Sunday, May 12, 2019

Thames (NZ): Our Men & Women who served for other countries in WWI

There is a new book at Thames Library that cover New Zealanders who found in other services in World War One FOR KING AND OTHER COUNTRIES. (cover right)

The above book details that there were a number of men and women in Britain and Europe before World War One broke out. Their reasons were varied, for some it was family ties and allegiances, while others wanted to fight in a war at sea or in the air. Nurses were a good example of women who had gone to England to further their careers.

The book For King and Other Countries by Glyn Harper states:
"We know that some 12,000 New Zealanders contributed to the Allied war effort under the flags of other countries. Of these, just over 1400 paid the ultimate price for their service. Many others were left physically and psychologically maimed by their war experiences."

Nurse Theresa Butler (trained at Christchurch - after the war worked around Thames), initially worked with the St John Ambulance from August 1914, was taken prisoner for two months. Theresa then joined the New Zealand Army Nursing Service.

While Theresa was on the list of known people from the Thames area who served in World War One, the next two men mentioned in the book were not previously identified in the Thames-Coromandel WWI Rolls: James Gilpin and Emil Schroeder.

James Gilpin of Thames served in the South African War. After the war he moved to, and settled in Canada in 1905. When World War One broke out, James enlisted in the 29th Infantry (Vancouver) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces.

Emil Schroeder was born in 1885 at Tokatea near Coromandel. Emil's father struck it rich and the family appear to have gone travelling around 1901. Schroeder joined the German army and during his war service was awarded the Iron Cross in both first and second classes.

To-date these are following ROLL OF HONOUR men, identified as serving in overseas services during World War One:

Alfred Alley 9872 Australian Imperial Forces.
Owen Allom 1002 Australian Imperial Forces.
William Corin 2524 Australian Imperial Forces.
Thomas Findlay 3263 Australian Imperial Forces.
Charles Greaves 559 Australian Imperial Forces.
John Logan 2423 Australian Imperial Forces.
Thomas McDermott 3181 Australian Imperial Forces.
Leo Mulligan 464 Australian Imperial Forces.
George Rowe 695 Australian Imperial Forces.
William Taylor 1086A Australian Imperial Forces.
Walter Torrens 1458 Australian Imperial Forces.
William Trewhella 492 Australian Imperial Forces.
George Alfred Vivian 118 Australian Imperial Forces.

The book For King and Other Countries has full Roll of Honour, but sadly the index does not identify place of birth or region of affiliation in New Zealand. It would not be unreasonable to expect there are many more Thames names in the roll, men who were born or schooled in the town, and those we have not yet been able to trace.

Regardless, the book is a great read, and reminds us all to remember the New Zealand men and women who served for other countries / overseas services during World War One.