13 Aug 2014

WWI soldiers honoured for sacrifice

6:32 pm on 13 August 2014

The Defence Force has added six new names to the World War I Rolls of Honour, including that of the first New Zealand soldier to die in the war.

Sapper Robert Arthur Hislop died in Auckland on 13 August 1914 - less than a month after the war began. He fell from the Parnell Railway Bridge, which he was tasked with protecting, slipping between the sleepers and falling on to the road beneath. He died in hospital six days later.

The Defence Force says Sapper Hislop's death was related to his military service and he will be officially acknowledged as the first New Zealand soldier to die in the war.

Five other names will be added to the Rolls of Honour, two of men who committed suicide after suffering gunshot wounds to the head fighting at Gallipoli.

Two other men died from illnesses linked to their service in the war and one died after falling from a tram.

Defence Force historian John Crawford said it was important the men's sacrifice was publicly acknowledged. "They weren't on the roll of honour and they should have been - it's as simple as that."