5 August 2014

World War 1: 100 years on, ....... "we will remember them"

The 4th of August 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1; - the Great War, the war to end all wars, or so it seemed. Over the next few years I hope to feature on this blog the stories of some of the heroes of this war, including my own brave family members who fought "for King and country". Some of them were badly injured but were fortunate to make it home alive, while others paid the ultimate price and died far across the seas in foreign lands.

Today I want to pay tribute to all those millions and millions of brave souls who answered the call to arms and fought for their nations. To begin with it may have seemed like some great adventure they were heading on, but all too soon they were living the nightmare and experiencing the horrors that were World War 1.  The courage it took to live through this time, and the effects it had on them, will never be truly known or understood by our generation alive today. I hope and pray that we will never have to live through what they did but their sacrifices and their memory must never be forgotten. 

Ever since I was a young child I have been fascinated by World War 1, mainly because I heard so many stories from my grandmother about her father and her uncles that went away to war. I have spent a lot of time researching my ancestors and family members who lived through this time, and every day it seems my list of brave soldiers continues to grow. Below are the names of 22 family members who I know all answered the call and fought during this time. Seven of them paid the ultimate price with their lives. I will never stop remembering them and never stop thanking them for their bravery and their courage.  

My Scottish Soldiers

Herbert RENSHAW - R.Q.M.Sgt, 5th Btn Scottish Rifles (240026)

James RENSHAW - Pte, 18th Btn (4th Glasgow Yeomanry) Highland Light Infantry (350658). Killed in action, 25 March 1918, France. His body was never found and he is remembered with honour on the Pozieres Memorial, France. Aged 23 years.

William RENSHAW - service details unknown

David RENSHAW - service details unknown

Robert Speirs LINDSAY - 2nd Btn, Royal Engineers (15827), 3rd Btn (1st) Cameron Highlanders (18162)

James Close LINDSAY - 4th Btn, 2nd Scottish Rifles (B/7813)

Robert LINDSAY - service details unknown

Andrew LINDSAY - service details unknown

Douglas McCALLIE - Pte, 1st Btn, Royal Scots Fusiliers (8159). Killed in action, 1 Sept 1914, France. His body was never found and he is remembered with honour on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France. Aged 28 years.

James KEITH - Pte, 5th (1st) Btn, King’s Own Scottish Borderers (1486). Killed in action, 12 July 1915, Gallipoli, Turkey. His body was never found and he is remembered with honour on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. Aged 24 years.

Robert McCALLIE  - 5th Btn, King’s Own Scottish Borderers (1435), then 460th Btn, Agriculture Co. Labour Corp. (483477)

My New Zealand Soldiers

William Michael DWYER
Michael Joseph EGAN - Pte, NZEF 18th Reinforcements Otago Regiment 8th Co. (29756)

John Patrick EGAN - Warrant Officer, NZEF 4th Reinforcements, 1st Btn NZ Rifle Brigade, "E" Co. (23/1976)

Thomas Joseph EGAN - Corporal, NZEF 8th Reinforcements, Otago Mounted Rifles (9/1675), NZ Machine Gun Btn, No. 2 Co. "D" Squadron

James EGAN - Corporal, NZEF 35th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry “B” Co. (58993)

William Michael DWYER - Bombardier, NZEF 2nd Reinforcements, Otago Mounted Rifles, NZ Field Artillery (9/694). Died of sickness, 2 Aug 1917, France. Buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Aged 29 years.

Henry John BRUNT
John Michael REAL - NZEF, Canterbury Mounted Rifles (7/107), NZ Army Service Corp, No. 3 Co. (5/107B). Seriously injured at Gallipoli on 13 Aug 1915,   died of gunshot wounds on 1 Sept 1915 at No. 1 Australian Hospital, Heliopolis. Buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Aged 21 years.

Michael COSGRIFF -  Trooper, NZEF 41st Reinforcements, NZ Machine Gun Btn (74617)

Albert HURRELL - Sgt, NZEF 6th Reinforcements, 3rd Btn Wellington Regiment (10/2656)

Herbert HURRELL - Pte, NZEF 29th Reinforcements (58538)

Leslie HURRELL - Gunner, NZEF 2nd NZ Field Artillery 8th Brigade (2/43). Died of sickness, 3 November 1917, Belgium. Buried in the Zuydcoote Military Cemetery, Belgium. Aged 20 years.

Henry John BRUNT - Pte, NZEF 24th Reinforcements, 1st Btn Canterbury Regiment (43948). Killed in action, 12 Oct 1917 at Passchendaele, Belguim. Buried in the Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belguim. Aged 33 years.


The following family members were all on the NZ Reserves List. As yet I don’t know whether any of them were called-up, whether they served overseas or not, or whether they just remained on stand-by should they have ever been needed.

John COSGRIFF - Pte, NZEF 44th Reinforcements (78879), Edward COSGRIFF  - Reserve classification D, Matthew EGAN - Second Reserves, classification E, William Francis EGAN - First Reserves, William Joseph EGAN - Second Reserves, classification D, Michael Patrick EGAN - Second Reserves, classification E, James Francis EGAN  - Second Reserves, classification B, Frank SCHULTZ  - Second Reserves, classification A, Joseph SCHULTZ - Second Reserves, classification C, Thomas SCHULTZ - First ReservesThomas COSGRIFFWilliam WALLIS and Benjamin WALLIS.


"They will grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning.
We will remember them."

The fourth stanza from "For the Fallen", by Laurence Binyon

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