Sunday, 26 April 2015

Remembering 25th April 1915

New Zealand joined the war automatically with Britain's declaration of war on Germany on 4th August 1915. Many of our young men signed up quickly and 8574 men left our shores on October 1914, known as the Main Body. The Main Body traveled on 10 ships to Egypt via Hobart, Albany Colombo and thru the Suez. The Auckland Infantry Battalion traveled on the Waimana, leaving from Auckland with 1,400 men, 61 officers and 496 horses. After the long boat journey, training in Egypt and the arrival of further boatloads of reinforcements from New Zealand as the weeks went by, the first engagement for the New Zealand men was in the Darndenelles on the Gallipoli Peninsula, which was to take place on 25 April 1915. 

That morning 3100 New Zealand men landed, along with their British and Australian counterparts. In the week from 25 April to 30 April 1915 372 New Zealand men including officers died. Of those deaths there were 5 Te Aroha men, representing 1.34% of New Zealand deaths.

I will outline a basic biography of each man with information taken from their military records. If descendants would like to have further details added, I am happy to expand the biographies.




Richard John Dunphy – born Picton 1890, parents Patrick Joseph and Lilly Delia. He was a labourer for C. Stanley at Mangaiti when he enlisted at Paeroa on 14 August 1914 and was assigned to the Auckland Infantry 6th  Hauraki Company.  He had already completed four months military services at the end of 1912 with the South Australia Light Horse. He departed with the main body on the 16 October 1914, arriving in Egypt 3 December 1914. While at sea he is absent without leave and given 168 hours detention with loss of pay, by Captain Wallingford. He was reported missing and then reported as believed dead on 25 April and this was confirmed at an Enquiry on 16 June 1915, held at Moascar Camp at Ismalia. Aged 23 years. He is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli and the Te Aroha WW1 Memorial.



Arthur Stanley Sutton – born Blenheim NZ in 1893, parents are Charles and Sarah Jane. Arthur was a farmer working for his father at Manawaru. He had already done some compulsory military training when he was living in Blenheim, and continued the military training with the C Coy, of the 6th Hauraki Regt.. He enlisted at Paeroa on 14 August 1914 and remained with the 6th Hauraki Company. Arthur set sail with the Main Body for Egypt on 13 October 1914, arriving 3 weeks before Christmas. He managed to get heatstroke while on the boat, spending 8 days in the hospital recovering. He was reported as wounded in action, then wounded and missing and a Court of Enquiry in January 1916 reported that he was now believed to be dead on 25 April 1915, aged 21 years. He is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli and the Te Aroha WW1 Memorial.



Thomas Western Hayward – born Marwood, Devon, England in 1889. Son of Thomas and Minnie, his father was deceased by the time the war started. Thomas was a farmer at Ngarua. He enlisted at Hamilton 17th August 1914 and was assigned to the Auckland Infantry, 16th (Waikato) Company. He departed New Zealand on 13 October, with the Main Body. He got a bad case of heatstroke and was hospitalised on the ship for 21 days. He arrived in Egypt on 4 December 1914. He was reported missing on 25 April and this was confirmed at an Enquiry on 16 June 1915, held at Moascar Camp at Ismalia. Aged 25 years. He is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli and the Te Aroha WW1 Memorial.
 

 

Ronald James Bell – born 1893 in Belfast, Canterbury, parents Joseph and Jeannie. Ronald was a labourer for W.E. Hutchinson of Auckland.  He enlisted at Trentham on 14 October 1914 and set sail with the 2nd reinforcements on the 15 December 1914, arriving in Egypt 29 January 1915. Part of the Auckland Infantry Battalion, he was added to the 16th Waikato Company while at Ismailia on 6 February. He was reported as wounded in action, then wounded and missing. Finally in August 1915 Lieut.Col. Young lists Ronald as Killed in Action 25 April 1915, aged 20 years. He is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli and the Te Aroha WW1 Memorial.


John O’Grady – born Ngaruawahia 1885, parents – Michael and Johanna. John was a butcher at Waihou. He had been a sergeant during the 1913 Strike. Enlisted 12 December 1914 at Trentham and was assigned to the Auckland Infantry 6th Company. He left New Zealand on 13 February 1915 as part of the 3rd reinforcements that travelled on the Troopship Tahiti and arrived in Egypt 27 March. He was reported missing and then reported as believed dead on 25 April and this was confirmed at an Enquiry on 16 June 1915, held at Moascar Camp at Ismalia.  Aged 29 years. He is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli and the Te Aroha WW1 Memorial.