About Henry John Lau­rent

Stratford Press - - News -

Lau­rent was born in Tarata in 1895, at­tend­ing Ha¯ wera Dis­trict High School be­fore work­ing in a cheese fac­tory.

When war broke out in 1914, Lau­rent joined the NZEF and was send first to Egypt and then to France to serve with the NZ Ri­fle Bri­gade. While in France he showed great lead­er­ship and was pro­moted to sergeant.

“Dur­ing the Al­lied ad­vance to­ward the end of the war, the New Zealan­ders came up against a strong Ger­man po­si­tion at Gouzeau­court Wood.

“On Septem­ber 12, 1918 dur­ing con­fused at­tacks on this ob­jec­tive, Sergeant Lau­rent was sent out with a 12-man pa­trol to probe the en­emy de­fences.

“Find­ing a heav­ily for­ti­fied trench sys­tem, he im­me­di­ately at­tacked. After hand-to-hand fight­ing, the 12 Ki­wis killed 30 of the en­emy, cap­tured the trench and took 112 en­emy sol­diers pris­oner. When the Ger­mans coun­tered, Lau­rent man­aged to re­treat in good or­der, keep­ing his pris­on­ers un­der control and fight­ing a rear-guard ac­tion.”

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