Thursday, November 12, 2009

WW1 KIWI - Buried at Hillingdon


Service No: 40183
Rifleman New Zealand Rifle Brigade

The Buckner family of Searell's Road received a further blow on learning that their elder son William had died of sickness in England on 23 October 1918. Before the war, William had been working as a teamster at Waddington west of Darfield in central Canterbury. He had enlisted in September 1916, suffered from measles while on the voyage to England and finally arrived in France in July 1917. After surviving the battles at Passchendaele, he was wounded in his left leg in January 1918, underwent a period of convalescence in France, then leave in England .

He returned to duty in September 1918, but was obviously unwell, classified as C Class (unfit for active duty) and returned to England having been diagnosed as suffering from pneumonia. In the Red Cross hospital in Torquay, his condition worsened and he died of pneumonia on 23 October 1918. He is buried in the Uxbridge Cemetery in England. Like his brother Percy, he is also commemorated on the Rolleston War Memorial as well as the Harewood School Memorial

NOTE: William Buckner suspected Spanish Flu death ?
(picture of grave) Dolores Cross Project web site

Private Percy Buckner was killed in action on 25 August 1918. He had been born in Ashburton in 1885 and was educated at Harewood School. Prior to his enlistment in July 1917, he had been working as a farm labourer on a family property in Rolleston, south of Christchurch. After training at Trentham (where he was fined two days' pay for overstaying his leave) he left for Europe in November 1917.

He was posted to the Otago Infantry Battalion and arrived in France in late March 1918. He began active service in the trenches in the Amiens area in June and a month later contracted diarrhoea, being hospitalised in Doullens. He rejoined his unit in early August and was killed in action in the Battle of Bapaume. He is buried in the cemetery at Achiet-le-Grand. Like his brother William (above), he is also commemorated on the Rolleston War Memorial as well as the Harewood School memorial.

Source "The Men from Papanui"