Geraldine War Memorial

Geraldine War Memorial, Anzac Day, April 25 2004, photo courtesy of Garry Toomey
Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Geraldine other War Memorials     2007
South Canterbury War Memorials


LOCATION - The Geraldine War Memorial  unveilled 25 April 1922, still stands on its original site on the left while driving south east through Geraldine to Winchester. It was opposite the Geraldine Borough Council offices in Talbot Street, Geraldine but the Council Offices have now been pulled down, 2004.The images are of the four sides of the Cenotaph as they have been since 1945. The Memorial has names engraved on three sides, two sides with 1914-18 soldiers and only one with 1939-45 and two plinths -  a total of 211 names with a further 14 to be added at some time. This will total 225 names (including the two which appear twice under different spelling). There was a suggestion that the Cenotaph be relocated in front of the new Geraldine Library across the road but there was some public opposition to this as the current site had supposedly been chosen because:
a) That is where the sun shines on the front of the structure on the 11th day of the 11th month each year
b) It is readily noticeable by those driving by.
c) The structure would not remain intact in moving.

d) It would be costly to resite. 

 

1914-1918
CAPT P.S. BARKER
CAPT E. HARRIS
CAPT R. PRIEST
CAPT W.F. PATERSON
CAPT D.B. MacFARLANE
CAPT G.A. SINCLAIR-THOMSON
LIEUT J.R. DENNISTOUN
LIEUT J. KNOWLES
LIEUT K. SINCLAIR-THOMSON
SERGT A.J. BENNINGTON
SERGT H.A. HAMILTON
SERGT C.H. CROWE
SERGT J.P. BRETT
SERGT D. DEVON
SERGT A.J. HAMMOND
SERGT J.R. HOWARD
CORP E.D. COGAN
CORP S.R. SMITH

RIFLEMAN W.S. JENKINS
RIFLEMAN J.A. TATE
PRIVATE H.M. CAMPBELL
PRIVATE C. SKEVINGTON
PRIVATE M. REGAN
PRIVATE W.G. RUSSELL
PRIVATE R.J. THEW
PRIVATE W.R. BARDON
PRIVATE K. TINEY
PRIVATE C.K.B. TINCLER
PRIVATE A.G. ROBINSON    
PRIVATE E. DASS   
PRIVATE H. RAE    
PRIVATE J. MITCHELL    
PRIVATEA. MAITLAND    
PRIVATE J.M. HAWKE    
PRIVATE P. HAY    
PRIVATE A. HALL    
CORP A. McPHERSON
CORP A. HENDERSON
L/CORP L.W.H. BRYANT
L/CORP H.L. THATCHER
L/CORP S.G. ELLERY
L/CORP L.T. CARVER
TROOPER R. MAXWELL D C.M.
TROOPER F.D. TEMPLER
TROOPER H.W. HOPKINS
TROOPER W.J. DAVIS
TROOPER J.H.H. PATRICK
TROOPER D.A. RAE
TROOPER J. FIFIELD
TROOPER A. HENDERSON
GUNNER H.G. PAGE
RIFLEMAN C. MAXWELL
RlFLEMAN H.R. BURBOROUGH
RIFLEMAN S.C. FARNIE
PRIVATE R.O. MAISTER
PRIVATE F.J. CUNNINGHAM
PRIVATE J.M. LYONS
PRIVATE L.G. HOPKINS
PRIVATE P. McQUILLAN
PRIVATE D. WATERS
PRIVATE J. BERRY
PRIVATE J. BURNS
PRIVATE W.S. QUAID
PRIVATE J. BENNETT
PRIVATE W. BATES
PRIVATE J.M. HOWARD
PRIVATE H. McNAB
PRIVATE S. JONES
PRIVATE T.D. GILLESPIE
PRIVATE H. BRUCE
PRIVATE J. PERKINS
PRIVATE W. KEYE

1939 -1945

ROYAL NAVY
A.B.    R. FITZGERALD
ARMY
CAPT	P.T. NORRIS, M.C.	    PTE    G.A.J. IRVINE
LIEUT. 	P. FOGT			    PTE    A.W. MORRIS
LIEUT. 	D.M.H. TRIPP		    PTE    C.H. MOSS
LIEUT	H.M.H. TRIPP		    PTE    D.R. NOLAN
W.O.    M. TAVENER, M.M.	    PTE    S.S. PATRICK
SGT    	A.F. MORRIS		    PTE    G.J. PATERSON
SGT    	J.E. TEMPLER		    PTE    W.A. PELVIN
L/SGT	J.K. BROWN		    PTE    F.W. POLHILL
CPL    	L.G. BRENTON		    PTE    E.T.F. REID
CPL    	M.K. BRENTON		    PTE    K.H. TURNER
L/CPL 	G.N. GALE		    PTE    M. VINCENT
L/CPL 	A.E. O'NEILL		    PTE    A.J. WALLER
SPR   	T.J.C. WILLIAMS		    PTE    F.W. WALLER
SIGM    D.P. BENNETT		    DVR    F.H. BENNETT
PTE    	J.W.G. CASWELL		    DVR    J. McCOMBE

ROYAL AIR FORCE
F/LIEUT	 M.F. FIFIELD		    SGT/O    R.W. PATRICK
F/LIEUT	 R.C. FLOWER		    F/SGT    E.R. ARMSTRONG
P/O	 A.L. ELLIS		    L.A.C.   J.E. KERR
SGT/P	 R. CLARK		    A.C.1.   R.0. GRANT

Names on plinth of the Geraldine Cenotaph are the additions for mostly 1914 - 1918 soldiers spelt the way they are in engraved on the stonework.

1914-1918
Major D. Grant
Major A.G. Mahan
Capt. L.N. Turton, R.N.
Lieut. T.A. Clark
Lieut. J.W. Pinckney
Lieut. D.J. Shaw
2/LT C.M. Cazalet
2/LT A.G. Guiness
2/LT G.G. Harper, D.C.M.
2/LT L.D. Russell
2/LT T.G. Russell
Sergt. H.J. Bruce
Sergt. W.J. Lorgelly, M.M.
Sergt. W.T. McClelland
Sergt. W.C. Peterson
Sergt. J.W.T. Ross
Sergt. A. Worner
T/Sergt. R.P. Piper
Corp. H.S. Pearpoint
Corp. R.H.G. Storey
Corp. G.W. Worner
T/Corp. E.J. Mullany
L/Corp. F. Boucher
L/Corp. D.J. Gynes
L/Corp. L.W.B. Hall
L/Corp. W.W. Hoskins
 
L/Corp. A. Jackson
L/Corp. J. MacRae
L/Corp. J. Morrison
L/Corp. J. Sillifant, D.C.M.
BMDR W.R. Barton-Browne
SPR. H.M. Ross
Trooper L.M. La C.F. Bartrop
Trooper G.E. Booker
Trooper D.J.A. Ferguson
Trooper J. Gynes
Trooper J.M. Hagerty
Trooper E.T. Harper
Trooper A.McC. Johnstone
Trooper T.R. Kennedy
Trooper P. Sullivan
Rifleman F.J. Annals
Rifleman J. Bain
Rifleman J. Cochrane
Rifleman D.P. Macfarlane
Rifleman J. McNeil
Rifleman N.D. Muff
Rifleman M. Patrick
Rifleman C. Walters
Rifleman C.H. Whetton
Rifleman J.M. Williamson
Rifleman A. Worner

A.H.V. Anderson
W.H. Annals
L.J. Baker
H.T. Batchelor
T.E. Booker
T.G.J. Boughton
P. Burke
J.F. Burrows
W.T. Clarke
S.G. Clement
H.H. Cross
R. Dalton
V.A. Ellery
R. Fitzgerald
J.F.W. Godrey
J.A. Godsell
I. Harrison
J.T. Heran
R.B. Herdman
L.W. Hill
B.A.C. Hutchinson
J. Jobberns
A.I.W. Kay
C.C. Kelland
C.M. Livingston
G.W. Loach
S. McClelland
T. McNamara
A. McRae
R. O'Neill
J.D.H. Owens
W.J. Rae
W.B. Rea
W. Rupell
A.H. Smith
W.M. Sorrenson
F.H. Sowerby
J. Tait
A.H.L. Talke
B.K. Totton
J. Tyler
G.W. Waters
Private L.O. White
Private F.G. Yates

1939-1940
ARMY

S/SGT. E.G. Ensor
Private W.A.L. Pebbles

ROYAL NZ AIR FORCE

L.A.C. I.J. Waldie

Auckland Weekly News 3 Aug. 1916
THOMPSON, Captain Alastair, of the Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders, third s/o Mr Sinclair Thompson of Geraldine, killed in action, France.

NZEF Nominal Rolls, 1914-1918
Joseph Fifield
Regimental Number: 7/1228
Trooper Sixth Reinfs. C.M.R.
Last Residence: Woodbury
Single
Relative Name: Mrs J Fifield, Woodbury
Relative Relationship: Mother
Embarkation: 1914-1915
WWI Casualty Lists, 1914-1919
J Fifield
Date Reported: 27 Dec 1918
Regimental Number: 7/1228
Book 14: 15 Aug 1918 - 6 Jan 1919.
L. Corpl.- a non commissioned officer
Casualty List No. 1031/2
Died of disease

Otago Daily Times 6 March 1915, Page 11
March 5. News have been received of the death of Lieut. Kenneth Sinclair Thomson, killed in action in Persia. The late lieutenant was the son of Mr and Mrs Sinclair Thomson, now resident at Geraldine, Ho was 26 years of age, and was born at Dunedin. He was educated at the Wanganui College, and then went to St. John's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in medicine. He was very keen on soldiering, however, and on leaving the university he entered the army, and obtained a commission in the Bengal cavalry. It was only quite recently that his parents received news from him that his regiment had been ordered away on active service in Persia, and he had probably been in the fighting area only a few days when he was killed. Mr Sinclair Thomson, sen., has two other sons—one in the navy, who has been serving in a destroyer since the war started, and the other in the army, the latter having recently obtained a commission in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders.

Evening Post, 8 March 1915, Page 6
News has been received of the death in action in Persia of Lieutenant Kenneth Sinclair Thomson . He was the son of Mr. Sinclair Thomson, now braiding at Geraldine, and was 26 years of age. He was educated at Wanganui College, and then went to St. John's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in medicine. On leaving the university he entered the army, and obtained a commission in the Bengal Cavalry. It was only quite recently that his parents received news that his regiment had been ordered away on active service in Persia, and he had probably only been in the fighting area a few days when he was killed.

 Evening Post, 23 April 1915, Page 8
Lieutenant Kenneth Sinclair Thomson, who was killed in action on the Persian Gulf on 3rd March, was born in New Zealand in 1886. He was the eldest eon of Mr. John Sinclair Thomson, of Geraldine, who has another son in the North Sea — Lieutenant Colin Sinclair Thomson, R.N., on board H.M.S. Ambuscade — and another (Mr. A. Sinclair Thomson), who joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders when ho arrived in England quite lately. Lieutenant K. S. Thomson (writes our London correspondent) went to Cambridge with the object of studying medicine, but, having joined the King's Colonials them, his attention was turned to the Army. After taking his degree at Cambridge he joined the 21st Cavalry in India, where his sunny disposition and his all-round sportsmanship, secured for him many friends. He was greatly disappointed at not being sent to France with the first contingent, and two days before the announcement of his death letters were received saying that he had been attached to the 16th Cavalry, and was leaving Bombay for the Persian Gulf.

Colonist, 26 April 1915, Page 4
Lieutenant Kenneth Sinclair Thomson, who was killed in action on the Persian Gulf on March 3rd, was born in New Zealand in 1886. He was the oldest son of Mr. John Sinclair Thomson, of Geraldine, who has two other sons in the King's service.

Otago Daily Times 6 March 1915, Page 6
SINCLAIR THOMSON. On March 3 (killed in action, Persian Gulf), Kenneth Sinclair Thomson, lieutenant 21st Indian Cavalry, (attached 16th Cavalry) eldest son of John Sinclair Thomson, The Crossing, Geraldine.  

Captain George Alastair Sinclair Thomson, born Dunedin, New Zealand June 1892, died 21/07/1916, age 24, who was the son of John Sinclair Thomson, a Bank Manager, and Annie Sinclair Thomson, of Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand. He was sent to attend Loretto School, Edinburgh, from 1908 to 1910. After leaving school he took up sheep-farming in New Zealand, and was there when war broke out, he returned to Scotland at once and secured a commission in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He went to France early in 1915, and was soon after given his Captaincy. Captain Sinclair Thomson, who was then with the 2nd Battalion of his Regiment, was superintending the digging of a trench by his men, on July 20, 1916, when he was shot by a sniper and died next day.

Poverty Bay Herald, 29 July 1916, Page 3 Christchurch This day.
Captain Alastair Thomson (killed) the third son of Mr Sinclair Thomson, of Geraldine, who previously lost another sort in the Mesopotamia campaign while serving with the Indian Cavalry Regiment. Captain Thomson was born in Dunedin, educated at Christ College, Christchurch, and Loretto. Returning to New Zealand he studied at Lincoln College for about a year, and was then engaged in sheep farming in North Otago. He went Home in the early months of the war and was given a commission in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. During the past year he saw a great deal of fighting.
 

North Otago Times, 29 April 1915, Page 3
Lieutenant Kenneth Sinclair Thomson, who was killed in action on the Persian Gulf on March 11, was, born in New Zealand in 1886. He was the eldest son of Mr John Sinclair Thomson, of Geraldine, who, has another son in the North Sea - Lieutenant Colin Sinclair Thomson, R.N., on board H.M.S. Ambuscade; and another — Mr A. Sinclair Thomson who joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders when he arrived in England recently. Lieutenant K. S. Thomson went to Cambridge with the object of studying medicine, but, having joined the King's Colonials there, his attention was turned to the army. After taking his degree at Cambridge, be joined the 21st Cavalry in India, where his sunny disposition and his all-round sportsmanship secured for him many friends. He was greatly disappointed at not being sent to France with the first contingent, and two days before the announcement of his death letters were received saying that he had been attached to the 16th Cavalry, and was leaving Bombay for the Persian Gulf.

Otago Daily Times 21 November 1918, Page 4
News has been received by cable that Dr Paterson died at Hornchurch Hospital of pneumonia. He was Mayor of Geraldine, and resigned office on his services being accepted by the military authorities, and he left as captain in the N.Z.M.C. He was very highly esteemed throughout the district, over which his death has cast a gloom.

Press, 28 April 1919, Page 5 Geraldine
A half-holiday was observed here in honour of Anzac Day, and there were special services morning and evening at the Anglican Church, Canon Staples Hamilton delivering appropriate addresses. The evening service was largely attended. The Returned Soldiers' Association held a dinner in the Crown Hotel, at which, about 70 were present. Major Hutton was in the chair. The following toasts were honoured — "The King," "Our Fallen Comrades," and "The Navy and Army." The soldiers also held a ball in the Drill Hall, which was decorated by the ladies. There was a large attendance, and the function was deemed a great success.


Press, 27 April 1920, Page 7
The celebration of Anzac Day at Geraldine was marked by a general feeling of seriousness, and the people entered heartily into the combined service held in the Drill Hall, which was crowded. A cross had been placed in Upper Talbot street, and on this a great number of wreaths were placed. The returned men, the Mayor and Councillors, members of public bodies and societies, with Cadets and Boy Scouts, headed by the band, marched to the hall, where on impressive service was held, opening with the "Funeral March." Those taking part in the service were the Revs. J. Madill (Presbyterian), Featherstone (Methodist), and G. B. Nanson (Anglican). The Mayor gave a short opening speech, and the Rev. Canon Staples Hamilton delivered an able address. The singing was led by a combined choir, the orchestra accompanying. After the playing of "The Dead March" on the organ by Miss E. Sherratt, the firing party fired volleys, and the "Last Post" was sounded. Mrs Rule, of Timaru, sang with feeling "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth," and the hymn, "O God Our Help" was followed by the National Anthem. Special services were also held in the respective churches. 

Private James Tyler 6/3494
Canterbury Regiment 1st N.Z.E.F.
Date of Death Thursday, 4 December 1919
Date of Interment Saturday, 6 December 1919 Geraldine Cemetery
Next of Kin E. Tyler (father), 74 Armstrong Street, Middlepark, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Marital Status Single
Enlistment Address Care of D. Finlay, Courtenay, New Zealand
Military District Canterbury
Body on Embarkation 8th Reinforcements
Embarkation Unit Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Embarkation Date 13 November 1915
Place of Embarkation Wellington, New Zealand
Son of Mrs. Johanna Tyler, of Kerford Rd., Albert Park, Victoria, Australia.

Press, 13 April 1920, Page 3
Geraldine. Returned Soldiers' Association The relatives of the late Mr Tyler, an Australian soldier who died here, wrote expressing gratitude for the attention the deceased had received.

Anzac Day in Geraldine 2007

Why wear a poppy?

"Please wear a Poppy" the lady said
And held one forth, but I shook my head.
Then I stopped and watched to see how she'd fare.
Her face was old and lined with care
But beneath the scars the years had made
There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street
Bouncing along on carefree feet
His smile was full of joy and fun
"Lady" he called, "May I have one?"
As she pinned it on I heard him say
"Why do we wear a poppy today?"

The lady smiled in her wistful way
And answered "This is Remembrance Day
The poppy there is a symbol for
The gallant men who died in war.
And because they did, you and I are free
That's why we wear a poppy you see.

I had a boy about your size
With golden hair and big blue eyes
He loved to play and jump and shout
Free as a bird he would race about
As years went on he learned and grew
And became a man, as you will too.

He was fine and strong with a boyish smile
But he seemed with us, such a little while
When war broke out he went away.
When he smiled at me and said "Goodbye
I'll be back soon, so please don't cry."

But the war went on and he had to stay
All I could do was wait and pray.
His letters told of the awful fight
I can see it still in my dreams at night
With tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire
And mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.

Till at last the war was won
And that's why we wear a poppy son."

The small boy turned as if to go
Then said "Thanks lady, I'm glad I know
That sure did sound like an awful fight
But your son, did he come home alright?"

A tear rolled down each faded cheek
She shook her head but didn't speak
I slink away, head bowed in shame
And if you were with me, you'd have done the same
For our thanks in giving, is often delayed
Though the freedom was bought, and thousands paid!

And so you see when a Poppy is worn
Let us reflect on the burden borne
By those who gave their very all
When asked to answer their countries call
That we at home in peace may live
Then wear a Poppy! Remember and give!

by Don Crawford

25 April 2007. Geraldine. It was a wet day. Photo taken by Margaret Todd.   Pleasing turnout in Geraldine
The Timaru Herald | Thursday, 26 April 2007
More than 500 people braved a cold autumnal day to mark the Anzac Day service at the War Memorial in Geraldine yesterday. The ceremony began at 9am and followed a march from the Returned Services' Association. Returned servicemen and members of the public walked to the memorial accompanied by music by the Timaru Scottish Society Pipe Band. Geraldine RSA president Robert Wood, who served in the British and New Zealand armies, was pleased with the attendance. "It was a good turnout as far as we're concerned." The Geraldine RSA has about 120 members who were picked up by minibus for the 35-minute service. "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away," Mr Wood said. Timaru district mayor Janie Annear was guest speaker at the ceremony and recited from the poem, Why do we wear a poppy? She thanked the servicemen for their sacrifices and acknowledged their deeds had allowed New Zealanders to keep their freedom. Geraldine RSA women's section president Elaine Kay said up to 600 people had attended the service. Mrs Kay helped to prepare the morning tea which followed the service, before heading to Geraldine's cemetery with other women to decorate the graves of more than 150 local servicemen with flowers.

Grey River Argus, 4 May 1916, Page 4
ANZAC DAY
(25th April, 1915)
Eastward, o'er the dark Aegean, glide our ships on Anzac Day,
Spectral galleys, in the grey light looming into Suvla Bay
Moving through the sacred waters which the Royal Xerxes crossed,
Where the barks of Agamemnon with their Grecian heroes tossed

Still another race of heroes do these stately ships enfold,
Trojan Horse of old.
Each one bearing in its bosom, like the
Armed men with, hopes high-burning, beating hearts with eyes aglow,
Waiting for the silent signal, eager for the fray below.

Steep the slopes of Gaba Tepe; sheer the cliffs of Sari Bair;
Ghost-like glide the giant steamers, flashing in the searchlights glare;
From the beach-lined Turkish, trenches shriek the rifles of the foe;
Screaming high above, the shrapnel rains upon the boats below.

Oh, the groans of stricken comrade as we meet the iron rain!
Oh, the cheer of Maorilander as the narrow beach we gain!
Struggling through the churning waters, onwards rush we with the steel,
Clear the corpse strewn sands of foemen, upwards through the scrub we reel.

Matted creeper, purple cistus, myrtle thickets, asphodel.
Mingled with the dead and dying, : clothe this sloping garen, Hell;
Upward, ever upward charging, soon we gain the beetling crest.
Chase the flying foe to shelter ere we think of needed rest.

Scream of conflict, clang and clamour, flashing steel, and spurting flame.
Oh, the joyous battle-music! Oh, the glow of War's great game!
Oh, the brave hearts, keen for Freedom, fighting in her sacred name.
Dying for the deathless glory of a whole world freed from shame.

Heights of Abraham! Troy! Where are ye? Where are all your glorious now,
Since our Southern Sons of Battle set your laurels on their brow?
Thrice a thousand years have gone by thrice a million suns have set —
Since Achilles and brave Hector in the shock of conflict met.

But no greater deed of daring, not one action more sublime.
E'er has echoed, ringing loudly, though the clanging aisles of Time,
Than the one when stalwart Anzacs scaled the cliffs and fought the foe
In the land of classic story where the Thracian waters flow.

— Cheyne Farnie.

The 2006 Anzac Day Service at Geraldine, was held in the local theatre, being transferred there at late notice due to very inclement weather. In spite of this over 600 attended. I believe the theatre seats 500 so that meant about 100 sat in the aisles and in front of the downstairs seating, while a number stood outside under umbrellas. The turnout was considered a great success.

The New Zealand tradition will continue for wreaths of poppies and flowers placed at memorials and honour boards on ANZAC Day. Negligence, omissions and poor record keeping resulted in some unfortunate gaps on our memorials and boards. On War Memorials and Honour Boards throughout New Zealand names have been misspelt, missed out or even transposed. For example on the Geraldine War Memorial two names which appear twice under different spelling. Some of the boards are missing or not updated. In the Geraldine Library Service Centre foyer hangs four honour boards that have been saved from buildings around the district that have been demolished.  Other communities around the country are facing the same problem when churches, schools, lodges and business establishments are demolished.  Some communities have even lost stain glass windows.  Placing them in museum is not always the right solution as they can be forgotten, lost, mis-labeled or even broken when placed in storage.

 15887, Rifleman Stuart Cheyne Farnie, NZRB, only son of Thomas Cheyne and Clara Mary Ure Farnie, Woodbury, Geraldine, died of wounds in at La Petite Douve, Nth. France, May 5th 1917. His father was the headmaster at Geraldine. He attended Canterbury Agricultural College, Lincoln.

© 2006 - 2013. This page may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion.  South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project website.