Wednesday, August 27, 2014

National Ceremony - 1914 Occupation of German Samoa

National commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the New Zealand occupation of German Samoa. Held on the Court of Honour, The Cenotaph, Northern Façade.

When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Britain asked New Zealand to seize the German colony of Samoa as a ‘great and urgent Imperial service’. This commemorative service recognises the duty and sacrifice of those involved, and acknowledges the close personal and political connections between Sāmoa and New Zealand today.

Friday, 29 August 2014 

4.15pm - 5.20pm

 

Auckland War Memorial Museum, Domain Drive,
Auckland Domain, 
Auckland

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

War Horse Ride: meet the soldiers paying a mounted tribute - The Telegraph

A group of British soldiers serving and retired wearing recreations of original costumes are honouring the cavalry heroes of 1914 by taking part in a 100-mile horse ride across France. Check the link out below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/11050868/War-Horse-Ride-meet-the-soldiers-paying-a-mounted-tribute.html 

War news - 26 August 1914


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Wanganui Chronicle , Issue 20155, 26 August 1914

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Colonist, Volume LVI, Issue 13557, 26 August 1914

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 Marlborough Express, Volume XLVIII, Issue 200, 26 August 1914



Sergeant Alexander Cruickshank - Maheno Memorial


 

Alexander Cruickshank (known as Sandy), was the eldest son of John and Isabella Cruickshank born in Maheno in 1893.  In 1914 the family relocated to the Marlborough region.  Sandy Cruickshank was a farm labourer at Waihaorunga, Waimate in Canterbury before enlisting in February 1915 and embarking on 13 June 1915 with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion (CIB).  After surviving the Gallipoli campaign unharmed, he was twice wounded in France.  Firstly on 16 August 1916 with a gun shot wound (GSW) to the knee.  Soon back in action in Belgium at the front he distinguished himself between 1 - 4 October 1917 and was awarded the Military Medal (Citation below).    

Operations Gravenstafel - 1st October to 5th October 1917. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. The non-commissioned officer did excellent work during the fighting of October 1st - 4th. His Platoon was ordered to construct and hold a line of small posts on the night of the 2nd and 3rd of October. He gallantly led his men to their position and under heavy shellfire supervised their work, and formed a strong line in an excellent position. His work was of high importance and of great value to the defence of the position assigned to his Company. L.G. 17 December 1917, p13201, Rec No 1331.

On 12 October 1917 at Passchendaele he was wounded for the second time together with  his brother David Cruickshank (CIB).  Both were admitted to hospital in Boulogne and convalesce at Hornchurch in England. 

By May 1918 both brothers were back in France with the CIB until on 26 May 1918 when Sandy was wounded for a third time.  Sadly it was not a case of 'third time lucky' he had received several fatal GSW's and died at the No.1 NZ Field Ambulance on 26 May 1918.  Sandy had served through almost the whole war and certainly saw his fair share of action but with only months of the war left his luck ran out.   He is buried at Louvencourt Military Cemetery, Somme, France he was 24 years old.  I hope his brother David was there to see him laid him to rest and say goodbye.  

As the last few months of the war raged on David Cruickshank was reported missing in September 1918 (a worrying time for his family back in New Zealand) they finally learnt his fate after the war was over later in November 1918 when it was confirmed by the Red Cross that he had been taken prisoner of war on 30 September 1918.  He was released from capitivity on 11 December 1918.  His family must have been overwhelmed with relief. 

Sandy Cruickshank's Military Medal was presented to his mother at a ceremony in December 1919.


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Oamaru Mail, Volume XLIX, Issue 13767, 26 May 1919
Papers Past

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mapiu War Memorial Gates - King Country

On my way to Ohakune on Friday I stopped to take photo of the memorial gates at Mapiu.  They are in need of some restoration (hopefully they will get some during the centenary).  There are no names on the memorial but there is a poignant extract from a poem by war poet Rupert Brooke.



The inscription on the right post includes an extract from III The Dead by Rupert Brooke:

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.
Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honour has come back, as a king, to earth,
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.

War News - 24 August 1914

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Colonist, Volume LVI, Issue 13555, 24 August 1914, Page 5 


Sergeant Alexander Ledingham - Maheno Memorial



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Alexander Ledingham was born in Maheno in 1875 one of the eight children of George and Margaret Ledingham.  He was a carpenter by trade and served in the Boer War.  By the outbreak of WW1 he had married Isabella Cook of Wellington in 1907.  Keen to do his duty again he enlisted with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles on 11 January 1916 just over a year later, he was killed in action at the Battle of Rafah on 9 January 1917, aged 41 years old.  He is buried at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

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North Otago Times, Volume CIV, Issue 13787, 25 January 1917

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

War News - 20 August 1914


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Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XLII, Issue 6157, 20 August 1914

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Colonist, Volume LVI, Issue 13552, 20 August 1914
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Family history lunchtime series - Auckland City Library

On  Wednesday, 20 August, from 12pm - 1pm,  I will be given a talk on my journey to visit 100 New Zealand  World War One  memorials to mark the Centenary as part of the Auckland City Library's family history lunchtime series.

If you have the time come along this will be the first time I have spoken publicly about my project. 

Whare Wananga
Auckland Research Centre
Level 2
Central City Library
09 307 7771

Sunday, August 17, 2014

War News - 17 August 1914

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Wairarapa Daily Times, Volume LXVI, Issue 12058

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Timaru Herald, Volume CI, Issue 15427, 17 August 1914

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Manawatu Times, Volume LXXVIII, Issue 12867, 17 August 1914

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Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 13461, 17 August 1914

Extracts taken from Papers Past