PECK, Albert Edward
(Service number 7/100 (WWI);
|First Rank||Trooper||Last Rank||Trooper|
|Date||2 February 1895||Place of Birth||Waimate, New Zealand|
|Date||15 August 1914 (WWI); 1940 (WWII)||Age||19 WW1 45 WW2|
|Address at Enlistment||Morven, New Zealand (WWI); 68 Sefton Street, Timaru (WWII)|
|Occupation||Farmer, for H Bennett ( WWI); Labourer (WWII)|
|Previous Military Experience||8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Next of Kin||M.B. Peck (father), St Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand; later to care of Mrs W. Prattley, Rural Mail Delivery, Valley Road, Temuka, New Zealand|
|Medical Information||5 foot 8 1/2 inches tall, weight 154 lbs, grey eyes, chest 34-38 1/2 inches, dark complexion, dark brown hair, good teeth, small 1/4 inch mole outside of right nipple|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Main Body|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 8 Squadron, Machine Gun Section|
|Transport||HMNZT 4 Tahiti|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||7th Canterbury Regiment (WWII)|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Mounted Rifles (WWI); 85th Coastal Battery NZ (WWII)|
|Campaigns||Egyptian 1914, Balkans 1915, Egyptian Expeditionary Force 1917-1918; 7th Canterbury Regiment & 85th Coastal Battery - NZ, 1942-1944|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal (WWI); 1939-45 War Medal, NZ War Service Medal (WWII)|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||10 February 1919, (WWI) 14 October 1944, (WWII)||Reason||No longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds recieved in action (WWI); Reassigned to Home Service (WWII)|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
27/28 August 1915 - Dardanelles - bomb wounds to thighs & buttocks - 16th CCS ANZAC; 12 September 1915 - Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington, England, then Grey Towers, Walton on Thames, Codford and Convalescent Depot, Hornchurch - discharged back to unit 12 February 1917; 30 March 1918 - Palestine - gun shot wound to right foot and head - 8 April 1918 admitted to 27 General Hospital Abbassia, transferred to Motea Convalescent Home Heliopolis 22 April 1918, discharged back to unit 29 July 1918.
Ploughman, Labourer, and Packerman
|Place of Death||Timaru, New Zealand|
|Notices||Dept of Internal Affairs notofication, 7 February 1973|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery, New Zealand|
|Memorial Reference||Row 146, Plot 1045|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Albert, the sixth son of Mathew Bridgeman (1850-1930) and Martha (nee Stuffins, 1856-1911) Peck, was born at Waimate on 2 February 1895. He received his education at the Morven and Willowbridge Schools.
When he enlisted on 15 August 1914, Albert was employed as a farmer for Mr H Bennett, and gave his address as Morven. He said he was aged 20, having given his birth date as one year earlier (1894) but was actually still only 19, and too young for overseas service. His father who was living at St Clair, Dunedin, was nominated as his next of kin, but this was later changed to care of Mrs W Prattley, RMD, Valley Road, Temuka. He was described as being single, Methodist, 5 foot 8 ½ inches tall, grey eyes, weighing 154 pounds, chest measuring 34–38 ½ inches, dark brown hair, good teeth and having a small ¼ inch mole on the outside of his right nipple. Having had pre-war service with the 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles, he was posted to serve with the Machine Gun Section, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, and left with the Main Body from Wellington, on 10 October 1914, aboard HMNZT 4 SS Tahiti, arriving at Alexandria, Egypt, on 3 December 1914.
On 9 May 1915, Albert was posted for service on the Dardanelles, where, on the night of 27/28 August, he received bomb wounds to his thighs and buttocks and was admitted to the 16th Casualty Clearance Station at ANZAC Cove. Later he was evacuated to England, and admitted to the Lord Derby War Hospital at Warrington on 12 September. From then on he spent time in Grey Towers, Walton on Thames, Codford and the convalescent depot at Hornchurch. On 12 June 1917 Albert was posted back to re-join the Canterbury Mounted Rifles in Egypt. About this time the campaign in Palestine was taking place, and on 30 March 1918, Trooper Peck was again wounded, this time receiving gunshot wounds to his right foot and head. His unit was moving east across Palestine into the Jordan Valley as part of the ANZAC Mounted Division. On the 30 March, during the raid on Amman, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, along with the Auckland, and two troops of the Wellington Mounted Rifles, attacked Point 3039 in heavy rain. It was a costly day for the Regiment losing three officers and 13 other ranks killed, and one officer and 31 other ranks wounded, plus another man missing. The action was to be Peck’s last as on 8 April Trooper Peck was admitted to 27 General Hospital at Abbassia, and then transferred to Motea Convalescent Home, Heliopolis on 22 April. On 26 June he was sent back to the NZ Mounted Rifles Training Wing, and on 29 July, detached to the Rest Camp at Port Said. From here, on 29 August 1918, he embarked on HMAT Wiltshire for return to New Zealand, arriving on 9 October. He was finally discharged from the army, as no longer fit for war service due to wounds received in action, on 10 January 1919. Having served a total of 4 years and 149 days in uniform, he was later awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. Later in 1967, he was presented with the Gallipoli Badge and Medallion.
In 1919 he was back in the Waimate area working as a labourer at Springston, Willowbridge, and is also recorded as being at Kakahu Road in Temuka. On 10 October 1923, at Knox Church, Waimate, he married Myrtle Grace Bennett (1897-1981), and they were to have four children. 1928 saw him at Green Hills Road, Morven, employed as a ploughman, 1935 at St Andrew’s working for H.S. Johnstone as a ploughman, and from 1935 to 1942, living in Timaru, employed by the Public Works Depot at Pleasant Point.
Albert enlisted again in 1940 for service during World War Two, but did not enter camp until 10 January 1942. He served with 7 Canterbury Regiment until 14 May 1943, then with the 85th Coastal Battery, until 14 October 1944, when he was discharged to Home Service. Again he had served for 2 years and 279 days, and was awarded the 1939-1945 War Medal and the New Zealand War Service Medal.
After the war Albert and his wife lived as various addresses in Timaru, where he worked as a labourer and packer man. They were living at 51 Maltby Avenue, when he died on 30 December 1972, at the age of 77, and is buried in the Timaru Cemetery. His wife Myrtle later moved to 156 Otipua Road, Timaru. She died at Talbot Hospital on 29 October 1981, and was buried with husband Albert.
Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records at https://bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz; University of New South Wales, Canberra NZEF Project "New Zeland Anzacs in ther Great War 1914-1918" at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=201872; Assorted records from ancestry.co.au (accessed July 2016); Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment timeline, 1918 on NZ History at http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/canterbury-mounted-rifles/1918; "Albert Edward Peck" profile, from Geni at https://www.geni.com/people/Albert-Peck/6000000000183264979; Timaru District Council Cemetery records at https://www.timaru.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/cemeteries/cemetery-search; Colonist, 10 April 1918 p3, New Zealand Herald 21 September 1915 p9 and 22 May 1916 p8, and Star 22 May 1916 p1 and 17 August 1916 p2
Researched and Written by
Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum; Sue Hanham, Waimate Museum & Archives; Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
Tell us more
Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!