Anzac Old Boys - World War I

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Many Nelson men died in World War I. These are three Nelson College for Boys alumni, who died in the Great War and were commemorated in the Nelsonian, the College magazine. 

Garfield Jessop, image supplied by Gina Fletcher and Nelson College Old Boys Association
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Garfield Cornelius Jessop1

"No death will seem sadder to recent Old Boys than that of Garfield Jessop.  His contemporaries will have vivid memories of the keen eyes and bright smile of the diminutive, but irrepressible Jessop.  He was at the school 1909 to 1911, when he entered the AMP Office - Nelson.  He was transferred to Wellington and was there at the outbreak of the war.  He was greatly under age and far too small for requirements, but had more than the requisite "heart".  By sheer insistence he secured a place with the Main Body as orderly to Major Nutsford, of the Otago Mounted Rifles.  He was 17 years old.  He took part in the first landing at Gallipoli   and remained on the Peninsula until 27 August 1915, when he was killed in action.  He would have wished no better fate."

Major Frederick Stuckey2

Major Stuckey, image supplied by Gina Fletcher and Nelson College Old Boys Association
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"Frederick attended Nelson College 1894-98.  He played an active role in College sporting life being in the 1st XV 1895-7; Gym Champion 1895-96; Swimming Champion 1898.  He went on to be a Rugby representative for Auckland, gained an MA in 1902 and was a former Assistant Master at Kings College.

Major Frederick Stuckey died of wounds at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915 and either buried where he fell, or at sea, having died from wounds on a hospital ship. A Memoriam Service was held in the Cathedral late in December 1915 and a tablet to his memory unveiled. "

 

Major J M Richmond, DSO, MC3

"No death, at any rate among the younger officers of the Expeditionary Force, caused a greater feeling of regret in New Zealand and with the troops in France than that of James Richmond who, after coming through four years' campaigning, was killed on the eve of the cessation of hostilities"

The following is a copy of the telegraphic despatch announcing his death forwarded to New Zealand by Captain Malcolm Ross (the New Zealand Official War Correspondent):-

Major Richmond, image supplied by Gina Fletcher and Nelson College Old Boys Association
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 "Yesterday afternoon (27 October 1918) Major J M Richmond, DSO, MC, Royal New Zealand artillery, was killed in action by a 5.9 shell.  He was 30 years of age.  His death was instantaneous.  This afternoon he was buried in the French cemetery at Solesmes.  The Bishop of Nelson read the service and General Russell and many of his comrades in the Artillery attended.  His death is greatly deplored throughout the whole Division.  He joined the New Zealand Artillery in 1911 and left for the war with the Main Body.  He landed on Gallipoli in the first boat conveying New Zealand troops ashore, and remained there continuously till the evacuation, leaving in the last boat.

On the expansion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to a division in October 1915 he was appointed Brigade-Major of Divisional Artillery, which appointment he held till August this year.  Wishing to obtain further experience in the field, he relinquished the position at his own request to command a battery, and on the day of his death had just taken over temporary command of a brigade of field artillery.  He served continuously in Egypt, Gallipoli and France from the end of 1915 till his death.

He was engaged to be married to a second cousin in England after the war, and had decided to resume his profession of the law.  His Commanding Officer sates:  "I considered Major Richmond one of the most brilliant young officers I have ever known.  As Brigade-Major, his orders were never misunderstood.  They were so clear and concise.  He was tactful, and had a charming manner.  He was artistic and musical, and extremely well read.  He himself had considerable literary ability.  He hated war and bloodshed, and yet during all this year he never left the front except on brief leave.  No thought of danger ever deterred him from doing his duty, and his standard of duty was a high one."

Finally we quote the words of Sir James Allen, who wrote: "Major Richmond's distinguished record on the field is one of which his family, the people of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force may justly be proud".  We may add that the College is equally proud of such an alumnus; but great is the regret that one whose brilliant faculties, trained and disciplined in the hard school of war, might have led him far should be thus cut off ere he reached maturity. "

2009 

Sources used in this story

  1. Roll of Honour Nelson College(1916, May) The Nelsonian
  2. Roll of Honour Nelson College(1916, May) The Nelsonian
    The Nelsonian (1915, December)
    The Nelsonian (1916, May)
  3. Roll of Honour Nelson College (1918, December) The Nelsonian

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