(Service number 2/2208)
|First Rank||Gunner||Last Rank||Bombadier|
|Date||17 April 1895||Place of Birth||Fairlie, South Canterbury, New Zealand|
|Date||24 August 1915||Age||20|
|Address at Enlistment||Bridge Street, Nelson|
|Occupation||NZ Railways Cadet|
|Previous Military Experience||3 years with 11th Battery Field Artillery, Nelson|
|Next of Kin||Mr Luke Mullany (father) Police Station Wellington|
|Medical Information||6 foot tall, chest 32 1/2 - 37 inches|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||7th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||10th Battery NZ Field Artillery|
|Date||9 October 1915|
|Transport||HMNZT 32 Aparima|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||13th Battery, New Zealand Field Artillery|
|Last Unit Served With||13th Battery, New Zealand Field Artillery|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
3 April 1916 - No1 New Zealand Field Ambulance, Cairo - tonsillitis. 13-19 December 1916 - No2/No3 New Zealand Field Ambulance - influenza. 4-10 August 1917 - admitted to No3 New Zealand Field Ambulance - sick.
|Date||11 October 1917||Age||22|
|Place of Death||Ypres, Belgium|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Divisional Cemety, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium|
|Memorial Reference||Row M, Grave 21|
|New Zealand Memorials||On Memorial wall, Timaru; Geraldine War Memorial; Mackenzie War Memorial, Fairlie, Railways Honour Board Wellington Railway Station, Nelson Cenotaph ANZAC Park Nelson|
The second child of seven, Edwin (aka Edward) was born at Fairlie on 17 April 1895. His father Luke was born in 1861 at Leitrim, Fairymount, Roscommon, Ireland, coming out to New Zealand as a young child about 1868. Luke joined the police as a constable at Dunedin in 1884, going on to serve at Nenthorn, Central Otago, Palmerston South, Fairlie, and Geraldine. On promotion to Sergeant he served in Christchurch, Port Chalmers and Nelson, then as a Senior Sergeant at Wellington. In 1916 he became an Inspector at Christchurch before transfer to Whangerei, where he died suddenly on 22 August 1920. His body was brought back to Christchurch were he was buried in the Linwood Cemetery. He had married Edward’s mother Mary (nee Hill) in 1890. She had been born in 1864 in Cork, Ireland, and died at Christchurch on 21 May 1951. She is also buried with husband Luke in Linwood Cemetery along with two of their children, Wilfred Thomas (d. 1921), and Mary Eileen (d. 1987).
Edward was educated at Fairlie, Geraldine and Port Chalmers Schools. After finishing his schooling Edward took up a cadetship with the NZ Railways and was serving at Nelson when he enlisted on 24 August 1915. He gave his address as Bridge Street, Nelson, stated he was single, aged 20 years, of the Catholic faith and nominated his father Mr Luke Mullany, Wellington Police Station, as his next of kin. Edward was a big lad for the times being 6 foot tall, chest measuring 32 ½ - 37 inches, weighing 11 stone 12 pounds (76kgs), having a dark complexion, blue eyes, black hair and good teeth. He also stated he had served for 3 years with the 11th Battery, Field Artillery at Nelson. Initially Trentham Camp was where basic soldier training in drill, musketry etc was undertaken. Later camps at Awapuni (Palmerston North), Tauherenikau, and other local areas where used for specialised artillery instruction. Training finished, the men were issued with their full uniform, and granted a short period of embarkation leave. Finally, after the usual march through the streets of Wellington, on 9 October 1915 Gunner Mullany, as part of the 7th Reinforcements, 10th Battery, NZ Field Artillery, boarded HMNZT 32 “Aparima”. The ship travelled in convoy with HMNZT 30 “Maunganui”, HMNZT 31 “Tahiti”, HMNZT 33 “Navua”, and HMNZT 34 “Warrimoo” for Suez, Egypt. The ships had a stop at Hobart and Albany, where they had a route march through the local area to stretch their legs, before onwards to Colombo for refuelling, arriving at Suez on 18 November 1915. The “Aparima” carried out a total of six convoys from New Zealand to Egypt and England before being torpedoed by UB40 in the English Channel on 19 November 1917, with the loss of 54 crew, including 17 cadets.
On arrival at Suez Edward’s unit travelled by train to Moascar, which was merely a railway siding on the banks of the Suez Canal a mile from Ismailia. Advance parties were proceeding with the establishment of a large new camp where the Division was to be once more concentrated under canvas. With the arrival of the infantry, the artillerymen with their horses and guns, other divisional troops, plus the supply and transport services, the camp took on an air of bustle and animation. The men gradually settled down again to the routine of training. After some hard training in the desert, with the odd spot of leave in Cairo, the artillery units were soon ready for action. But, on 3 April 1916, Edward was admitted for a few days to No.1 NZ Field Ambulance, Cairo, with tonsillitis. Soon though the Divisional Artillery was to entrain over the period of 5 to 7 April and farewell Egypt.
The prospect of action and a change of environment was hailed with enthusiasm. Light work was made of the entraining, and as fast as trains were available they were loaded up and set off for Alexandria, where men and horses were to embark for Marseilles and the Western Front. Guns, wagons, and ammunition were not taken, as the batteries were to be newly equipped on arrival in France. Transports proceeded through the Mediterranean to Marseilles individually, without attached escort. Despute the growing threat of submarines in the Mediterranean, the transport of the Division was accomplished without serious incident. As units came ashore they were packed into long troop trains, setting off on their journey northwards through the heart of southern France to a Divisional Area where training camps were established. The new guns which had been drawn at Havre were not retained, but were handed over to the outgoing batteries, whose guns were taken over as they stood in the pits. This system of exchange, though often rendered necessary by circumstances, never came to be acceptable to the New Zealand gunners.
On 29 October 1916, Edward was appointed acting Bombardier. With his unit, he was sent to the Flanders region to gain experience of new trench conditions. They spent the next three months guarding a ‘quiet’ sector of the line at Armentieres. Recognition of the work of the artillery of the Division during this period was contained in the following message sent by the G.O.C. of the Division, Major-General Russell, to Brig.-General Johnston:—"Please convey to your officers and men the appreciation of the infantry and myself of their work in connection with the raids undertaken by the Division. They have by their good shooting earned the implicit confidence of those whom they support." They next moved south to the Somme battle fields, and their first large-scale action on the Western Front.
From 13 to 19 December 1916, Edward was admitted to No.3, then No.2 NZ Field Ambulance in the field, suffering from influenza. After recovering he was posted to the 13th Battery on 11 January 1917. From that point on the unit was heavily involved in the actions at Messines, and the third battle of Ypres which began on 31 July 1917. On 3 August 1917 Edward relinquished his promotion to Bombadier briefly until regaining the temporary rank on 18 August. During this time (4 to 10 August 1917) he had once again been admitted sick to No.3 NZ Field Ambulance. Late the following month though he received some well deserved leave, in England from 23 September to 7 October. On his return though some togh work followed. During the drive on Passchendaele at Gravenstafel Spur on 11 October 1917 the gunners struggled to get their guns forward to their new positions by the Winnipeg-Kansas Cross Roads through terrain badly blocked by smashed wagons and other transport. The way was also littered with dead men and horses. There was much scattered shelling during the day, and batteries suffered a good many casualties, Edward unfortunately being one of the men that was killed in action.
Edward was buried in the Divisional Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. His mother Mary who was residing at 127 Sherbourne Street, St Albans, Christchurch, was later sent Edward’s war medals which consisted of the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, along with a plaque and scroll. His name is commemorated on the Railway Roll of Honour at Wellington Railway Station, Timaru’s Memorial Wall, Geraldine War Memorial and Nelson Cenotaph ANZAC Park Nelson.
Edward’s brother, Charles Luke, also served during the First World War as 25/68 Captain C.L. Mullany with 3 Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade in Egypt and Western Europe. He had also previously served with the Samoan Expeditionary Force (1914 to 1915). Charles also served during the Second World War as a Captain on home service from 1939 to 1945.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [May 2021]; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at https://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=184724 [June 2021]; "Roll of honour" in the Wanganui Herald 26 October 1917, "Casualties in Flanders" in the Sun (Christchurch) 26 October 1917, and "In Memorium" in the Press 12 October 1918, courtesy of Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ [June 2021]; A Street Near You at https://astreetnearyou.org/person/93340/- [June 2021]; New Zealand War Graves Project at https://www.nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/edwin-joseph-mullany [June 2021]
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Researched and Written by
Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG
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