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Deserter from the British Army with the New Zealanders


Jim_Grundy
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Pals

I've found an interesting case that I'd value your thoughts upon.

A local man, Harry Garbett, joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (as 2364 Pte.), landing in France on 22nd March 1915. The local newspaper reported him as on home leave in November 1915, after a period as an instructor at a bombing school. His MIC states that he deserted on 2nd December 1915 and there are no roll references for the British War Medal or Victory Medal.

He, or at least someone with exactly the same not so usual name, turns up next on the 1918 Absent Voters List as 7/2008 Pte. Harry Garbett New Zealand Engineers. Sadly, it doesn't appear as though his British army service record has survived. On the face of it, he came home in late 1915 and the decided that he wasn't going back. He did, though, at some time manage to enlist in the New Zealand armed forces.

I've heard of similar instances before but have never come across one myself before. Anyone know of any similar stories and how they worked out?

Regards,

Jim

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Surname GARBETT

Given Name Henry Ernest

Category Nominal Roll Vol. 2

Regimental Number 7/2008

Rank Trooper

Next of Kin Title Mrs T M

Next of Kin Surname TAYLOR

Next of Kin Relationship Sister

Next of Kin Address 10 Kelvin Grove Wellington

Roll 21

Page 8

Occupation Farmer

I'm not so sure this is the same chap as yours, unfortunately. He has a New Zealand next of kin and embarked for Egypt with the 9th reinforcements of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles on 8 January 1916. I can't imagine he could desert in December 1915 - or even whilst home on leave in November - and be in NZ in time for leaving Wellington at the beginning of January 1916. I think my chap was born in around 1897/1898. Does that match up with yours in age?

By the way, the 7/ prefix on his service number is for the Canterbury Mounted Rifles. The Engineers were 4/. So he must have swapped from one t'other at some stage.

Allie

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I can't imagine he could desert in December 1915 - or even whilst home on leave in November - and be in NZ in time for leaving Wellington at the beginning of January 1916. I think my chap was born in around 1897/1898. Does that match up with yours in age?

Allie

Allie

Thanks very much for this. It looks like the two men cannot be the same, given the date of the embarkation from New Zealand, unless something very strange happened! But how about this for a coincidence: two men with the same not-so-usual name with a connection to the same small town in England.

If the Kiwi was living in New Zealand and cited NZ next of kin, I wonder why he registered for a vote back in the U.K. in 1918? And where did the Brit disappear to after 1915? It just might be one of those little mysteries that will never be resolved. And I can't find an obvious candidate on the 1901 UK Census.

Thanks again for this information. It moves the story on...

Cheers,

Jim

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Well, I have him attending school as a 5 year old in 1903 in New Zealand... Maybe he was here in 1901? Have you got a birth record for your chap?

Allie

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Well, I have him attending school as a 5 year old in 1903 in New Zealand... Maybe he was here in 1901? Have you got a birth record for your chap?

Allie

No, this is all the information I have - and you've added to it! It looks very much like he was a New Zealander born & bred. Just wish I knew how he came to register for a proxy vote here in 1918...., and where the 'other' went to.

Thanks for taking the trouble to look his details up. It is appreciated.

Regards,

Jim

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Mate,

I have a number of soldiers who deserted the AIF and joined the British Army?

RIP to the young aussie killed with the Rifles in Afganistan

S.B

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