15 Feb 2015

War Report - 15 February 2015

From New Zealand in World War I, 8:53 pm on 15 February 2015

Until now there had been few New Zealand war deaths - about a dozen men had died from illness while in the army and had been given military funerals - their graves are cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

For older men overseas service could take its toll on their health - as with 45-year-old Christchurch man Captain James Bell of the Medical Corps who died from a brain hemorrhage in Egypt on 29th December 1914. He had served in the South African War where he served as a civil surgeon. He was buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery. Such is the way of things that his medals were auctioned last year for $1700.

News came of the first New Zealand battle casualty, William Ham. Private Ham's sister-in-law Violet Ham of Dunedin tells the effect on the family. Items about William Ham's death from the Nelson Evening Mail, newspaper extract about anti-German feeling in Masterton.

Music extracts:

Artist: John McCormack
Song: There's a Long Long Trail A Winding
Composer: King/Elliott
Album: Oh, It's a Lovely War Vol 2
Label: CD41 486309

Artist: Murray Johnson
Song: Pack of Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag
Composer: George Asaf / Felix Powell
Album: Songs of World War One
Label: Goentertainment 557331.

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