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.