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New Zealand's Youngest WWI Soldiers

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Geregistreerd op: 11-6-2007
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Feb 2011 18:34    Onderwerp: New Zealand's Youngest WWI Soldiers Reageer met quote

G.R. Ledsham 6/81 of Waiuku who enlisted and went away with the Main Body of the Canterbury Regiment on the 12th of August 1914. He had turned 17 year sold on the 7/7/1914. He was into action in a skirmish on the Suez Canal in early 1915 and then landed on Gallipoli where he had his 18th birthday. From there he returned to NZ with Enteric Fever, and after recovery went to France (still under age). He had his 20th birthday in the front line trench at Dicklebusch, near Ypres, and served the rest of the war.

Private Frederick James Ewart 12/975 of Auckland. Joined legitimately as a Drummer Boy with the Auckland Infantry Battalion on the 7th of September 1914. He was 15 years and 10 months old on joining. He was known as "Boy" Ewart. He embarked on the 13th of October 1914 with the Main Body and was actually stepping from a ship into a lighter for the landing at Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915 when Colonel Plugge recognised him and ordered him back onto the ship, to report to the bandmaster, as he was too young to go ashore. In April 1916 he went with the Division to Marseilles, and from there he remained with the Division right through to the end of the war, marching through belgium and crossing the Rhine. In total he served 4 years 207 days in the Army and was one of the first discharged to go home, on the 7th of June 1919 aboard the Northumberland.

R. Avery, 11/2423, served with the Wellington Mounted Rifles sailing for Egypt in early 1915. He had his 17th birthday in Egypt the following June. He was among the first kiwis to reach France and served there right through till the Armistice, apart from two spells in hospital.

Private P. Barr Royal Field Artillery of Waitakere wrote in to say his birthday was the same date as 'Diggerr' Ledsham above, and he'd joined the Imperial Army on the 20th of April 1915, aged 16 and nine months. He was drafted to France on 12th of August 1915. He served throughout the war, being wounded in the Somme and at Ypres.

W.C. Hastings of 59 Woodside Ave, Mount Eden, joined the NZEF when he was 16 years and nine months old. He went into camp at Oamaru on 29th of May 1917, whilst his 17th birthday was on the 23rd of August 1917. he had that at Capetown on the way to the war, which he saw through till his discharge on the 9th of February 1919. His discharge was owing to wounds rendering him unfit. He received the wounds at The Butts, outside Ypres on January 3rd, 1918. He returned to NZ and was attached to the 1st Otago Regiment.

Private James Frazer of Margate Road, Avondale, enlisted at Christchurch on the 26th of August 1914, and had his 17th birthday at El Kabri on the Suez Canal. he spent five months on Gallipoli and served later in France and Belgium. In total he served 3 years 175 days.

Private James Dunlop, of 16 Buxley Street, Christchurch, was 15 years five months old when he signed up on the 1st of June 1916. He left in the 17th Reinforcements aboard the Pakeha, joining the 2nd South Canterbury Company of the 2nd Canterbury Battalion in France. He served for the rest of the war mainly as a Brigade runner, and was in the line at Ploegsteert, Messines, Le Bassee Ville, Passchendaele, Ypres, Mailley Maillet, Hebuterne and in the British offensive that ended the war. When discharged after the war ended he was still 17 years old.

Lance Corporal S.G. Stanfield of Dannevirke (at the time of writing in April 1939) was 15 years five months old when he joined too. He had his 16th and 17th birthdays in the line, and was wounded three weeks before his 18th birthday, two weeks before the Armistice. He served a total of 2 years 341 days in the Army, with 2 years 224 days being overseas. He was a member of the 9th Hawkes Bay Company, 1st Wellington Infantry Brigade, NZEF. By 1939 when this was piublished Stanfield had ten kids.

Private Alfred James "Alfie" or "Tiny" Hutchins was born 10/3/1900. When he was 15 years, six months old, he first tried to enlist but was told to go back to school. Two months later he succeeded in enlisting at 15 years eight months old, on 16 January, 1916. He went into camp two days later and left NZ in the 14th Reinforcements. He went through the Somme battle without a scratch but was gassed on 9 June 1916 at the Battle of Messines. He was invalided home to New Zealand and was sent to the Army's Sanatorium here at Cambridge where he was being treated for the gas. At this time a doctor wrote to his mother requesting his birth certificate as he knew 'Tiny' was not 20 as his records showed. After what was probably some pressure Tiny admitted he was just 16. By April 1939 Tiny had been living in Sydney for 16 years, not in the best of health.

the Auckland Star newspaper (1930)
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