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1915 - 1918

These are extracts from the Auckland Weekly News - available on microfilm at the Auckland City Library. I do not personally have any more information than is shown here.


DEIGHTON, John Lyall, aged 20 and Henry Allen EVITTS, for attempting to rescue Thomas James STEVENSON from drowning at Napier on July 15, 1915. DEIGHTON was awarded a gold medal and EVITTs a certificate. [AWN 28.10.1915]

ORMSBY, Walter, aged 15, for rescuing two boys, William & Norman SPEEDY, from drowning at Waihi on 4 July 1915. Silver medal. [AWN 28.10.1915]

BISHOP, William Joseph aged 29, for rescuing John H GILCHRIST from drowning at Gisborne 21 January 1915. Silver medal. [AWN 28.10.1915]

DAVIS, Maurice I, aged 39, for rescuing Cecil TIMMINS aged 4 from drowning at Waikino 1 July 1915. Bronze medal. [AWN 28.10.1915]

EDGAR, Hans, aged 35, for attempting to rescue Frederick PATTON from drowning at Karangahake on 25 April 1915. Bronze medal. [AWN 28.10.1915]

PEARCE, Charles S V, aged 15, for rescuing Niel CULLING, aged 11, from drowning at Ashburton on 17 July 1915. Framed certificate. [AWN 28.10.1915]

BOURKE, Thomas, aged 58, for rescuing John BREE, aged 2, from drowning at Wanganui on 11 July 1915. Certificate. [AWN 28.10.1915]

THOMPSON, Henry James, aged 22, for rescuing Alfred MUSSON from drowning at Clive Grange on 6 January 1915. Bronze medal. [AWN 28.10.1915]

LANSDOWN, C of Wellington, recently awarded a Letter of Commendation from the NZ Branch of the Royal Humane Society for Life Saving. He has saved 20 lives & has 2 Royal Humane Socy certificates and a medal for saving 7 lives; a medal with 4 clasps for service during the South African war. He saved 16 while residing on the Surrey Canal, England; one in Sth Africa; 1 in America; and 2 in NZ. The latest one was at Wellington where he saved a man from drowning at the Wool Wharf. [AWN 12.08.1915]


J PATTE, aged 19, for rescuing Private RANAWA from drowning at sea on 8 December 1915. Pte Ranawa, who was a patient on the hospital ship Maheno, jumped overboard, lifebuoys being immediately thrown over and the ship stopped. Ranawa was too exhausted to catch hold of the buoys and J Patte dived overboard, swam with the lifebuoys to his assistance and succeeded in rescuing him. Both men were in a very exhausted condition. It was decided to forward the papers to the parent society as the local society has no jurisdiction in the case. [AWN 27.04.1916]

Noble JOHNSTONE, aged 40, for attempting to rescue Henry VINCENT and Robert JOHNSON from suffocation at Otaio on 2 February 1916. Vincent and Johnson went down a well 160ft deep and their partner, Johnstone, becoming anxious and getting no signals, called assistance. Johnstone was lowered into the well and his feet touched the men but he was then rendered unconscious by impure air and hauled to the top again. Little hope was entertained of rescuing the two men alive. Johnstone, on recovering his senses, made two more attempts to reach the men and after considerable difficulty succeeded in bringing the bodies to the surface. On examination it was found that life was extinct in both cases. A silver medal was awarded. [AWN 27.04.1916]

Thomas G SHORT, aged 30, for rescuing Robert McCOMBIE, aged 25, from drowning at Granity on 2 February 1916. Dr Short swam out a distance of about 50 yards, in spite of rough sea and strong backwash, to rescue McCOMBIE and got into difficulties, being unable to regain the shore. After considerable exertion and personal risk, Dr Short managed to get McCombie back to the shore. A bronze medal was awarded. [AWN 27.04.1916]

Arthur RADFORD, aged 12, for attempting to rescue six children from drowning at Wellington on 9 March, 1916. A framed certificate was granted. [AWN 27.04.1916]

Ernest JENKINS, aged 17, and Douglas TELFAR, aged 14, for rescuing three girls from drowning at Waitara on 18 January 1916. Jenkins was awarded a silver medal and Telfar a bronze medal. [AWN 27.04.1916]

Walter H USMAR, aged 41, for rescuing Miss HANSEN from drowning at King’s Wharf, Wellington. A certificate was awarded. [AWN 27.04.1916]

C TURNER, for rescuing Miss HANSEN from drowning at King’s Wharf, Wellington, on 13 November 1915. A letter of commendation was granted. [AWN 27.04.1916]

Reginald W THOMAS, aged 16, for rescuing Mavis LAURIE, aged 14, from drowning in the Wanganui River. A bronze medal was awarded. [AWN 27.04.1916]

A EDGELER, of Timaru, for attempted rescue of Joseph MOULTIN from drowning in the Opihi River on 15 March 1916. A letter of commendation was awarded. [AWN 27.04.1916]

DOUGHTY, Miss Kitty – for rescuing a woman from drowning at Wellington – Silver Medal[AWN 12.10.1916]

McROBERTS, Wilfred – for saving life at Greymouth – Bronze Medal[AWN 12.10.1916]

MIDDLEDITCH, Chas. – for saving life at Wellington – Bronze Medal[AWN 12.10.1916]

TAYLOR, Rev F N – for saving life at Sumner – Bronze Medal[AWN 12.10.1916]

HEWITT, Frederick N – an ‘in memoriam’ certificate was awarded in this case, who lost his life in attempting to rescue Sidney MURRAY from drowning at Wanstead, Hawkes Bay.[AWN 12.10.1916]

MARRIOTT, Gladys Eva – certificate awarded for rescuing three women from drowning at Lyttelton.[AWN 12.10.1916]

JOHNSON, A S N – letter of recommendation to be sent for saving life at New Brighton.[AWN 12.10.1916]

BLACK, Archibald - letter of recommendation to be sent for saving life at New Brighton.[AWN 12.10.1916]


HUTCHINGS, Reuben, aged 18 – Bronze Medal for the rescue of Florrie Dingwall WILCOX, aged 9, by stopping a pair of runaway horses in a buggy at Maku on 18 Feb. 1917.[AWN 26.07.1917]

BROWN, Hugh William, aged 44 – Certificate for rescuing Joseph Albert ?VIETRA, aged 10, from drowning at Devonport on 10 February 1916.[AWN 26.07.1917]

COWE, Charles, aged 26 – Rescued Miss Mabel GILLESPIE, aged 22, from drowning at Te Atatu on 26 September 1916.[AWN 26.07.1917]

BROWN, Hugh W, Devonport Ferry Co., rescued a boy named VALERIA from drowning off the Victoria Wharf some months ago and has been awarded a Royal Humane Society certificate and a gold watch from the boy’s parents. [AWN 18.10.1917]

The Royal Humane Society’s bronze medallion and certificate were presented at Wellington to Sergeant Major HOLMES who jumped from a fast moving train on 26 June to rescue Private LAKE who had fallen from the platform, having his leg severed by the wheels. By rendering first aid promptly he saved LAKE’s life. [AWN 22.11.1917]


ROYAL, William, aged 9, was presented with the Royal Humane Society’s Certificate for Bravery by the Deputy Major. Last May a number of school children were on the St Heliers Bay wharf when one of the party, Howard ALLEN, aged 6, fell into the sea. ROYAL immediately jumped from the wharf and reached the smaller boy as he was sinking for the third time in heavy seas. A lifebuoy was thrown from the wharf and placed around the small boy by the rescuer who swam with his charge to the wharf and fastened the boy to a pile. He then swam to the wharf steps and assisted in getting the rescued boy to the wharf deck by means of a rope. The Deputy Mayor said he hoped the recipient would continue to worthily uphold the traditions of his race which were being so nobly perpetrated by the Maori soldiers in the present war. [AWN 28.03.1918] p.19

AMBURY, Arthur H, who gave his life in attempting to rescue the late W E GOURLAY from death on Mt Egmont on 3 June 1918, it was considered that Ambury deserved the society’s gold medal but under the rules this could not be granted. It was decided, therefore, to forward an in memoriam certificate with a personal letter appreciating the act and regretting that the directors were unable to award the gold medal. [AWN 15.08.1918]

A silver medal was awarded to Rudolphus RICHARDSON for rescuing a boy from drowning at Gisborne on 22 April 1918.[AWN 15.08.1918]

Bronze medals were awarded to Norman BATCHELOR, a Christ’s College boy, for rescuing a man from drowning at New Brighton and to Thomas HEENEY and Eric D ROBINSON, in connection with the rescue of three girls from drowning at Gisborne on 27 January 1918.[AWN 15.08.1918]

A framed certificate was awarded to Glenwyn B ENSOR, aged 12 yrs, for the rescue of a girl at Cheltenham Beach on 31 December 1917.[AWN 15.08.1918]

Certificates were awarded in the following cases:[AWN 15.08.1918]
Emily TOWERS, for rescuing three women in the Thames Public Baths
Alfred T CLEVERLY, for attempting to rescue a drowning man at Wellington on 13 November 1917
Constable Ernest F JONES, for rescuing two drowning men in the Manawatu River, Palmerston North on 26 January 1917.
Ernest C CROSS, since killed in action, for attempting to rescue a drowning person at Sumner.
Thomas INGHAM, Lillian WHITELY and Eric ELLERY, for assisting in the rescue of three girls from drowning at Gisborne on 27 January 1918.
John CAMERON, for an attempted rescue at Oamaru on 1 January 1918.

Letters of commendation were granted to Violet METCALF, aged 14 years, for rescuing a boy from drowning at Oamaru and to William F MURPHY, for saving two girls at Ten-mile Creek.[AWN 15.08.1918]

In the case of Philip L HUNT, who attempted to rescue Chief Petty Officer SANDALS at Ngahauranga, Wellington, on 16 December 1917, the application was held over, because it had been made inadvertently to the Royal Australian Society.[AWN 15.08.1918]

SARGENT, Mr Frederick of Birkenhead, fell into the harbour from the ferry steamer Eagle on Saturday. The mate, Mr Arthur BRODIE, dived in and secured him. Mr Sargent was unconscious but after first aid was applied, was taken to hospital and on Sunday was reported to be in a satisfactory condition. Mr Brodie had to dive twice under a concrete beam and he risked serious injury. “I trust the Royal Humane Society will recognise this plucky action” writes Mr Arthur P COWIE. [AWN 29.08.1918] p.21

An act of heroism, the result of which a boy named Colin CRAWSHAW, met his death at Taupo, is to be brought to the notice of the Royal Humane Society. The evidence at the inquest showed that he had attempted to save a young boy who had fallen into the Waikato River. [AWN 19.12.1918] p.51


William Loftus CASSIDY (usually called WILLIAM): born Ireland 1862; died 17 July 1938 aged 76 at Ranfurly War Veterans' Home Auckland. He was the son of Rev. Frederick Cassidy of the Church of Ireland and his wife Martha who migrated with their family of 5 sons and 3 daughters to New Zealand from Co Donegal about 1870. The Cassidi of Glenbrook family was from Co Derry; the family home Glenbrook was at Magherafelt, ref Burkes "Irish Family Records" (1976), formerly Burkes "Landed Gentry of Ireland" (4th edition 1958).
William was in the 2nd & 8th NZ Contingents to South African War. He was awarded the DCM and Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal. In Armed Constabulary 5-11-81 to 30-11-84, Taranaki. As William Cassidy married Kate Wagstaff (c1863-1937), spinster, 21, on 22 January 1884 at Hawera; daughter Alice Beryl, known as Beryl As Loftus Cassidy married (bigamously) Annie Louisa Merrick, spinster, 19, on 8 April 1909 at Wanganui (daughter Phyllis was born to Annie on 20 September 1909)
Obituaries: "Sergeant William Cassidy, D.C.M., a South African War veteran, with a notable career for bravery died in the Veterans' Home, Mount Roskill, aged 76. Sergeant Cassidy was born in Ireland and came to New Zealand in his youth. He was employed as a wool-classer in Wellington when the South African War was declared, and enlisted in the 2nd New Zealand Contingent at the age of 37. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery and resource in an attack on a Boer position. According to one veteran the New Zealanders were supporting British troops, and Sergeant Cassidy, by riding about under fire, and making a demonstration, cleverly suggested to the enemy that the supporting force was much larger than it actually was. He also received the Royal Humane Society's medal for rescuing an officer, Lieutenant Findlay, from drowning while the troops were fording the Hartebeeste River. After being invalided back to New Zealand with malaria the sergeant joined the 8th Contingent and spent a further period of several months in South Africa during the later stages of the war. Sergeant Cassidy later worked on sheep stations in various parts of the North Island. He entered the Veterans' Home 12 years ago. He was a widower and is survived by a daughter living in Wanganui" Obituary from Wanganui Herald, 19 July 1938. "Mr William Cassidy passed away at Auckland recently at the age of 76 years. The late Mr. Cassidy was for many years resident at Moawhangi and Ruanui, and carried on the business of a contractor and wool classer. He was a Boer War veteran and served in the South African campaign as a sergeant, gaining the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry. Early residents will regret to learn that Mr Cassidy has passed to his long rest." Obituary from Wanganui Chronicle, 5 August 1938; Taihape personal, p 10.

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