Thursday, January 29, 2015

A tantalising glimmer of information.

Some years ago we discovered a relative who had died in the Great War: Sapper John/Jack Wesley He was a coal miner who enlisted in the NZ Tunnelling Company, and died on 2 October 1917 near Arras. He is buried in Faubourg D'Amiens, the large cemetery in Arras. We first visited his grave in 2004.

A good friend who works at Auckland Museum alerted us top the amazing Auckland Museum online Cenotaph, and there we found a new photograph of Jack, one we'd never seen before.

What am amazing find. However our great dilemma has yet to be solved. How did he die? We have gathered together copies of the unit war diary, the official history, and his record of service, but none tell us how he died.

Still looking, and wondering.

The online Cenotaph can be found here.

Later on I'll post the text of a sermon I delivered in our College Chapel about Uncle Jack.


  1. Hi Robin ...

    Are you aware that we're looking for 100 volunteer painters for this exciting WW100 project to build a Gallipoli diorama with 4000 (yes, 4000!) specially produced 54mm Perry figures (yes, 54mm Perry figures!). It'll be housed in the Great War Exhibition in Wellington, development of which is being led by Sir Peter Jackson (yes, that Peter Jackson!).

    If you're interested, read the FAQ on the Mustering the Troops' website:

  2. Roly .. yes I saw that. An exciting project. The time line looks to be too tight for me with work commitments etc otherwise I'd have loved to be a part of it. I'm also due to shift back into our rebuilt house in 3 and 1/2 weeks, so the entire household will be successfully turned upside down for a month or two after that.

    Best wishes