to 1988

In 1988 Joe was awarded the RNZAOC 20-year certificate for service from  2 May 1965 to 2 May 1988.

In Joe’s post-military career, he would continue to maintain an interest in the RNZAOC and manage the RNZAOC mailing list, sending out notifications on the passing of a Corps member or other such important information.

I never worked with Joe while he was serving, but got to know him when he was working a civilian in the CATO Branch. As I was working upstairs in Ops/Plans as the Policy WO,  I would often refer to Joe as the expert on ammunition policy issues. Often a short question on ammunition would turn into a lengthy conversation about RNZAOC History.  Many years later, as I was beginning to foray into RNZAOC research, we would catch up on the Rembermance Days in Palmerston North as the Poppy Places Charitable Trust, a passion of Joe’s in later years,  unveiled their distinctive street signs. It was at these brief meeting we would discuss the progress of my research and the future direction.

RIP Joe
Sua Tele Tonnti

1592109768278-6ec536ce-0240-44b3-a36f-a49f34da41c6_.jpg

Major Joe Bolton Officer Commanding NZAOD receiving the Higgins Cup RFL Trophy form the New Zealand Director of Ordnance Services LtCol T.D McBeth.

 


1914 – 1919 War Memorial Plaque, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Palmerston North

Taking a break from telling the story of the New Zealand Ordnance Services, this article examines how the loss of war is memorialised in many New Zealand communities.

The First World War was a traumatic and defining event for the young county of New Zealand with over one hundred thousand men and women serving during the war. The effects of the war would be felt across all sectors of New Zealand society as New Zealand suffered a fifty-eight per cent casualty rate. As the nation collectively grieved, one way it came to terms with the tremendous loss of life was in the erection and dedication of war memorials across the nation. One example of such a memorial is the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Memorial Sunday School building at Church Street in Palmerston North, a building dedicated to the memory of the thirty-six members of the congregation that did not return from the war.  The building ceased to serve its original role many years ago and is now a bridal studio located in what is now a side street adjacent to Palmerston Norths only mall. However, the memorial plaque remains as a reminder of the losses inflicted onto the local community by the First World War. This article will focus on four of the men from the St Andrews congregation, and examine their’ life geography’ to tell their story of where they came from and the community that they lived-in.

st-andrews-sunday-school-memorial

The former St Andrews Church Sunday School, Palmerston North: Bruce Ringer, 2018

In the years from 1910 to 1923, the congregation of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church maintained an average congregation of 306. So given that the church had lost 11.6 per cent of its congregation in the war, it was a fitting and appropriate memorial to those men that the new Sunday School building was dedicated in their memory in 1923. [1] The memorial plaque is a simple marble tablet with the dedication and the names of the fallen engraved and filled in with lead lettering, parts of which are starting to deteriorate. The Names are in alphabetical order with Surnames followed by post-nominals and then initials, unfortunately not all the initials are entirely correct, leading to a disconnect between the memorial and records.

st-andrews-sunday-school-memorial1

St Andrews Church Sunday School, War Memorial Plaque. Palmerston North: Bruce Ringer, 2018

To determine the correct names and to construct the comparative table below (Table 1), verification of the names on the memorial was in the first instance checked against records held online by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).[2] From the data held by the CWGC, the individual’s service number was identified, which in turn was then used to extract the individual’s personnel file from either Archives New Zealand,[3] or the National Archives of Australia.[4]  To simplify the reading and interpretation of the Individuals service record, a search of the records held in the Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph website would often provide a transcript of the individual’s service record.[5]  Although the service record is robust and provides all the essential information on a serviceman’s military service but little on the service members his life outside of the military. Two useful websites offered additional information on the civilian life of the servicemen, the National Library of New Zealand Papers Past website,[6] and the pay for use website Ancestry.com, both these sites contribute in filling in many of the gaps found in the service records.

Table 1

This combination of multiple sources, which in some cases provided useful cross-referencing of information and the inclusion of new information created the table at appendix 1; providing details on the thirty-six men including;

  • Date and place of birth,
  • civilian occupations,
  • previous military service,
  • marital status,
  • Location on enlistment,
  • Enlistment date, servicer umber, rank at time of death and unit they were serving in, and
  • age and places of death.

Given the range of information and geographic data that can be filtered from such a table, for this research, only four servicemen were examined in detail. Table 2 details four men who based on some simple criteria, became candidates for this study. The criteria are based on their situation at the time of their enlistment, in that they; were all living in suburban Palmerston North, they were between the ages of 20 and 26, and they all belonged to the same Territorial Army Unit.[7]

Table 2

Robert Carville Bett

Robert Carville Bett joined the NZEF on 10 December 1914 as part of the initial surge of enthusiastic volunteers in the early years of the war. Born in Palmerston North, Bett was the older brother of three sisters. A coachbuilder by trade, Bett was an active member of St Andrews Church Presbyterian Church, where he contributed to the church as a lay preacher and secretary and sub-leader of the Bible Class. Bett would also fulfil his compulsory military service commitment by serving in J Battery of the New Zealand Field Artillery (NZFA). Deploying on the 2nd Reinforcements of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), Bett would serve with the Veterinary Corps in Egypt and be invalided home in November 1915 after contracting typhoid fever. During his time in Egypt, he continued his civic spirit by contributing to the work of the Egyptian YMCA organisation in providing welfare services to the New Zealand troops.[8]

Returning to New Zealand and regaining his fitness, Bett was back in camp in March 1916 and offered a commission in both the Veterinary and Army Service Corps, Bett, however, chose to join the infantry as a private soldier. Leaving with the Fourteenth Reinforcements in June 1916, Bett wold serve with the Otago Infantry Regiment of the New Zealand Division in the Battle of the Somme and would die as a result of wounds during the Battle of Messines on 14 June 1917. Bett’s death was felt hard in Palmerston North as he was a well-admired young man. Regretfully Bett was the sole male child of his family, leaving it without a representative for the future.[9]

James Henry Carson

James Henry Carson would be called up by Ballot in April 1917 and would serve in Trentham and Featherston camps, succumbing to the Influenza in November 1918. James was born in Wellington and was the third child in a family of four boys and a girl. The Carson family had moved to Palmerston North by 1907 when the fourth child, Sydney, died at the age of thirteen in a tragic shooting incident.[10] The Carson family patriarch James Senior was a Cordial Maker and proprietor of the business of ‘Carson and Son’ which James was an also an employee. James would also meet his compulsory military service commitments by serving in J Battery of the NZFA.[11]

James married Linda Edwards at St Andres Church on 14 October 1917.[12]  James was called up for Military service by Ballot, and when serving on the Artillery Details at Featherston Camp, Linda passed away after a short illness on 29 June 1918.[13] The tragedy of this death would have only compounded the family’s pain as they had only received notification that John Carson, the Oldest of the Carson children, had died in France a month earlier.[14] James continued to train at Featherston, but sadly on the day after peace was declared, Carson died of Influenza at Featherston Camp on 12 November 1918.[15]

James Henry Carson

Vernard Clifton Liddell was from a long-established Foxton family and was the second child in a family of four boys and one girl. A competent Hockey player, Vernard had played reprehensive hockey for both the Manawatu and Wellington districts. Meeting his compulsory military service commitments, Liddell would serve in J Battery of the NZFA.[16]  At the time of his enlistment, he was working as a clerk for the agricultural sales firm of Messrs Barraud and Abraham’s on Rangitikei Street. Liddell’s sister Rita would later be working for the same firm in1939.[17] Liddell would enlist into the NZEF in October 1915 and see service with the New Zealand Division in France until 24 April 1918 when he died of wounds as a result of combat operations.[18]  Two of Liddell’s brothers would also serve in the NZEF during the war.

Owen George Whittaker Priest

Owen George Whittaker Priest was the eldest son in a family of two boys and two girls, originally from Akaroa, the Priest family would move north, first to Inglewood and the settling in Palmerston North by 1910. Like his peers, Priest would also complete his compulsory Military service obligations with J Battery NZFA and at the time of his enlistment was working as a clerk for the Stock and Station agents, Abraham and Williams Ltd.[19] Liddell would be one of the earliest volunteers for the NZEF, enlisting on 11 August 1914. Liddell would see service at Gallipoli and France. Having survived Gallipoli, Liddell was killed in action in the early days of the N.Z. Divisions actions in France on 9 July 1916.[20]

Conclusion

In this small church community of about three hundred, it is certain that almost all of these thirty-six men were acquaintances of each other, and their families were connected in some manner, with the loss of these men was felt collectively across the community. This sense of community is highlighted in the examples of Bett, Carson, Liddell and Priest. As well as their connection to the church, they all lived and worked in proximity to each other, and as Territorial soldiers would have trained and socialised together. So next time you pass a memorial such as this, please don’t ignore it as a relic of an event long forgotten but instead take the time to reflect on the men and women listed on the memorial and the supreme sacrifice that they made.

Appendix 1

Notes

[1] 1910 congregation was 253, 1919 congregation was 422, 1923 congregation was 343. They Ventured – Who Follows?: St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Palmerston North, 1876-1976., ed. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Palmerston North1976), 33-34.

[2] Commonwealth War Graves Commission, “Find War Dead,” https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-war-dead/.

[3] Archives New Zealand, “Archway Search,” https://www.archway.archives.govt.nz/.

[4] National Archives of Australia, “Record Search,” https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx.

[5] The Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph is essentially a simplified transcript of the individual’s service record with the inclusion of additional information such as photos, documents and family research not included on the service records. Auckland War Memorial Museum, “Online Cenotaph Search,” http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph.

[6] National Library of New Zealand, “Papers Past” https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/.

[7] J (Howitzer) Battery of the New Zealand Field Artillery. A Palmerston North Territorial Army unit that was formed in 1912. Alan Henderson, David Green, and Peter D. F. Cooke, The Gunners: A History of New Zealand Artillery (Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2008, 2008), Non-fiction, 67.

[8] Archives New Zealand, “Bett, Robert Carville – Ww1 17/253 “Personal File, Record no R22276304 1914-1918.

[9] “Roll of Honour (Bett),” Manawatu Times, Volume XL, Issue 137278, 26 June 1917, 26 June 1917.

[10] “Sad Affair in Palmerston North,” Manawatu Herald, Volume XXIX, Issue 3769, 22 August 1907.

[11] “Carson, James Henry – Ww1 53956 “Personal File, Record no R121892583  (1914-1918).

[12] “Wedding Bells,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLI, Issue 10495, 17 October 1916.

[13] “Deaths,” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLIII, Issue 1287, 2 July 1918.

[14] “Roll of Honour (Carson),” in Manawatu Times, Volume XL, Issue 13895 (1918).

[15] “Roll of Honour (Carson),” Manawatu Times, Volume XLIII, Issue 14265, 11 November 1919.

[16] “Liddell, Vernard Clifton – Ww1 2/2667 ” Personal File, Record no R121892583  (1914-1918).

[17] Palmerston North Libraries and Community Services, “Barraud & Abraham Ltd. Staff,” https://manawatuheritage.pncc.govt.nz/item/3a21b537-ae9e-4708-908a-9d108d3f7d37.

[18] “Personal (Liddell),” Feilding Star, Volume XIV, Issue 35197, 7 May 1918.

[19] Archives New Zealand, “Priest, Owen George Whittaker – Ww1 2/381,” Personal File, Record no R20802976  (1914-1918).

[20] “Roll of Honour (Priest),” Manawatu Standard, Volume XLII, Issue 10141 9 July 1916.