1918 was the final year of war, but it was also among the most costly.
Bruce Hickenbottom was remembered at the Technical College for his portrayal of Father Christmas in a fundraising entertainment. He died on April 23, 1918.
Nesslea Jarman was killed in action on August 25, 1918. His older brother, Frank, had been killed at Gallipoli in 1916.
Duncan Rutherford was a prominent member of the Students’ Association. With his friends Don Smith and Fred Twyford, he would perform comic musical numbers at entertainments. He was also a member of the Debating Society. Duncan was killed in action on August 22, 1918. His old friend, Don Smith, was able to attend his burial.
Gordon Seay, who was known as a keen and successful sportsman at College, worked as a clerk for the National Mortgage and Agency Company. On joining the army he was made a Paymaster-Sergeant, but on arriving in France he reverted to the ranks at his own request. He was killed in action on May 9, 1918.
Joseph Thomas was reported wounded and missing in October, 1918. His death was finally confirmed at a court of enquiry held in January, 1919. He left a widow, Elfrieda – they had been married for less than six months.
Frank Cummins, Charles Horwell, Cecil Kircher, Fred Lees, William Leighton, George Lewis, Charles Mackintosh, William Miller, William Otley, Percy Saville, and Leonard Tobeck were also killed in 1918.
The First World War ended, officially, at 11.11am, on the 11th of November, 1918. New Zealand had lost more than 18,000 men and women, and thousands more had returned broken in body and mind. Every April, we remember them, and those from other conflicts.
Next time you’re passing through the Rakaia Centre, take a moment to read the honours board there.
We will remember them.