Saturday, 25 April 2015

Tribute to John Forsyth - by his granddaughter, Anne-maree

John FORSYTH was the brother of my great grandmother, Margaret Ann Hay FORSYTH.

Below is a guest post by Anne-maree Osborne about her granddad.  

John FORSYTH (10-5-1879 - 27-1-1973)

After spending 3 years in the Boer war with lice infested uniforms,I am certain by the time WW1 started he was thing ..not again..Grandads 2 brothers James 13/2773 and William 13/2189 also enlisted..3 brothers went and 3 came home..amazing really.
WW1 Egyptian Expeditionary Force..
Auckland Mounted Rifles (AMR) Machine Gunner Squad..Imperial Camel Corps..
Grandad enlisted on March 8th 1916 at 37 yrs old,he was made corporal on the 29th April 1916 and was part of the 17th regiment. On the 23rd July 1916 he then went to the 20th Regiment and then onto the 20th Mounted Rifles as a corporal. He was then promoted to sergeant on the 8th Dec 1916, all of this was at Featherston Camp, Lower Hutt, Wellington NZ during Training.
On the 14th Dec 1916 Grandad left on the Moaraki along with 112 other troops of the 20th Mounted Riffles. There were no celebrations or parade for these men on board as Queen Victoria had died and out of respect for her they were sent off very quietly. Grandad knew what he was in for but the younger ones must have to some degree been a little disappointed by this. He sailed to Sydney Australia where they were transferred to the Mooltan and from there sailed to Egypt, arriving in Cairo on the 24th Jan 1917. On arrival as a sergeant with the Mounted training regiment, they were taken on strength to the 20th reinforcements in Moascar, Cairo, Egypt. They went to school of Instruction Zeitoun on the 28th Jan 1917 and on detachment to school of instruction Grandad was then moved to back Corporol and they were here til the 17th Feb 1917. Between 7th January and 31st May 1916, 1,166 officers and 5,512 other ranks attended and passed in the various classes at the School of Instruction at Zietoun, Egypt - Besides the ordinary courses, for officers and non-commissioned officers, it holds machine gun, Lewis gun, signal and telephone, artillery, Stokes gun, and grenadier classes.
For some reason only known to him he reverts to Trooper at his own request.
For some reason only known to him he reverts to Trooper at his own request.
25th Feb 1917
The 20th Mounted Rifle Squadron was a sub-unit of the New Zealand Military Forces during the First World War.
It was part of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, and served with them in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign from 1916 to 1918.The squadron was formed in Egypt during 1916 by amalgamating three machine-gun sections, belonging to three separate regiments, the Auckland Mounted Rifles, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles and the Wellington Mounted Rifles. Each section was initially equipped with two Maxim guns but following their experience in the Gallipoli Campaign, where the value of the guns in attack and defence was realised, their strength was increased to four guns.
This is where conditions were not great cleanliness wise, he has developed dysentery from either bad water or contaminated living conditions and lack of bathing etc or all of them and after being in the field at Tel el Fara near Gaza March 1917, it was not long before he and many others suffered from dysentery. He was in hospital for 3 weeks and a convalescent home for another month. After this you would think things would have improved but no, back out in the field. On the 5th May, he was again admitted to Aotea NZ Convalescent Hospital in Heliopsis, Cairo, Egypt.
June-July-August-September and October 1917
Grandad was part of the NZ Mounted Rifle Brigade machine gun squadron in Egypt 31st July 1917 and then was transferred to 16th ( ICC ) Imperial Camel Corps as a machine gunner. There was a lot of moving around of men to different units. This squadron primarily fought against the forces of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, first in Egypt during 1916, then in Palestine and the Jordan Valley in 1917 to 1918. For the rest of 1917 the New Zealand, Australian and British Cameleers fought against the Ottoman Turks. From April to October 1917 the Ottoman and British Empire forces held their lines of defence from Gaza to Beersheba.
Dad tells me a funny story where they used to steal chickens and bury them in the sand with just their heads sticking out, food shortage maybe?
The cameliers of the Imperial Camel Corps would ride their mounts to the scene of the action but once there they were expected to dismount and fight on foot – as infantrymen.The Machine Gun Section consisted of one officer and 14 other ranks and was equipped with three Lewis Guns.
The Imperial Camel Corps
The Imperial Camel Corps (ICC) operated in Egypt and Palestine in the Middle East theatre of operations during WWI. While many view it as a
British unit, its ANZAC personnel out numbered its British personnel. In 1916 the Imperial Camel Corps consisted of 18 companies,10 Australian, 6 British and two New Zealand.
The possibilities of the camel had been foreseen by General Kitchener who engaged Colonel L.C. Smith. Smith thought that anyone who could handle horses could manage camels, so he asked for volunteers from the yeomanry regiments then in Egypt, and from the Australian Light Horse and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.There was no shortage of volunteers and 18 companies, each of 150 men were raised. Most of the volunteers came from the Australian Light Horse and the New Zealand Mounted Regiment.
150 Kilos was the weight carried by each Camel of the I.C.C. The equipment of this fine body of men included the ‘Dhurra’ bag carrying five days grain for the camel, and a cylindrical five-gallon tank holding the rider’s five days water supply. Food for five days and spare clothing, were carried in a canvas ‘‘Pikau’’ bag slung over the saddle. Strapped over all were blankets, overcoat, rifle and all, including the man.The whole of the Imperial Camel Corps was mounted on camels, of which well over three thousand were required to mount the men, and carry the transport. These animals, if following each other head to tail, would make a column over eight miles long. No wheeled vehicles of any sort were attached to the Corps. Three hundred and forty-six officers and men of the Imperial Camel Corps died during the Sinai Palestine campaign. Killed in Action, Died of Wounds or Died of Disease.
Grandad once again had dysentery in October. After staying in the field for a week he was admitted on the 5th November 1917, to No 2 Australian General Hospital Abbassia, Cairo and then again on the 17th Nov 1917 to Aotea Convalescent home, Heliopolis. He was still there on the 8th Dec 1917 and it was stated "condition still the same". By this time I am sure he would have been pretty fed up and they had a cheek to ask him if it was hereditary, his reply was he suffered from the same thing in the Boer War, he never went back into the field and was on his way home to NZ (lucky for me smile emoticon He was discharged with the A.I B (Auckland Infantry Battalion) on the 28th Dec 1917 Suez, Embarked for NZ on the Tofua.
I'm Guessing this was a very good chirstmas compared with the one before in 1916 when on the way to war.
He was discharged in NZ on the 29th April 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service on account of illness contracted in active service.
MEDALS : The British War medal and the Victory medal

LEST WE FORGET - our family's brave soldiers




As I gradually find information to add about each soldier you can click on their name to read their story.
Please let me know of any I don't have or if you would like information added.
Our family's soldiers were predominately ANZACS          
(Australian and New Zealand Army Corp).
ANZAC DAY is celebrated on the 25th of April each year.
Alona from the Lonetester HQ  blog  has written a great post about 21 ANZAC Day facts.

Boer War

FORSYTH, JOHN -  returned home to NZ - Trooper - Service No. 3836, enlisted in the 6th New Zealand Contingent, known as the "Silent Sixtth", on the 18th of January 1901 at Wellington.

World War 1

ADAMS, Charles Nightingale - Serial No. 50972: Private, 27th reinforcements (second draft) New Zealand Army Nursing Service, embarkation 16 July 1917, N.O.K  Mrs A.M.S Adams (wife) 3 Rixon Grove, Wellington, NZ - returned home 1919.

ADAMS, Morgan - Private - 7th Battalion, 5th Reinforcements A.I.F - returned home 1919 - SERN 1903 : POB Melbourne VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK (Mother) M Adams

AH-KING, David Alexander -  died of wounds Kantara, Egypt 29 April 1917 - King, David Alexander : SERN 727 : POB Birchip VIC : POE Sydney NSW : NOK (Brother) King, Arthur.

AH-KING, Edmund James - Private - 22nd Battalion A.I.F - killed Pozieres 5 Aug 1916 - King, Edward James - SERN 1155 : POB Melbourne VIC : POE Warracknabeal VIC : NOK (Wife) King Caroline

BEATON, William John - killed Gallipoli 27 Aug 1915  -  SERN 1912 : POB Euroa VIC : POE Euroa VIC : NOK -  (Father) BEATON Peter

CROOKE, John Michael -Private - 36th Battalion A.I.F - killed in action France 18th October 1917 - SERN 7226 : POB South Melbourne VIC : POE Sydney NSW : NOK (Father)  Crooke John

CROWL, Bertie Leslie - Private - 7th Battalion, 12th reinforcements AIF - returned home 5th April 1919. SERN 3712 - Enlisted 8th July 1915.

EDMONDS, William Arthur - Private - 38th Battalion A.I.F - killed in action in France on the 29th September 1918 - SERN 4803 : POB Nathalia VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK (Father) Edmonds William H

FINDLATER, Nicol Thomas - Died France 20 May 1915 - Regimental No. 29440 -  Private in No 3 Coy, 16th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)

FLEMING, Albert Henry Percival - Sergeant Major- 5th Battalion, A Company A.I.F - returned home - SERN 24 : POB Melbourne VIC : POE Melbourne VIC : NOK (Wife) Fleming Marjory

FLEMING, John Henry - Private - 37th Battalion, C Company - returned home - SERN 868 - POE Melbourne, VIC: NOK - Father, Moses Fleming, Billy's Lookout, West Wyalong, New South Wales

FLEMING, William Finley - Private/Gunner - 8th Australian Light Horse, 12th Reinforcement, enlisted 4th August 1915 and returned home - SERN 1561 - Place of Birth: Whitfield, Victoria - Place of Enlistment: Seymour, Victoria - NOK mother Mrs F. Fleming, King Valley, Whitfield.

FORSYTH, Edward  - Gunner - killed France 4th March 1917 - Service No. 144186 15th Division  Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery - buried St Sever, Rouen
FORSYTH, George - Private - 47th Battalion A.I.F - killed Pozieres 9 Aug 1916 - SERN 1654 : POB Fraserburgh Scotland : POE Charters Towers QLD : NOK (Mother) Forsyth Jane

FORSYTH, James - Sergeant - returned home to New Zealand - Serial No.13/2773 - 9th Reinforcements Auckland Mounted Rifles, A Squadron. 

FORSYTH, John - returned home to New Zealand - Serial No.17561 - First Known Rank Corporal - Embarkation Unit 20th Reinforcements Mounted Rifles Brigade, Mounted Machine-gun Section

FORSYTH, Robert - killed Flanders 20 Nov 1914 - Private 817 in the 1st Battalion - Gordon Highlanders

FORSYTH, William - returned home to New Zealand - enlisted as Private 15 June 1916 - 2nd Battalion Otago Regiment New Zealand - Serial No.13/2189 - First Known Rank Trooper - Embarkation Unit Auckland Mounted Rifles. Discharged a corporal.

HARRISON, Maurice - Lance corporal - 14th Battalion A.I.F - Awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery & devotion to duty - died of disease France 22 Oct 1918 - SERN - 1952 : POB - Euroa VIC : POE- Euroa VIC : NOK - (Father) HARRISON George.

KINGSBURY, Albert Henry - died 25 Oct 1918 - Trooper - Service No: 43735  - Regiment/Service: Canterbury Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F. - Grave Reference Q. 14. CAIRO WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY

MCROBBIE, George - Corporal - returned home - enlisted to 3rd Company 1st Battalion Auckland Regiment.  Service Number 28360. N.O. K  father, William McRobbie. Enlisted 26 June 1916.

MELVIN, Arthur Davidson - killed in action Vimy, France 8 April 1917 - Service no. 446966 - Sergeant Canadian Infantry, "C" Coy 31st Battalion

MORGAN, Archibald Thomas - returned home - 7th Battalion A.I.F, C Company regimental number 370 : Place of Birth - Euroa VIC : Place of Enlistment - Seymour VIC : Next of Kin - MORGAN S A

MORGAN/WAKENSHAW, HERBERT JOHN - Private 22nd Battalion 3rd reinforcements - enlisted 19 July 1915 - Died of wounds, France  5th August 1916 - SERN- 2037 : POB - Euroa VIC : POE- Melbourne VIC : NOK  - (Mother) COWELL M

MORGAN, Thomas Fitzherbert - Private 24th Battalion 20th Reinforcements - Service Number - 6842 : Place of Birth - Hilston NSW : Place of Enlistment - Euroa VIC : Next of Kin - (Mother) MORGAN J

MORGAN Thomas Fitzherbert : Private 7th General Victorian Reinforcements -Service Number - 55670 : Place of Birth - Euroa VIC : Place of Enlistment - Euroa VIC : Next of Kin - (Father) MORGAN Thomas F

MORGAN,  William John Pike  Private 14th Battalion A.I.F - killed Lone Pine 8 Aug 1915 - SERN - 893 : POB - Euroa VIC : POB - Broadmeadows VIC : NOK - (Mother) MORGAN S A

RATTRAY, John - killed France 1916

SAXON,  Bertie Henry- killed France 6 Oct 1918 - SERN - 2708 : POB - Euroa VIC : POE - Melbourne VIC : NOK - (Father) SAXON John Thomas

SAXON,  Joseph Stanley - killed Pozieres 4 Aug 1916 -  SERN - 1564 : POB - Euroa VIC : POE- Euroa VIC : NOK - (Father) SAXON John Thomas

SAXON Thomas Abraham- returned home - SERN - 485 : POB - Euroa VIC : POE - Euroa VIC : NOK - (Father) SAXON John Thomas

SAXON, William Frederick - returned home - SERN - 694 : POB - Euroa VIC : POE - Seymour VIC : NOK - (N/A) SAXON John Thomas SAXON

Click HERE  to read a guest post about the Saxon boys written by their sister's  grandson Harold Shipston

World War 2

ADAMS, Frank Francis (Francis Edward)  First enlistment - Private - VX 26047 - 8 Division petrol company- DOB 12 July 1906; POB Kensington, Victoria.  POE - Caulfield 15 June 1940.  NOK - Catherine Goodwin - sister.  Date of discharge 23 October 1940 "medically unfit for service not occasioned by his own default"
second enlistment - Private - VX 114516 - HQ 2 Aust Army - POE Parramatta NSW 19 October 1942 - NOK - Florence Adams - wife.  Date of discharge 30 October 1945.

MCCOOMB, George Alexander - Sergeant - Service Number - VX58426 : Date of birth - 08 Sep 1915 : Place of birth - EUROA VIC : Place of enlistment - ROYAL PARK VIC : Next of Kin - MCCOOMB HENRY (father) - Enlisted 24 Jun 1941 2/8 Aust Armed Regiment - discharged from A.I.F. 29 Mar 1946.

MCCOOMB, Thomas Neil - Service Number - VX30770 : Date of birth - 07 May 1912 : Place of birth - EUROA VIC : Place of enlistment - ROYAL PARK VIC : Next of Kin - MCCOOMB HENRY killed 6 July 1945 - buried Ambon War Cemetery, Maluku, Indonesia.

MORGAN,  Benjamin Robert - Private - Official No VZ 7184 - 2/7 Australian Inf Bn - Army.  Taken prisoner of war in Crete.  Died in Germany, result of injuries.  He is buried at Lamsdorf War Cemetery, Grave 5, Row 5, Field 3.  He was 34 years old and brother to Private William John Pike Morgan killed on Gallipoli (14th Bn G Coy) at the age of 18 years.  Second son lost to Thomas Fitzherbert and Sarah Morgan of McGuinness Street, Euroa, Victoria, Australia

MUSSON,  Ivor Forsyth - Sapper - Serial No.  22597 - second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 7 Field company.  N.O.K (sister) Mrs. A. W. Ford West Belt, Rangiora, Christchurch.

MUSSON, William Robert - Private - Serial No. 21707 - 21st Auckland Battalion, N.O.K (brother) E. M. Musson

SHIPSTON, Donald Saxon - returned home - SERN - VX32651 : DOB - 28 May 1919 : POB - ELSTERNWICK VIC : POE - ROYAL PARK VIC : NOK - SHIPSTON GRACE

We Will Remember Them.


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

52 Ancestors Week 16 - Live Long - If only she had

Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day my mum left this life.  

Amelia "Joan" OSTER, nee FLEMING
5 September 1937 - 23 April 2012
I miss her dearly and wish she had Lived Longer