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2nd Canterbury Battalion, New Zealand Exp. Force in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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2nd Canterbury Battalion, New Zealand Exp. Force



7th Jun 1918 Reliefs

5th Nov 1918 In the Line

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Want to know more about 2nd Canterbury Battalion, New Zealand Exp. Force?


There are:2 pages and articles tagged 2nd Canterbury Battalion, New Zealand Exp. Force available in our Library



Those known to have served with

2nd Canterbury Battalion, New Zealand Exp. Force

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Hughes Frank. Pte. (d.28th Aug 1916)
  • Hughes Frank. Pte. (d.25th Aug 1916)
  • Jennings Albert Charles. Sjt. (d.7th Jun 1917)
  • Labrom George Richard Henry. Sergeant

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List


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June 2017

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217969

Pte. Frank Hughes 2nd Btn. Canterbury Regiment (d.25th Aug 1916)

Ptivate Frank Hughes served with the 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment as part of the New Zaland Expeditionary Force. He was executed for desertion on 25th Sugust 1916 aged 28 and was buried in Hallencourt Communal Cemetery, Somme, France.

His crime is recorded as Poor military/disciplinary record. Deserted en route to the front. After being found guilty of desertion, 28-year-old Private Frank Hughes was shot by firing squad in the French village of Hallencourt. He was the first New Zealand soldier executed during the First World War.

Born in Gore in 1888, Frank worked as a builder’s labourer in Wellington before enlisting in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). He departed New Zealand with the 10th Reinforcements and arrived in France in late April 1916. A month later he joined the 12th (Nelson) Company, 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment.

Hughes, a heavy drinker, was in trouble from the start. By late July 1916 he had been hauled before his commanding officer three times for ill-discipline. On 26th July a Field General Court Martial found him guilty of ‘absenting himself without leave’ and sentenced him to one year’s imprisonment with hard labour. This sentence was suspended after review and Hughes was issued a final warning.

Released from custody, Hughes had only just rejoined his unit in the trenches when he disappeared again on the afternoon of 29th July 1916. Eleven days later Military Police found him asleep in an abandoned house in Armentières. Asked what he was doing, he replied: ‘I’ve come for a sleep ... I’ve been away six days.’

On 12th August 1916, Hughes appeared before a Field General Court Martial at Armentières, charged with ‘Deserting His Majesty’s Service’. He pleaded not guilty, blaming his behaviour on alcohol: ‘Owing to the effect of drink I was light-headed and wandered out of the trench. I knocked round town until I was arrested. I intended to give myself up as soon as the Police came to me. While in town I was drinking.’

Despite his protestations Hughes was found guilty and sentenced to ‘suffer death by being shot’. At the end of the trial, he was remanded in custody until sentencing was confirmed by the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, on 22nd August 1916. Two days later, and 12 days after his court martial, Hughes was told his fate.

The execution was carried out the next morning in an orchard in the village of Hallencourt. Hughes was led from his cell and placed against a tree. He was offered a blindfold but refused, reportedly saying: ‘Don’t put the bandage over my eyes – I want to see them shoot.’ At 5.50 a.m. the firing squad, made up of men from the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion, opened fire. Hughes was buried in the Hallencourt Communal Cemetery, next to where the execution took place.

Frank Hughes was one of 28 members of the NZEF sentenced to death during the war. Of these, only five were sent before the firing squad: Hughes, Private John Sweeney, Private John Braithwaite, Private John King, and Private Victor Spencer. All but one (Braithwaite) were tried and executed by New Zealand military authorities for desertion.

s flynn




217649

Pte. Frank Hughes 2nd Btn. Canterbury Infantry Regiment (d.28th Aug 1916)

Frank Hughes was executed for poor military disciplinary record. He deserted en route to the front and the first New Zealander executed during World War 1 for crimes against military laws. The charge was 'A.A. Sec.12 (1A) When on active service deserting His Majesty's Service in that he in the field between 1530 & 2130 on 29th July 1916 did absent himself without leave from his unit in the front line trenches (T82) & was absent until apprehended by the Military Foot Police at 0600 on 9th August 1916. He was posthumously pardoned on 14 September 2000, when New Zealand's Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Act became law.

S Flynn




217605

Sergeant George Richard Henry Labrom Canterbury

My great uncle, George Labrom, was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland on 12th February 1884. He emigrated to New Zealand and died in Aukland in 1949. From the excellent New Zealand records I can see that he enlisted in the army and on the 13th of November 1916 he was posted to F company 23rd Btn. On the 2nd of April 1917 he embarked from Wellington and on the 10th of June disembarked at Devonport with the 4th Reserves Battalion, Canterbury Regiment. He is listed on the Nominal rolls at Sling camp with the rank of Private. The 4th Reserves Battalion Canterbury Regiment, Proceeded overseas and left for France on the 6 July 1917. On the 9th of July they marched into camp at Etaples. On the 24 July George joined 3rd Battalion Canterbury Regiment and was posted to 12 company in Rouen. In October 1917 he was wounded (gassed) in the field and was admitted no 1 New Zealand Field Ambulance, then admitted no 3 Australian casualty clearing post (gassed - mustard gas shell.) On the 19th of October he was admitted no 10 General hospital Rouen (gas poisoning) and on the 23rd he embarked on the Hospital Ship Essequibo for England. The following day he was admitted to 1st New Zealand General Hospital Brockenhurst. In December he was transferred to New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch and by the 18 January 1918 he had recovered enough to return to duty at the New Zealand Company Depot at Codford. On the 14th May 1918 he rejoined 3rd Reserve Battalion Canterbury Regiment and proceeded overseas from Sling. On the 19th May he joined No 2 New Zealand Ent Battalion and on the 28th transferred to 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment and was appointed Lance Corporal. On the 14th of February 1919 he was with the South Island Battalion and was appointed Lance Sergeant. Finally on the 31st of May 1919 he left Plymouth and embarked for New Zealand onboard His Majesty's Troopship Kigoma.

Throughout WW2 George served in the New Zealand Home Defence. He never married and died alone in his room in a boarding house in 1949. He was buried on 7th September 1949 at Waikumete cemetery, Block K, section 14, no 58, soldiers portion. When I was researching George on the Internet I found that his war medals had recently been sold on the Trademe Internet auction site but I was sadly unable to track them down. The details were: British War Medal 1914-1918 and The Victory Medal Reserve met Closed: Sun 29 Apr 2012, 8:49 pm Listing #: 469032204 Awarded to George Richard Henry Labrom who was a member of the Wanganui District (Group 20) detachment for the 23rd Reinforcements of the NZ Expeditionary Force. Both medals are inscribed around their edges: 40017 T/SJT G.R.H Labrom NZEF

My grandfather, Robert Frederick Labron and his brothers, William John Labrom and George Richard Henry Labrom appear on a plaque in St Patrick's Church, Newry. (My grandfather always spelled his surname Labron). All three were in the army in World War One and all three survived.

Sue Eynon






Recomended Reading.

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New Zealand and the Great War: A Photographic Record of New Zealanders at War 1914-1918

Glyn Harper


They shall not grow old...In 1914, despite being forbidden, many a Kiwi soldier's kitbag included a portable camera, known as 'The Soldiers' Kodak'. In a major research project, Glyn Harper and the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum have combined official war photographs with more informal images to produce a moving visual history. While primarily drawn from the Museum's collection, many photographs from private sources have been included. From more than 25,000 photographs, just over 800 have been selected - most of which have never been published. Chosen to depict each theatre of the 1914-18 war, including Gallipoli, Sinai-Palestine and the Western Front, poignant images from the home front are also included, along with graphic portraits of wounded soldiers, whose treatment marked the beginnings of modern plastic surgery. Despite the First World War being described as the most important and far-reaching political and military event of the twentieth century, pivotal in forging our






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