Sunday, 5 June 2016

Remembering those from New Zealand and Australia who rest in Southern Cemetery

Now as we reach that mid point in the Great War here is a book from the end of the conflict.

Final Campaign Number
It belongs to Allan Dodson who lives in New Zealand and there is something poignant in that banner headline announcing “Final Campaign Number July 24 1919.”

And I am guessing many of those who read the edition were preparing for that long journey back home.

Sadly not all of them for some like Lance Corporal Alleyne Gordon Webber of the Otago Mounted Rifles.*

He was born in New Zealand, died at Gallipoli and he is remembered on a monument in Southern Cemetery.

It is quite humbling to uncover the life of lance Corporal Webber and more so because it has brought together a number of people who have contributed to the story of this young man and his brother and friend.

I first came across Lance Corporal Alleyne Gordon Webber on a photograph of his monument taken by David Harrop.

The memorial
David has a long association with the cemetery and his permanent exhibition commemorating those who participated in both world wars can be seen in the Remembrance Lodge at Southern.

The memorial also records the names of Private Gerard K Webber and Private Allan Hamilton Ross.

Private Ross was killed at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme just fourteen days after it started.

Private Webber was wounded at the last engagement during the Battle of the Somme and died here in Manchester of his wounds just seven months after his brother Alleyne

And it is fitting as we move towards the centenary of the Somme and the special exhibition that David has mounted in the Remembrance Lodge, that Alan also has “a number of stories of men with Porirua & Nelson connections who were at the Somme including a young 2nd Lt who was one of the first ‘Over the Top’ on July 15.”

I hoping that he will share these with me and they can be included in the stories on the ANZAC soldiers who fought in the campaigns at Gallipoli and on the Western Front and are buried here in Southern Cemetery.

Lance Corporal Alleyne G Webber, circa 1914
Nor is that all for Paul Wright has also sent me some fascinating books produced for ANZAC units including “New Zealand at the Front Written and Illustrated in France by Men of the New Zealand Division.”

All of which widens the scope of the commemorations being held in Southern Cemetery on July 1st.

Location; Southern Cemetery

Pictures; cover of Chronicles of the NZEF, courtesy of Allan Dodson, and other pictures from the collection of David Harrop

*New Zealand,

Lance Corporal Alleyne G Webber, circa 1914

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