Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thames (NZ): WWI contributions

The volunteers at The Treasury in Thames, are receiving wonderful examples of WWI memorabilia. A wide assortment of photographs, letters, pay-books, diaries and family histories. Family names to date include: Anthony, Brokenshire, Cornes, Danby, Jenkin, McCall, Milne and Paterson.
Amongst the photographs provided by the Thames Museum for the WWI photo register, was one showing the mascot of the Auckland Mounted Rifles. The photo is of H CLARK, believed to be Henry John Clark of Hikutaia, Thames.  Trooper Clark was a member of the Auckland Mounted Rifles and embarked from New Zealand on the 14th December 1914. He was discharged on the 5th September 1916 and later died in Auckland on the 12th June 1948. His given age on enlistment was 38 years, and family details included a wife and two children.
Source: Thames Museum
There is a story in the newspaper of how the Auckland Mounted Rifles adopted a Great Dane as one their mascots in 1916. Rona, the dog was allowed to visit a sick comrade in hospital, after starving herself for three days when her handler was hospitalised in London.

Photos and stories about a selection of WWI mascots can be found at (scroll down page). Animals included horses and even cats. Snowy the cat, was the Tunnellers' mascot.
Remember to keep looking out for memorabilia related to the WWI soldiers from the Hauraki, or consider a short story about any ancestors you have, that served in WWI from the region. These will be included in the Treasury Collection.