Re­mem­ber­ing Pass­chen­daele

The Invercargill Eye - - CONVERSATIONS -

Zealand Ri­fle bri­gade.

He and three of his com­rades formed a stretcher party, and brought in the wounded.

He was hit by shards of steel caused by a shrap­nel shell, but sur­vived and re­turned home.

Amongst his ef­fects were pho­tos of two of his com­rades.

One was John Baird, a farmer’s son from Otapiri, who was posted to the 4th Otago Com­pany 1st Otago Bat­tal­ion.

In the first ma­jor ac­tion of his ser­vice he was killed at Pass­chen­dale, and like so many he has no known grave and is re­mem­bered on the Tyne Cott Me­mo­rial. He was just 22.

The other photo was of Pa­trick Joseph Dug­gan, a labourer from West Plains. He en­listed in with the 22nd re­in­force­ments New Zealand Ri­fle Bri­gade.

On the western front he was shot in the hand and thigh while in ac­tion near the French town of Messines. Af­ter re­cu­per­at­ing in Eng­land he re­turned to the front line and sur­vived the bat­tle at Pass­chen­dale. He was killed in ac­tion in Fe­bru­ary 1918, in the Ypres Salient.

The bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele was a tes­ta­ment to the hope­less fu­til­ity of war. Many South­land fam­i­lies lost sons, un­cles and fa­thers. Today it is still re­mem­bered by the fam­i­lies of the fore­bears who sur­vived and in mem­ory of those who did not.

Iain David­son is an ama­teur mil­i­tary his­to­rian.


South­landers, from left, John Baird, John David­son and Pa­trick Dug­gan fought at Pass­chen­daele.

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