War memorial at Kilbirnie School

This memorial at the Moxham Avenue gates of Kilbirnie School was erected by local residents to commemorate former pupils and teachers from the school who died in the first World War. I would be glad to receive photographs or additional information about any of the men listed below. The current granite tablet put up in 1961 names 23 men. It covers the original white marble tablet.

Although this is a short list, it contains two sets of cousins.

There is also a Roll of Honour in the school hall which lists all those former pupils and staff who served in the war.

More photos and transcription of names available at NZ History.

Ivor George Bassett (1892-1917)

Rifleman or Private, NZ Rifle Bgde. Died 1917 in Belgium, age 25. Son of Thomas and Sarah Jessica Bassett of Palmerston North, formerly of Tully St, Kilbirnie. Born in Petone, attended Petone Central School until 1905 then went to Kilbirnie. He was a farmhand.

Jack Langley Braddock (1895-1917)

Rifleman/Lance Corporal, NZ Rifle Bgde. Died Dec 1917 Belgium of spinal meningitis, aged 23. He was the son of Frederick and Edith Mabel Braddock, 10 Buckingham St, Lyall Bay and before call-up was a signwriter living at Sutherland Road in Melrose.

Image courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Arthur Penfold Castle (ca 1891-1916)

Lt or 2nd Lt NZ Rifle Bgde. Died Sep 1916 age 25 near Bapaume. He was the son of John and Mary Castle of Petone and went to Petone Central School from 1891-1904. He came to Kilbirnie School as a pupil-teacher in 1909 but only stayed a month before getting transferred back to Petone nearer his home.

Ernest Clarke (1879-1918)

2nd Lt, Wellington Regiment, NZEF. Died age 39 in France, August 1918. His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth, and he was married to Annie Elizabeth Clarke from Birmingham. They lived at 25 Bourke St, Kilbirnie and Ernest was a builder. He was a pupil at Kilbirnie School from 1887-1892.

Ian Compton Clark (-1916)

Private, Wellington Regiment. Died at the Somme, France, Sep 1916. Son of James Clark, who died in 1915, and Mrs Louisa Elizabeth Clark (nee Compton) of 1 Athol Cres Wellington. He was a watchmaker before going to war. Ian had brothers and sisters Arthur, Jane and Ruby. Ian's cousin John Keasberry also appears on the memorial. Relatives of Ian Clark and John Keasberry donated a bell for the Wellington Carillon.

Foster Brooke Crouch (1881-1918)

Lieutenant, Duke of Cornwall’s light Infantry. Died March 1918 France age 36. Son of William Foster Crouch and Julia Elizabeth Crouch. Foster came from England to Kilbirnie School in 1891, then went to Newtown and back to Kilbirnie from 1895-96, when the log shows he left to go to "Business".

Francis John Herbert (Bert) Fear DCM, (1887-1916)

Corporal, NZ Engineers. He served in Gallipoli, Egypt and France and died Sep 1916, Somme, France. Son of Mr and Mrs FJW Fear of 19 Smith/Raupo St. Bert was a cheesemaker.

Excerpt from Auckland Weekly News 12.10.1916: Corporal Fear "gained the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry at Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli, as a member of the NZ Engineers, on 9 & 10 June, 1915. He volunteered to demolish a Turkish blockhouse within 12 yards of the enemy's trench, which could be approached only over ground swept by machine-gun fire. Corporal Fear exhibited great skill and courage in approaching and demolishing the blockhouse, being exposed to the enemy's fire for over half an hour. He was accompanied by Sapper E A Hodges, also of the NZ Engineers, to whom the DCM was also awarded for his share in the gallant exploit." Bert's brothers Claud and Reginald also went to war but survived.

Edward Herbert Fisher (1890-1915)

Private, Wellington Regiment, died April 1915 Gallipoli age about 23. Son of Edward Herbert Fisher and Margaret (Milligan) of 87 Overton Tce, Hataitai. Edward was born in Ingham, North Queensland. He and his brothers Stephen and Ralph came from Newtown School to Kilbirnie School in 1902, and sister Margaret started in 1904. He was later employed at the GPO Wellington.

Walter Temple Fisher (c1894-1915)

Private, Auckland Regiment. Died May 1915 at Gallipoli age 21. Youngest son of Stephen and Annie Elizabeth Fisher of Ellice Street (she d 1895 age 36). By 1915 Stephen and his second wife Mary Frances Fisher were living at 3 Derby St, Feilding. Walter and Edward Herbert Fisher were first cousins.

William Frederick Greaves (1886-1917)

Private, NZ Reinforcements, died 1917 age 31. William was one of 10 soldiers killed in an accident in England. The 28th reinforcements had just landed at Plymouth and were travelling by train to camp. The train made an unscheduled stop en route and some soldiers jumped off to collect food. They were hit by an express train travelling through the station (Source: Auckland Museum’s Cenotaph site). Son of Crawford and Hannah Greaves of Hamilton Road, Hataitai and later Paraparaumu. Before the war William worked on a farm in the Wairarapa. Attended Kilbirnie School during 1891 and 1898, and also went to Newtown School.

Gilbert Howe (1891-1917)

2nd Lieutenant, NZ Field Artillery. Died January 1917 in France, age 25. Son of Robert and Eliza Howe. Gilbert also served in Samoa. He was a clerk before the war. Attended Berhampore School then came to Kilbirnie School 1899-1902 when his family lived at Evan's Bay. Gilbert's sisters Ruth and Esther were also at Kilbirnie.

Capt J S Isherwood

The Roll of Honour in the school hall lists him as JF Isherwood. Probably John Frederick Augustus Ramsbottom Isherwood (or Ramsbottom-Isherwood) b 1897, son of Alfred John Isherwood, enrolled at Kilbirnie School in 1905 after arriving from Marton. This man enrolled in the army as Frederick Isherwood, stating he was born in 1894. He was a Private in the Cycle Corps and did not die during the war. (He died in 1978 in England).

John Compton Keasberry (1893-1915)

Private or Lance Corporal, Wellington Regiment. Died April 1915 at Gallipoli age 21. Only son of William Henry Keasberry and Mary Ann (nee Compton) of Wellington, Paraparaumu and later Pungarehu in Taranaki. Annie and Cecil Ellen Mary Keasberry attended Kilbirnie 1899- 1900. John Keasberry was a first cousin of Ian Compton Clark.

Charles Joseph Graham Lamberg (1891-1918)

Private, Wellington Regiment. Died in France September 1918 age 28. Son of Julius and Sarah Lamberg of 62 Moxham Ave, Hataitai. He entered Kilbirnie School on his fifth birthday in 1896. Before the war Charles was a wickerworker.

Photo of Private Lambert from New Zealand Freelance, 31 Oct 1918 pg 15. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Alemeda Rohillia McLeod (1893-1918)

Private, NZ Cyclist Batallion, died July 1918 in France age 25. An electrician, son of Jessie McLeod, 52 Kilbirnie Cres, and the late William Fraser Mcleod. (or William Frederick McLeod? Evan’s bay Rd 1905) Roe started school with his siblings Winnie and Zealandia in 1903 (from Berhampore) and he left in 1908.

Andrew Cunningham Patton(1894-1917)

Private or lance corporal NZ Medical corps, died in Belgium May 1917. Son of Andrew Patton of Hamilton Road/Baden Road. Three brothers (Louis, Thomas and William) also served in the war. Andrew and his brothers were admitted to Kilbirnie in 1901 after a month at Roseneath.

Francis Desmond Perrin (1894-1918)

Private or Rifleman, NZ Rifle Brigade, died May 1918 in France age 23. He was a law clerk, son of Alfred and Amy Perrin, 15 Scarborough Tce Wellington, formerly of Wellington Road. Frank’s brother Laurence Selwyn Perrin returned from the war but died in 1921 aged 24. Alfred donated a shield to the school in memory of Frank and this was awarded to the school dux for about 10 years. Frank attended Kilbirnie School from 1899 to 1908. Siblings Alfred, Audrey, Nina were also at Kilbirnie.

Richard Price (1879-1915)

Major, Otago Regiment NZEF, died in May 1915 at Gallipoli, Turkey age 35. Son of Mr and Mrs JH Price, 60 Overton Tce, Hataitai/40 Ellice Ave. Richard Attended Kilbirnie School from 1891-1892 and later became a chief clerk at the Public Trustees Office in Dunedin. He is recorded in the school's logbook as being the first "old boy" to die in the war.

Frank Thomas Rogers(1898-1918)

Private or Rifleman, NZ Rifle Brigade. Died in France May 1918 aged 19. Son of Walter and Sarah of Remuera Auckland, native of North Fitzroy Melbourne. He was a clerk. Frank started at Kilbirnie School in 1903 when his family lived in William St.

Norman William Scambary (1895-1918)

Driver, NZ Field Artillery, died January 1918 in France age 22. Son of Margaret McDonald 43 Childers Tce/453 Main St East Palmerston North and the late James Scambury. Norman was born in NSW. He started at Kilbirnie with his brothers Walter and Arthur in 1904, and also attended Worser Bay School. He also served at Gallipoli.

Arthur Frank Stevens (1896-1918)

Trooper, Wellington Mounted Rifles, died July 1918. His parents Arthur William Stevens, dairyman, and Jane lived in Moxham Ave and later moved to Korokoro and Manunui.

Claude Stevenson (1897-1917)

Private, Wellington Regiment NZEF. Died in Belgium, Jun 1917 age 20. Son of Henry and Clara Stevenson, of Gisborne or Palmerston North, formerly of Duncan Terrace, Kilbirnie. Attended Kilbirnie School in 1907-08 then went to Lyall Bay School.

Arthur Stevens

Arthur Llewellyn Webb (c1896-1916)

Private, Otago Regiment. Died in France September 1916. Son of Mr and Mrs K A Webb, Sutherland Rd, Melrose. He was a student teacher at Kilbirnie School in 1914. Arthur is also commemorated by Plimmerton School's Webb Memorial Cup. Arthur's relatives donated a bell for the Wellington Carillon in his memory.

Image from Wellington College Archives

NB: I have found the following former Kilbirnie School pupil who died in World War 1 but does not appear on the memorial. There may be others - please advise me if you know of any more omissions.

Francis Cyril Aston (1893-1915)

Sapper, NZ Engineers. Although he isn't listed on Kilbirnie School's memorial, Francis does appear on a memorial at Roseneath School, as Cyril Aston. Lived in Hamilton Rd and attended Kilbirnie School in 1899. His father later moved to Napier. Son of Frank Aston and Bessie Dumbell.

Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Kilbirnie School records, electoral rolls.

Thank you to Carol Spragg and Leigh Willoughby for some of the photos. Photos of Edward Fisher and Richard Price are courtesy of Auckland Museum's Cenotaph site. If you are interested in other war memorials around New Zealand, visit the NZ War Memorials pages of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.