"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Nov 10, 2018

Heroes

They come in all sizes and from every place in the world, thank goodness. We're celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI and I would like to pay homage to my maternal grandfather, Sydney Ernest Pritchard, a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces who served as a Sergeant with the 13th Field Artillery Brigade, No. 309, of the Australian Imperial Force. Confusing?

From Wikipedia:

"As was the case with the Australian army the existing New Zealand army was a "territorial" force, designed for the defense of the home islands. It could not be deployed overseas. Hence, it was necessary to form a volunteer "expeditionary" force. The initial contingent of the NZEF, known as the "Main Body," sailed on 16 October 1914 for Australia and then joined with the Australian Imperial Force(AIF) in a convoy that sailed for Egypt on 1 November.

"The NZEF and AIF convoy was originally bound for Britain but diverted enroute to Egypt because of the state of the training camps in England. As a result the troops were dressed in woolen uniforms for the British climate. On 2 December the convoy reached Alexandria after passing through the Suez Canal. Disembarking, the troops traveled by train for Cairo, bivouacking in tent camps within sight of the Pyramids. 

"The NZEF was closely tied to the AIF for much of the war. When the Gallipoli campaign began, the New Zealand contingent was insufficient to complete a division of their own, so it was combined with the Australian 4th Infantry Brigade to form the New Zealand and Australian Division under the command of General Godley. This division, along with the Australian 1st Division, formed the famous Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) under the command of General William Birdwood.

"After the end of the Gallipoli campaign, the NZEF formed its own infantry division, the New Zealand Division, which served on the Western Front for the rest of the war."

Granddad served from 1916-1919.  After the war he became a Steward for the White Star line  and first arrived in New York aboard the RMS Baltic on August 27, 1920.  He made a number of passages before settling permanently in NYC (jumped ship, as the family story goes) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ka Pai!



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