Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We Will Remember Them Middlebrooks in World War I


With the Centennial of WW1 this year  it seemed a fitting day to pay tribute to  the Middlebrook sons who served in World War One.

For those who are unaware New Zealand Archives are attempting to digitise all of the WW1 soldiers records and they have made a huge indent into this mammoth task, to our benefit as we can now access many of the records of the grandsons of Ellen Middlebrook who served in WW1.
I believe Ellen would have had 13 of her  Grandsons eligible to fight in the Great War .
I have found records for the following
(Son of Elizabeth Hardy nee Middlebrook, and George Douglas Hardy)
Robert is listed as a Baker and Butcher, working for Briggs Butchery in Parnell at the time he was enlisted.
He was married to Florence Jessie Meldrum and had 2 children , Florence Jessie Hardy, and Robert Farrer Arthur Hardy.
Robert Farrer Hardy served a total of 1 year and 217 days during WW1 before being discharged as medically unfit.  During this time he served in Egypt and then at Gallipoli .
He attested in August 1914 and was  initially posted to the the Auckland Mounted Rifles, but was transferred and transferred to the N.Z.F.A.  as a driver in March 1915  and then in July of that year was promoted to Bombadier . During this time he took part in the Gallipoli campaign, being hospitalised twice, once for "Debility" and the second time for Enteric Fever, which eventually resulted in his discharge back to New Zealand in 1916.

Son of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook,
At the time of his enlistment he is listed as a butcher, working for his father John Middlebrook with a wife, Susannah and one child Thelma.
John Thompson was called up by ballot in May 1918 and in August of that year he was enlisted and sent to Camp at Trentham, where he promptly fell victim to Influenza and was hospitalised for a week
In September he was transferred to Featherston Camp with E Coy.  46th Rifles where he was demobilised in November being classed "medically unfit to travel beyond the seas"

Son of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook

Nelson enlisted in July 1915 "aged  21,  for the duration of the war" .  At that time he was already a member of the 4th Waikato Military Reserves.  He is documented to have severe scarring on both arms and his left thigh  from an accident pre war at the butchery he worked in. He had  with many skin grafts and poor scar tissue that is prone to break down .
He is listed as a Butcher working for his father John Middlebrook.
Nelson's WW1 file is long and detailed.
He served for 3 years 315 days, 3 years and 199 days of which was overseas in Egypt and in Western Europe
From enlistment at Palmerston North he is sent to Egypt .
He is hospitalised twice while in Egypt and then in April 1916 he embarked for France where he joined  No 3 Company Field Butchery division.
In January 1918 he is promoted to the 1st NZ Field Butchery with the rank of Warrant Officer 2nd class, where he remains for the remainder of that year, before being demobilised in Glasgow in March 1919.
Son of Samuel and Mary Jane Middlebrook

Samuel Robert "Bert" is 31 years old when he is called up by ballot and his attestation is dated 23 May 1918.
He is married to Dorothy Clarice, and has one daughter Valerie at the time of his enlistment.
He is already a member of the 6th Hauraki Reserves Regiment and is listed as a Carpenter, working for Harris and Smith, Waihi.
Bert is transferred in September 1918 to the NZ Medical Corp at Awapuni , and from there to D.A.I.M.S in Wellington where he was eventually demobilised in 1919.
Son of John and Mary Ann Middlebrook

Victor was enlisted in July 1916 aged 21 . He served for 3 years 227 days. 3 years and 54 days of which were overseas. He is listed as a Butcher  working for his father  ( Incorrectly listed  as T Middlebrook- with his father listed also incorrectly as James Middlebrook)
Victor spent most of WW1 in Western Europe and remained in Europe for the duration of the war serving first as a Loader, and then as a Driver.
Whilst overseas he must have met his future wife Madge Carlin whom he married in January 1919 before being demobilised in October of that year.
Son of Julia Middlebrook, stepson of James Thompson Middlebrook

Whilst not a blood relative, Frank Sullivan was definitely part of the family, having been 13 when his mother married James Middlebrook. Frank was a veterinary dentist when he enlisted in August 1914 Frank unfortunately  paid the ultimate price for his participatio
n in World War 1 being killed in action in the Dardanelles less than a year later, on the 19th May 1915 on the very start of the Gallipoli Campaign.

There may well have been other members of the family involved in World War One. NZ Archives digitising of files is not yet complete.
If you are interested in viewing the complete files for these men you can find them and others at Archives NZ Archway site

Reunion Planning Update

Planning for the January reunion is well underway and we have narrowed down our venue choices to three. We will be making a decision on the best venue within the next two weeks.  While trying to keep costs as low as possible we also want to make the venue as practical and easy to access as possible, and without knowing numbers this hasnt been an easy task, however we should have a venue finalised soon and then we can begin taking registrations

We are still missing many living people on our family tree. If you havent filled in a Family Group Sheet please click here to do so .You can fill in the form online and it will be submitted automatically.

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