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NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR ONE
AUCKLAND WEEKLY NEWS
PERSONNEL PARAGRAPHS
DECEMBER 1918

These are extracts from the Auckland Weekly News magazines and have been extracted with permission. Thanks to Jackie Walles for these.

December 1918

BASSETT, Lieutenant C R G, V.C. – A civic reception will be tendered on his arrival in Auckland. He is returning to the Dominion on a troopship, which is expected to reach Auckland next Sunday and if circumstances connected with the landing of the men will permit, the civic reception will take place on Monday morning. The winning of the highest military decoration by Lieut Bassett early in the war, were of such distinction that it was felt sure the citizens would appreciate the opportunity of showing honour to such a gallant son of the Dominion. [AWN 19.12.1918] P.20

COX, Lieutenant H W, who was previously reported to have died from causes unknown, was killed in action on 23 September. He left with the 8th Reinforcements, attached to the 4th Howitzer Battery. Prior to enlisting he was engaged in the accounts department of the Auckland Education Board. His father, Mr J T G Cox, who resides in Balmoral Road, Mt Eden, is an inspector of schools. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.20

Reference to his experiences in the fighting at the Canal du Nord is made by Private James CRICHTON, V.C., of Auckland, in a letter just received by the Rev E Palgrave Davy of Bayswater. The deed for which he won the coveted decoration was thus officially described: “Though wounded in the foot he continued with the advancing troops despite the difficulty of traversing the canal and river obstacles. When the counter-attack forced back his platoon, he succeeded in carrying a message which involved the swimming of the river, crossing an area swept by machine-gun fire and returning to the platoon. He then undertook, on his own initiative, to save a mined bridge, under close fire from machine-guns and snipers. He succeeded in removing the charges and returned with the detonators and time fuses.” The letter received by Mr Davy was written in a hospital in France under date 6 October. In it Private Crichton says: “I expect to go to England soon. I got a very slight wound crossing the Canal du Nord; in fact so slight that I did not think I would get away from the regiment. I got it about 7 a.m. and I carried on with it till about 5 p.m. before I got the doctor. And then I had to swim across a river as six of us got cut off from the company. But I got out and so did the others. Everything was going well. We had the Germans on the run alright.” Private Crichton is a Scotchman, 45 years of age, who saw service in South Africa. He came to NZ just before the war broke out and was for a time employed as a linesman in the Telegraph Dept. He was a member of the Main Body. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.21

CUNNINGHAM, Gunner M J, who died recently aged 24, was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs M J Cunningham of Devonport. He left with the Main Body, Expeditionary Force and served at Gallipoli and France. On two occasions he had his horse shot under him while taking ammunition to the battery. He was one of those who volunteered to take pigeons across with the first wave at Messines where he was badly wounded. He returned to NZ by the Marama about twelve months ago. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.25

FLOOD, Lieutenant J W, who died of wounds in France, was the fourth son of Mrs Spurr of Whakatane. When war was declared he was Customs clerk for Winstone Ltd. In order to leave with the Main Body he secured a position as second purser on troopship No.9 and on arrival in England enlisted and was sent to Egypt where he joined the 4th Waikato’s. He served on Gallipoli until August 1915 when he was invalided to England. Having secured his commission he returned to NZ in January last and left with the 38th Reinforcements. His younger brother, Dan, left NZ with the 17th Reinforcements and is still on active service. Another of Mrs Spurr’s sons died on active service. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.20

Sergeant Mechanic Raymond George GOLDFINCH formerly of Feilding and at present attached to the Royal Air Force, has been awarded the RAF Medal. [AWN 26.12.1918] P.21

GRANT, Sergeant John Gilray, 10/2950, NZEF. Particulars have been received of the action for which this soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross. At Bancourt on 1 September, under point-blank fire at 20 yds, he rushed enemy posts to right and left, showing conspicuous bravery. It is recorded that throughout the operations, lasting three days, he set a splendid example to all. His next of kin is Mrs J Grant, Princess St, Hawera. [AWN 19.12.1918] p.19

GRAY, Captain E J formerly of the ill fated steamer Squall, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order while serving in a British squadron off the Irish Coast. He left NZ with the Mounted Infantry and joined the Navy in England. [AWN 19.12.1918] P.23

GRAY, Private James, who died at Palmerston on Tuesday of influenza was the youngest son of Mr E Gray, Rotorua. He went to the front with the 7th Reinforcements, was wounded in the first battle of the Somme and invalided to NZ about twelve months ago. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.25

HUNTER, Lieutenant A C C, who was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, was in command of a company forming part of the leading waves of assault and himself led the foremost troops. When the advance was finally held up he encouraged his men to dig in and sent back valuable reports to the battalion. A second brother, Trooper A G H HUNTER, left with the 28th Reinforcements, Mounted Rifles. He was transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps but some time ago rejoined the Mounted Rifles. Private E T HUNTER, who was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field is the second son of Mr & Mrs K Hunter, Katikati. He was admitted to hospital in England on 4 October suffering from contused hip and knee. He left NZ as a Corporal and handed in his stripes when overseas. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.23

HURRELL, Gunner G, who died on ?2nd December at Brockenhurst Hospital, of pleurisy, was the eldest son of Mr James Hurrell of Tonga. He was educated at Newton West School, Grey Lynn and prior to enlistment was employed by Mr C Bailey Jun., boat-builder. He was a keen sportsman and took an interest in various games, especially football and cricket, being a member of the Marist Brothers Old Boys’ Football Club. He enlisted at the age of 17 and left NZ with the ?12th Reinforcements. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.20

JENKINS, Private Lynn, wounded, is the eldest son of Mr & Mrs Jenkins of Ahuroa. He was farming at Ahuroa but on war breaking out he enlisted in the Medical Corps with the Main Body, being then but 20 years of age. His first experience under fire was during the Turkish attacks on the Suez Canal. Later he took part in the landing on Gallipoli. After some time there he returned to Egypt where he contracted enteric fever, being invalided home and discharged in March, 1916. With his two younger brothers, he again enlisted in November 1917 and left NZ with the 36th Reinforcements last April. Though severely wounded, latest advices state that Private Jenkins is progressing satisfactorily. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.21

JUDD, Gunner R A, of the 24th Artillery Reinforcements, who died of wounds, was a son of Mr J Judd of Thames. He was 23 years of age and was educated at Thames High School. Afterwards he entered the Customs office at Napier. He was also a student of the Thames School of Mines and after passing his examination in gold assaying joined the Bank of NSW at Thames. Afterwards he was at Gisborne, Napier, and Tokomaru Bay, enlisting for service while at the latter place. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.20

McGEE, Mr J A, pneumonia following influenza, died Christchurch Hospital, third son of Andrew McGee, well known grazier of Victoria and Mrs McGee of Mt Eden. Deceased, who was 33 years of age went to the front as a Corporal in the 3rd Reinforcements, Auckland Mounted Rifles. In Gallipoli he was severely wounded in the big battle in August 1915, losing an eye and having the bone of one leg shattered. He returned ultimately to NZ and was appointed assistant analyst at Islington Freezing Works near Christchurch. He was formerly on the assay staff at the Grand Junction Mine. In the south he was a vice president of the Papanui Tennis Club and of the Hornby Football Club. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.52

McGEE, J A – The Legion of Frontiersmen lost a popular member by the death of Frontiersman J A McGEE who died at Christchurch Hospital of pneumonia supervening on influenza. He joined the Legion at Uriti, Taranaki in 1912 and subsequently he was on the assay staff of the Grand Junction mine and he left with the Auckland Mounted Rifles in the 3rd Reinforcements. He seemed to be known to every man in camp at that time and he was a general favourite with all who knew him. He was badly wounded on Gallipoli, having the bone of one leg smashed and losing an eye in the fight for Chunuk Bair. Returning to NZ he was appointed assistant analyst at the Islington freezing works and held this position at the time of his death. His mother now resides at Mt Eden, Auckland, and the sympathy of a very wide circle of members of the Legion will be with her in her loss. [AWN 19.12.1918] p.52

McKENZIE, Gunner Kenneth, who died of wounds in France, was the third son of Mr Kenneth McKenzie of Mangarimu. He left NZ with the 12th Reinforcements and served continuously with the NZFA in France for 2 ½ years. He was wounded at Le Quesnoy and died of wounds three weeks later. He was one of four brothers who have served at the front. The eldest brother, George, after serving on Gallipoli, was killed at Flers in the first Somme battle. His younger brother Frank left with the Main Body, gained his commission and the Military Cross and returned after three years service. The remaining brother is still at the front. [AWN 19.12.1918] P.20

McNEILL, Gunner Roy, son of Mr A McNEILL, late of the Ladies’ Mile, Ellerslie, died while prisoner in Germany. He served with the Australian Artillery. [AWN 12.12.1918] P.20

McNEISH, Sergeant J A, died at Wellington on 19 November 1918 of pneumonia following influenza. He left NZ as a bombardier with the Main Body. He served at Gallipoli and France, being slightly gassed and wounded in the foot at Passchendaele Ridge. He also saw service in the South African War. He was married six years ago. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.25

NANKIVELL, Sergeant L, aged 25, son of W Nankivell, Whanaki, North Auckland, has been awarded the Military Medal. He left NZ with the 9th Reinforcements. He was previously engaged in timber working. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.25

NATHAN, Captain Harold L, Royal Horse Artillery, arrived in Auckland on Monday from Suez in the Dorset. He is the only son of Mr N Alfred Nathan of Auckland. At the outbreak of war he enlisted in England with King Edward’s Horse, a mounted regiment comprised of men from the colonies. After considerable service he obtained a commission in the RHA. He is t present on duty furlough and probably will return to England shortly. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.25

PULHAM, Lieutenant Leo R, who has been awarded the Military Cross, is a son of Mr W Pulham, Warkworth. He left NZ with the Main Body with the Field Artillery. He served at Gallipoli, including the landing and evacuation. He took part in nearly every battle in France which the New Zealanders have taken part in, including the Somme, Messines and the last German drive in the same region. Before the war he was in business with his brother in law Mr H S Valentine. Two brother, Private Roy G PULHAM of Te Kauwhata, and Lance Corporal Ross PULHAM of Matakana also joined the forces, the latter being wounded in the arm. [AWN 26.12.1918] P.18

SAXBY, Lieut Col C C (Con), DSO, late of Opotiki, has died in a London hospital. He served through the Boer war and did not hesitate to offer his life to the Empire when the German menace confronted it. His brother Ronald also served through the Boer war and is now in Palestine with the Allied force. [AWN 19.12.1918] p.52

SPEEDY, Rifleman Alfred Lloyd, of the signal section, Rifle Brigade, who resided at Chelsea, has died at a hospital in France from the effects of gas. Prior to enlisting he was on the staff of Messrs Macky, Logan, Caldwell Ltd. He sailed with the 25th Reinforcements and participated in some very severe fighting and was gassed only nine days before the cessation of hostilities. He was one of four brothers who enlisted for active service. The others are Tristram, Robert and Frank. Robert, who left with the 9th Reinforcements, has been in France three years and, although he has been in every battle in which the New Zealanders have taken part, has come through safely. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.21

STORKEY, Captain P V, has arrived in Sydney on the way to his home at Napier. He was welcomed by the University representatives. He is a son of Mr & Mrs S J Storkey of Napier and has been serving with the Australians. The official statement of the manner in which he won the Victoria Cross is as follows: “When commanding an attacking platoon he observed, on emerging from a wood, 80 or 100 Germans, with several machine-guns, holding up the advance of the troops on his right. He had only six men but Lieut LIPSCOMB, with four men, joined him and he decided to attack the enemy flank and rear. The two officers and the 10 men charged with the bayonet, Lieut Storkey – as he then was – in the lead and expelled the enemy. They killed or wounded 30 and captured three officers and 50 men and the machine-guns. His courage and promptness and the skilful attack removed a dangerous obstacle to the advance and were a great inspiration to the remainder of the party.” Capt Storkey, who was born in Napier 26 years ago, went to Australia in 1912 and was employed as a clerk in the university at Sydney while studying for law. He left for the front in 1915 and was one of the famous Australian Fifth Brigade which has done a great deal of the hard fighting which has come the way of the Australians. He was wounded seriously about two years ago. Immediately on recovering he returned to the lines of the Fighting Fifth and did work which caused him to be specially mentioned in despatches. [AWN 26.12.1918] P.25

Captain William WHEELER, a medical officer on leave from Featherston Camp was found dead in bed at a Te Aroha Hotel on Monday. He was aged 58, formerly practiced in Canterbury and had served with the forces for two years. He was unmarried. [AWN 19.12.1918] P.53

WILSON, Corporal A G Keith, son of Allan Wilson of Northcote, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field of action. He enlisted on attaining his 20th birthday and left NZ with the 22nd Reinforcements. He arrived in France as a private in June 1917 and with the exception of the capture of Baupaume, has taken part in all the important engagements of the Division since that date. He has been twice slightly wounded but is still with his Unit. [AWN 26.12.1918] P.47

WORKER, Rifleman Frederick Reginald, who died of bronchial pneumonia, contracted whilst in hospital suffering from wounds and gas, received on 9 September last, was the elder son of Fred. G & S Worker, Wellsford, and grandson of the late Rev W Gittos. Prior to going into camp he was farming and stock-driving in the North. Deceased’s only brother Geoff has been on active service in Palestine since July 1916. [AWN 05.12.1918] P.21


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