Thursday, 23 July 2015

New book release...

Dear readers,

If you have enjoyed reading my blog posts then you will enjoy reading about the very special postcards I have reserved for this new book. I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of my book "Just to let you know I'm still alive". The title is drawn from the opening line of many handwritten messages made by soldiers on the back of postcards during the First World War. This publication is due in New Zealand bookshops after 1 August.

This book takes the reader on a journey into the colourful world of the picture postcard during World War One when the form of communicating was to mail a postcard with a message on the reverse side to a loved one serving on the battlefields of Europe. They were the emails of yesteryear, the economic way to communicate with family and friends across the miles. When war was declared in 1914, postcards took on a more meaningful purpose on a scale not seen before. Beyond their heart-filled personal messages to and from the battlefront, postcards also became a patriotic and propaganda tool. The Dominion of New Zealand was quick to rally and answer the call to serve King and Country and it was not long before New Zealand publishers were producing original works by New Zealand artists and photographers for the local market. They were cherished as prized possessions for their photographs and art and became collectables in private postcard collections. These wonderful and thought provoking postcards with their handwritten messages give a poignant insight into the life and times in New Zealand during the Great War.

My special thanks to Grantham House Publishing and to all those who have supported me in my research.

http://www.granthamhouse.co.nz/new_titles

http://www.fishpond.co.nz/Books/Just-to-Let-You-Know-Im-Still-Alive-Glenn-Reddiex/9781869341275

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Oamaru Peace Celebrations

“Peace Celebrations. Nov 12th 1918. Oamaru.” A real photographic postcard by J.M.B., numbered 25.

This fine view is looking down Thames Street in Oamaru. The grand architectural building with Corinthian columns on its fa├žade to the far left of the picture is the Oamaru Court House. The larger building in the centre is the Opera House.

Mayor Robert Milligan announced in the Oamaru Mail that at the cessation of hostilities a public thanksgiving service would be held in the Opera House on 13 November 1918. With jubilation at the news that war was finally over, the people of Oamaru took to the streets to celebrate and rejoice with as much colour, music and pageantry as they could gather. A procession was formed on Thames Street as shown above, led by the 10th Regimental Band. They were followed by various decorated cars and lorries, Red Cross nurses, Salvation Army and school bands. Many of the Oamaru schoolchildren carried patriotic flags and the popular noise-maker – empty kerosene cans. Note that the street is shared by horse-drawn carts and motor vehicles.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Dance the night away

A real photographic postcard of Allied soldiers from different regiments enjoying a dance with nurses in Paris. 

The message on the back of the card was written by Private Henry Francis Devenish Meares of the New Zealand Medical Corps on 27 March 1918:

“Dear Dad, 
Very many thanks for your tobacco for which I received alright. I have just come back from Paris leave & had a good time. This photo I had taken of a dance at the Army & Navy Club Paris. The 3 dots thus (the mark is seen in the top of the photo border) is me the bottom dot. Writing you a long letter telling of my leave in Paris. 
From H.F.D. Meares.”

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Put down your guns and read

“New Zealanders seated upon a captured anti-tank gun.” A New Zealand War Records official photographic postcard. 

This image was taken at ‘Clapham Junction’ in Belgium on 20 November 1917 by the New Zealand Expeditionary Force Official Photographer Henry Armytage Sanders. It was referenced in Sanders work as photograph H343. Another two of his photographs, H341 and H342 also show New Zealand troops holding a copy of the same publication.

Newspapers, magazines, books, letters and postcards were all welcome as reading material used by troops during recreational time away from the front lines.

The group of men pictured, dressed in battle uniform shows soldiers from the 3rd Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade enjoying a leisurely read of the publication “New Zealand at the Front”.


Left: The cover page of the publicaton "New Zealand at the Front" written and illustrated by New Zealand soldiers during the First World War.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Tug of War 1918

A real photographic postcard of a military tug-of-war competition in England in August 1918. 

Away on leave and far from the sound of guns, these men are taking part in a day of sport and recreation. The back of the postcard reads, “Winning team, C Coy, No.5 OCB, Cambridge”. The team is identified by handwritten names and their nations: McPhee (Australia), Woods (NZ), Burnard (NZ), O’Donohue (Australia), Leahy (NZ), Myers (Australia), Hudson (NZ), Webber (NZ).

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Actress Alice Brady

“Alice Brady” postcard from the “Pictures” Portrait Gallery series, no.162, published by Pictures Ltd, 88 Long Acre, London. 

Alice Brady, of New York, was a popular leading actress during the war years. She appeared in films which were screened to audiences around the world. In November 1917 the film “The Maid of Belgium” was released and hit New Zealand cinemas in early 1918. The Free Lance advertised the film on 14 March 1918 at the Empress Theatre in Wellington:

“What war can do to an unfortunate girl refugee is startlingly depicted in ‘The Maid of Belgium,’ a World film drama, which stars Alice Brady, and is to be screened at the Empress Theatre, commencing this coming Saturday. An American couple touring Belgium at the outbreak of the war come upon a half-distracted Belgian girl wandering aimlessly about her pretty village. They adopt her, as they are childless. The conclusion of the drama is most powerful and contains a general element of surprise. Very beautiful scenic views of Long Island Sound are in this picture as well as remarkable views of the Germans at their dreadful work in Belgium.”


Monday, 22 June 2015

The Penny brothers of Blenheim

 A real photographic postcard portrait of Private Walter Blaymires Penny taken at Oakley’s Studio in Blenheim before his departure for war service. He never returned to Blenheim; he was killed in action on 4 October 1917.

The Marlborough Express reported on the loss of one of its sons:
“Another son of Mr E.H. Penny has made the supreme sacrifice. This is Private Walter Blaymires Penny, his second son, news of whose death in action on October 4 was received by his parents last evening. The deceased soldier, who was only 21 years of age, was born in Blenheim, and educated at the Borough School and the Marlborough High School. He then joined the local branch of the National Bank, and was a member of the staff up to the time of his enlistment in the 11th Reinforcements. He was recently in hospital in England, and his parents were not aware that he had gone back to France. It is just over two years since Mr Penny’s eldest son, Private ‘Sam’ Penny, who was one of the first Blenheim boys to enlist on the outbreak of war, laid down his life on Gallipoli. General sympathy will be extended to Mr and Mrs Penny in their second bereavement.”

Walter's brother Private Samuel Murray Penny, killed at action at Chunuk Bair, 7 August 1915.
Source: Auckland Weekly News, 10 June 1915.




Saturday, 20 June 2015

Private Norman Shore

A real photographic postcard portrait of Private Norman Shore taken at Deighton Studio in Napier before his departure for military service overseas. Prior to enlistment, he was employed as a shepherd. His mother Sarah Jane lived at 4 Brewster Street in Napier, located between Marine Parade and Napier Girls High School.

Shore was posted to 3rd Battalion Canterbury Infantry when he was killed in action near Passchendaele on 12 October 1917. He was only 21 years of age. His name is recorded on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke, West Flanders in Belgium.

"Private Norman Shore, son of Mrs H. Shore, of Napier, who was reported missing on October 12th 1917, is now set down by the Court of Inquiry as "killed in action." "
Source: Hastings Standard, 24 April 1918.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Rifleman James Stephen Hawkins

A real photographic portrait postcard of Rifleman James Stephen Hawkins taken at Crown Studios in Christchurch.

Rifleman James Stephen Hawkins, with a swagger stick tucked under his arm, portrays the style of so many soldier portrait postcards taken of the era. Solemn faced, sharply dressed and standing proudly in uniform, he prepares himself for whatever may lie ahead. The son of Stephen and Lily Hawkins of Christchurch, he was educated at Woolston School and before the war was employed as a grocer's assistant for C.M. Suckling at Tai Tapu.

James Hawkins left with the 26th Reinforcements New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 12 June 1917 from Wellington on the troopship Maunganui (HMNZT 86) destined for Devonport in England. By late October he was on the battlefields of France and was killed in action less than four months later on 15 February 1918. The Press announced his death on 19 March 1918:

“Rifleman J.S. Hawkins (killed) was the son of Mr and Mrs S. Hawkins, 152 Ensor’s road, Woolston. Prior to going into camp he was employed by Mr Suckling, of Tai Tapu. For many years he was a member of the Linwood Football Club, and also took a keen interest in all sports. He was educated at the Woolston School, and left with the 26th Reinforcements.”

The Secretary of the NZEF War Graves Committee wrote to James’ father on 11 November 1920 to inform him that James’ body had been exhumed from an isolated grave and laid to rest in Oxford Road Cemetery about 1.5 miles north east of Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Birdy

“General Sir W.R. Birdwood.” 
A British postcard from the “Generals of the British Army” Series and portrait artwork by Francis Dodd. 

Affectionately called "the Soul of Anzac" and "Birdy", General William Birdwood was the famed commander of the Anzac Corps at Gallipoli in 1915. He led the Anzac landings at the Dardanelles and the eventual planned evacuation from its bloodied beaches about a year later.

Just as many Anzacs had enjoyed what little simple pleasures they could get in the Gallipoli warzone, General Birdwood also enjoys a swim off Anzac beach. Source: Auckland Weekly News, 18 November 1915.
General Birdwood watching the evacuation of troops from the Gallipoli Peninsular in December 1915.
Source: Auckland Weekly News, 6 April 1916.
In the war years that followed, he was often not far from a kiwi connection. He presented gallantry awards to brave New Zealand soldiers, attended Anzac Day ceremonies, took salute from New Zealanders on parade and attended military funerals alongside high ranking New Zealand officers such as that of the burial of New Zealand Brigadier General Francis Earl Johnston at Bailleul in France in August 1917.
Anzac Day, London, 1916. General Sir William Birdwood awarding a NZ soldier the DCM.
Source: Auckland Weekly News, 8 June 1916.
He visited New Zealand after the war in mid-1920. General Birdwood, Lady Birdwood and their daughter departed Sydney for Wellington on the ship Manuka. During their stay in the capital, a civic reception was held for General Birdwood at the Wellington Town Hall. Many returned soldiers, sailors and nurses attended the reception to pay tribute to this admired military leader. His visit included a trip to Nelson, and studio portraits taken by renowned photographer Herman Schmidt in Auckland.

Birdwood died in 1951 and is buried at Twickenham Cemetery in England. His name is honoured throughout New Zealand: the Birdwood Range in the Canterbury foothills, the location of the Anzac Club on Birdwood Street in Featherston, Birdwood Avenue in Christchurch, Birdwood Crescent in Parnell, Auckland and Birdwood Street in Karori.

Friday, 12 June 2015

The German Machine Gun

A real photographic postcard of German soldiers posing with their standard heavy machine gun called the MG-08. With its ability to fire between 400 to 500 rounds per minute, the deadly efficiency of this weapon claimed many New Zealand soldiers’ lives during the war.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Save Time

Save Time Post Card.” Produced by “Novelties”, 96 Hardy Street, Nelson, dated 4 December 1915.

In a similar way to the field service postcard, this design also allows the soldier to quickly select and mark a number of different messages. The postcard's author starts his message with "Arrived here safely. Weather very hot. Feeling first rate." and so on. 

On the back a brief handwritten message reads:

“Miss Irene Woollett, Just a line to let you know I am all right. This is not much of a P.C. but I thought you would like to see it. Your loving brother Fred.”

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Military awards presented at Hornchurch

A real photographic postcard taken of a New Zealand military award ceremony at Hornchurch in England. 

A handwritten message on the back of the card reads:

“Hornchurch, 19 April. Just a snap shot taken of some of the New Zealanders. Jim Cusack in front. Line at foot. W.D. These boys in front have been decorated for deeds of bravery. General Richardson is pinning the ribbon on.” 

In April 1916 a special presentation of military awards was made on the parade ground at Hornchurch camp attended by General Birdwood, Brigadier General Richardson and the New Zealand High Commissioner from London, Sir Thomas Mackenzie. The oldest British award for gallantry, the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), was presented to 15 New Zealand soldiers at the ceremony.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Ward 9, Mount Felix


A real photographic postcard of the New Zealand hospital at Mount Felix, Walton-on-Thames. 

New Zealand soldier Bert Squire was a patient here at Ward 9 in January 1917. Bert’s message to his sister reads:

“Am fairly well settled down in my new home. It is too cold here. We are right on the banks of the Thames River. So you can draw conclusions. Am still happy but would sooner be in Reading. They won’t let me work here. Bad luck isn’t it. Ankle doing fairly well. 
Best wishes & Good luck. 
Yours sincerely, Bert Squire.”

Monday, 1 June 2015

Blinded

"Pals" postcard by artist George Soper. 

On the back of the postcard the printed message reads:

“The soldiers and sailors blinded in the war have learnt to be blind at St Dunstan’s in Regent Park and many are still learning. After their training they go to their own homes or are set up in new ones to carry on the trades they have mastered. Large sums of money are necessary for the after-care of these brave men who gave their sight for us in the war, and a permanent After-Care Branch which will look after them all their lives has been established by the National Institute for the Blind which asks for your practical sympathy on their behalf. Contributions will be gladly accepted by the Treasurer, National Institute for the Blind, Great Portland Street, W.1.”

A number of New Zealand soldiers who were blinded in the war were sent to St Dunstan’s hospital in Regent's Park, London for treatment. One of these soldiers was the New Zealand High Commissioner’s son, Trooper Clutha Mackenzie. Clutha, serving with the Wellington Mounted Rifles was deprived of his sight while in combat at Sari Bair in 1915. The force of a nearby shell explosion forced out both his eyes.


Clutha Mackenzie, Free Lance, 26 November 1915.



Clutha Mackenzie, Auckland Weekly News, 6 November 1919.




Friday, 22 May 2015

When I Get Back To Timaru

"With all kind thoughts and good wishes from Sling Camp”, by British artist C.T. Howard. 
Printed and published by J. Salmon, Sevenoaks, England, and E. Mack, King Henry’s Rd, Hampstead, London. 

The message on the back reads:

“Dear Mrs Gracie, Just a line to let you know I am great. Bayonet fighting, gas, barbing wire, machine guns and bomb throwing is the thing to make one fit. Also fifteen miles route march. They have the clock on two hours here for this daylight saving, damned rot. Got to get up at four in the morning and going all the time. Got a letter from Miss Gault the sweet kid to write and you to give her my address. Also she told me you was not well so sorry to hear it but hope you are ripping by the time you get this. So in a NZ paper the women are doing men’s work. Poor devils, as if they haven’t enough to do. Going to Grantham about the end of the war till they want us in France. Take too long to tell you all about the places I’ve seen but will tell you all when I get back to Timaru…Kind regards to the Boss & Kiddies and look after yourself. Yours sincerely, Doug Vernall.”

Private Douglas Vernall, of Orari, and serving in the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps, received gunshot wounds in the abdomen and chest and was hospitalised in France.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Schulz brothers of Makowhai

“Trentham. 1916.” This postcard does not have a postmark or postage stamp affixed. 
Note the racecourse in the centre of the picture. 

The postcard is addressed to ‘Tib’ and was sent by Lance Corporal August Albert Schulz of H Company, 4th Platoon, 16th Reinforcement, Trentham:

“Dear Tib, 
I thought that I would just send you a card to let you know that I am still knocking round the world. I have been a fortnight in camp but haven’t got hardened to it yet as the boots are like iron clads & they make my feet sore but I will get used to it in time. I haven’t been out of camp yet but I might go out this week. I might go out to Petone to see if I can find Mrs Herdman but I will write to her first. We get plenty of stew but it must be good stuff as all the boys get fat on it. Do you know what time Hugh Andrews is coming in? Gerald told me that Kate is getting married next month. 
Au Revoir with kind regards, Aug.”

August, a farmer by trade, did not survive the war. While posted to the 2nd Battalion 3rd NZ Rifle Brigade he was killed in action on 2 May 1917 in Belgium at 31 years of age. Sadly, the Schulz family had lost another son earlier in the war. August’s elder brother Herbert Alfred Schulz of the Wellington Infantry Regiment, Main Body, was killed in action on the slopes of Gallipoli on 29 April 1915.


Lance Corporal August Albert Schulz (killed in action 2 May 1917)
Auckland Weekly News, 14 June 1917.



Rifleman Herbert Alfred Schulz (killed in action 29 April 1915)
Auckland Weekly News, 1 July 1915.





Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Rest break on the Rimutakas

A real photographic postcard of “No.14 Platoon, ‘D’ Coy, 11th”, pictured during a rest break on their march over the Rimutaka ranges. The postcard is postmarked at Trentham Camp on 31 March 1916. 

The message addressed on the back of the card to Mr J. McCartney, Railways, Petone, reads:
“Dear May & Jim, Sorry I am unable to get down tonight as all leave is stopped so will bid you goodbye. Will write from Australia. Pick me in front. My a/d Cpl C.B.W 8/4498, 11th Rfts, c/o G.P.O. Wgton.”
The postcard was written by Private Charles Bernard Weenink, of Greymouth.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Who said Germany?

“Who said Germany?” Postcard published by E.T.W. Dennis & Sons, Ltd, London & Scarbro’, patriotic series no.5.

Rifleman Albert Walter Findlater of 32 platoon, H Company, 25th Reinforcements, Trentham, addressed this postcard to Mrs J. Allen, King Street, Otautau, Southland:

“Dear Mrs Allen, It seems quite a long time since we left Otautau. I went out to Trentham and seen Bert. He was looking tip top and enjoying camp life. The 26th seem to be nearly all drafted into the 25th. Met the other Otautau boys and they were in great form. Thank you very much for the little book you gave us. The place is alive with soldiers here. The 22nd went away silently last week. Not even a flag flying or band playing. Kindest regards to Mr Allen. Yours sincerely Beanie Findlater.”

Albert Findlater, a blacksmith at Otautau, married Robina Sutherland at Balclutha in 1915 a year after war was declared. By late 1917 he was on the battlefields of France posted to 2nd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Albert and Robina had been wed for a little over three years when he was reported killed in action on 26 October 1918 just a few weeks before the war ended. He fell at Le Cateau in France, aged 32 years and is buried at Cross Roads Cemetery at Fontaine-au-Bois.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Shakespeare Hut

“Y.M.C.A. Shakespeare Hut.” A real photographic postcard printed in England with a handwritten note, “my home in London”, written on the back. 

The Shakespeare Hut on the corner of Keppell and Gower Streets in London was close to the British Museum and offered free services to all sailors and soldiers in His Majesty’s Forces during the war. The hut had reading and writing rooms, a concert hall, library and accommodation. Meals were also available at low prices and were a welcome luxury when measured against the rations received on the frontline. Many New Zealand soldiers passed through the Shakespeare Hut doors when granted leave from their posting in Belgium and France.

Friday, 8 May 2015

The town of Passchendaele






Two German soldiers stop for a photograph against the backdrop remnants of a building in the Belgian town of Passchendaele. The town was the target of much shelling and was eventually reduced to rubble. The surrounding fields were pounded into a quagmire and became the scene of New Zealand's blackest days in October 1917. Over 3,700 New Zealand soldiers became casualties at Passchendaele.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Be Sure We Are Winners

“Be Sure We Are Winners.” This patriotic postcard was published by the American Studio at Heliopolis in Cairo. An oval photographic portrait of a New Zealand soldier of the Field Artillery Regiment has been glued onto the front of the card. A printed message on the back reads:
“With Hearty Christmas greetings and every good wish for your Health, Happiness, and Prosperity throughout the coming year.”

Friday, 17 April 2015

Britannia rules the sands

“Britannia rules the waves, Britannia rules the sands.” 
Postcard published by Paul Barbey’s Printing Office, Cairo, and illustration by artist “Juan”. 

A tourist’s visit to Egypt often included a camel ride beside the Pyramids of Giza. This humourous artistic depiction shows a New Zealand soldier at the reins and an Australian soldier riding high on the camel’s hump. The handwritten message on the back of the postcard reads:
“Dear Mother, Send these two cards to Granny after you have seen her. Cecil.”

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Gallipoli Heights

An artist’s impression of Turkish troops at Gallipoli firing on the Anzacs. 
A German postcard printed and published in 1915. 

The rugged and inhospitable terrain of the heights above Anzac Cove, and the effect it had on ‘boxing-in’ opposing armies is cleverly caught in this scene. Many soldiers were caught by shellfire and snipers, others were captured and became prisoners of war. On 29 September 1915 the Ashburton Guardian advised readers on what to do to try and obtain information about missing individual soldiers:
 “The Postmaster-General states that persons having friends or relatives reported to be missing may write a postcard to a missing soldier and send it to the deputy chief postal censor at Wellington, who will forward it to the proper quarter for delivery. The postcard should be addressed to the soldier by his rank, number, name and regiment, the words ‘Believed to be prisoner of war in Turkey,’ being added. The card should be fully signed by the sender. No postage stamps are required to be affixed. Written matter should be strictly confined to social and domestic affairs. Any reference to the war or to politics or the state of the country will result in the destruction of the card.”

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bairnsfather's "The Soldier's Dream"

“The Soldier’s Dream – A ‘Bitter’ disappointment on waking.” 
Postcard by artist Bruce Bairnsfather, “Fragments from France”, Series 6. 
It bears the handwritten message from what is thought to be a New Zealand soldier at Brockenhurst on 19 July 1917: “Dear Myrtle, Here I am back in this hospital again after 8 days in the Convalescent Camp. I expect to get a shift tomorrow either to Hornchurch or Codford. Today has turned out a real scorcher, after heavy rain all yesterday and the night before. Love to all.”

Artist Captain Bruce Bairnsfather served in the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the First World War. During this time he produced a regular cartoon in the highly popular British weekly magazine The Bystander. His artwork was often light-hearted depictions of life at the front line. Bairnsfather is perhaps best remembered for his creation of the lovable and mustachioed ‘Old Bill’ soldier character and for his work printed in the "Fragments from France" magazine.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

NZ Hospital Ship Maheno

“N.Z.H.S. Maheno.” Photograph taken by Lancashire-born Ughtred Hitchon, of Auckland, NZ. Hitchon was a district officer of the Auckland St John Ambulance Association.  He came to New Zealand on the ship Ionic in 1904 and was a member of the National Reserve section of the St John Ambulance Brigade during the war. On his passing in July 1945, his estate was valued at about £20,000 and he had made generous bequests to a number of charitable institutions including the St John Ambulance Association, a Salvation Army house for children under five known as the “Nest” in Hamilton, and Manurewa children’s homes.

The Maheno entered war service in 1915 as a hospital ship and was skippered by Captain Donald McLean on five charters from July 1915 to April 1919. Her busy war service resulted in the evacuation of thousands of patients from Gallipoli, Egypt, and France with casualties transported to hospitals in England and New Zealand. The Maheno had a long and successful career that spanned some 30 years. Her seaworthy days came to an abrupt end when she was wrecked on Fraser Island off the Queensland coast in Australia on 8 July 1935.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Protection of the NZ Main Body convoy

“H.I.M.S. Ibuki and H.M.S. Minotaur in Wellington Harbour.” An Ingleboro Photo Series postcard by Aldersley, card A.5. The Minotaur is the four-funnelled warship coming up behind the three-funnelled Ibuki as they leave Wellington Harbour in October 1914. These two warships were some of those used to escort and protect the NZ Main Body troopship convoy from an enemy attack on the long voyage to Egypt.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Back from lengthy absence...

Sorry Readers! I realise I haven't posted for quite some time. This was due to helping out on a number of WW1 Commemoration activities including an image used for one of the NZ postage stamps recently released (https://stamps.nzpost.co.nz/ww1/world-war-one-spirit-of-anzac), presentations to Probus, Philatelic and Genealogy groups, providing material for museum exhibitions and working on a new publication.
Back on board now, so regular posts to follow. Warm regards, Glenn.

New Zealand Troopship "Hawke's Bay" 1914

“HMNZ Transport No.9.” A real photographic postcard produced in New Zealand, postmarked 24 September 1914, Wellington, NZ. On the back of the card Private Walter John Taylor of the Otago Infantry wrote home to his father in Mandeville near Gore:

“Dear Pater, Have arrived at Wellington. Am alright. Will write tomorrow if we stop here. Your son forever, Watty.” 

Walter was a Main Body soldier and sailed on the Hawkes Bay (HMNZT 9) to Egypt. He was sent into combat at the Dardanelles in April 1915 but fell sick some months later and was declared unfit for any further military service. He returned to New Zealand after receiving some medical treatment in an overseas hospital.