My goal is to personally visit and collate information from 100 New Zealand World War One memorials throughout New Zealand by August 2014 to commemorate the Centenary of World War One and to remember those who paid the ultimate price.
In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School], Wanganui Chronicle Co. Ltd.
Edward St George Gorton known as Jack was the youngest son of the late Lieutenant Colonel Edward and Nora Mary Stephenson Gorton. Born in 1881 he was educated along with his brothers at Wanganui Collegiate School. In 1902 he headed to Argentina to join his brother where they both ran large farms from which they hoped to make their fortune before eventually returning to New Zealand. At the outbreak of war and Jack quickly left Argentina and headed for Britain where he enlisted with the New Zealand Engineers.
He embarked for Gallipoli on 12 April 1915 where he was wounded on 16 May 1915 receiving shrapnel wounds to his back and right arm. After being hospitalised in Alexandria and Cairo he returned to Gallipoli in August 1915. Whilst recovering from his wounds he would have received the sad news of the death of his brother Denis in Buenos Aires. Jack distinguished himself in Gallipoli and is mentioned in the records.
After the evacuation from Gallipoli he served on the Western Front with the Engineers where he was killed in action on 11 January 1918 he is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium, he was 37 years old. Below is a extract from In Memoriam, 1914-1918, Wanganui Collegiate School: The evening before his death he received instructions to leave for a
commission in England, but asked permission to go out and finish a job
he had not completed. While doing this he was instantly killed by a
shell. He was in the Engineers and very keen on his work. Had he been a
little less so he would in all probability be alive today.
At the time of enlisting in January 1916, Cecil Duff was employed at the Eltham dairy factory as a cheese factory hand. Cecil was the second son of Elizabeth Eleanor Duff, of Bulls, and the late David James Duff, born in Wellington in April 1885.
Before embarking Cecil needed treatment on his teeth which was carried out at Featherston camp. The treatment required a general anesthetic and Cecil was confused with another soldier who had died at the hospital whilst undergoing treatment. Cecil's mother received a telegram informing her that her son had died while undergoing the treatment. When a cousin went to view what he assumed would be Cecil's body he was surprised to find Cecil alive. Cecil's mother (Elizabeth) on hearing the news that her son was still alive and well must have been overjoyed.
Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XLIII, Issue 13936, 8 March 1916
Cecil finally embarked on 1 April 1916 with the 2nd Reinforcements attached to the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Sadly Elizabeth would receive another telegram some months later in 1916 informing her that her son had been killed in action on 15 September 1916 at the Somme and this time there was no mistake. His body was never identified and he is remembered on the Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial, Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France.
Cecil's younger brother Bert also enlisted and embarked with the Wellington Infantry Battalion. On enlisting he was given a clean bill of health, however soon after arrival in England he had a re-occurrence of Rheumatic fever which he had contracted years early. From what I can tell he never made it to the front and was discharged from the army no longer fit for duty returning to New Zealand in May 1917.