Profile

ANNAND, Bertram Charles
(Service number 33077)

Aliases Bertie
First Rank Corporal Last Rank Second Lieutenant

Birth

Date 17 April 1891 Place of Birth Timaru, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 20 August 1916 Age 24
Address at Enlistment Kohuratahi, New Zealand
Occupation Civil Engineer
Previous Military Experience 13th North Canterbury & West Coast Regiment
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs B. C. Annand (wife), Hurimoana via Whangamomona, New Zealand
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information 5 foot 8 1/2 inches tall, weight 147 pounds (67kgs), chest 32 1/2 - 35 1/2 inches, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair, good teeth

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Engineers, Tunnelling Company
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 4th Reinforcements
Date 16 February 1917
Transport HMNZT76 Aparima
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Engineers Tunnelling Company

Military Awards

Campaigns Western Europe
Service Medals British War Medal & Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date 30 July 1919 Reason End of war time engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

30 January 1919 - Havre, France - trench mouth - admitted (26 February to 10 March) to No.3 NZ General Hospital, Codford. 9 May - 5 June 1919 - outpatient at Stratford Hospital

Post-war Occupations

Civil Engineer

Death

Date 13 September 1963 Age 73 years
Place of Death Wanganui, New Zealand
Cause
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Aramoho Cemetery, Wanganui, New Zealand
Memorial Reference Row 2, Plot 109
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Bertram, only son of George (1855-1936) and Elizabeth Jane (1868-1918 nee Riddle) Annand, was born at Timaru on 17 April 1891. His father George was a motor engineer, and the family moved to Christchurch from Timaru in the 1890’s, where Bertram received his primary education at the New Brighton School. On 2 February 1903 he was admitted to the Timaru South School and was living with his aunt, Miss Mary Riddle, at Rose Street. His parents later came back to Timaru where he did his secondary schooling at Timaru Boys High. He then studied for his Civil Service Exams which he passed in 1909 and 1910, and by 1914, was employed as an engineer at Waihao Downs, Waimate. During this period he had found time to be a member of the local 13th North Canterbury & West Coast Regiment.

By 1916 Betram was working as a Public Works Engineer at Kohuratahi when, on 17 July, he volunteered to serve in the NZ Tunnelling Corps. Advised that there would be no reinforcements for this unit until November 1917, he instead enlisted on 20 August 1916 into the 23rd NZ Engineers with the rank of Corporal. He was described as being single, Roman Catholic, 5 foot 8 ½ inches tall, weighing 147 lbs (67kgs), with a chest measuring 32 ½-35 ½ inches, having a dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair and good teeth.

Shortly after enlisting, on 2 November 1916, he married at Wellington to Miss Mary Josephine Roughan (1891-1975), the ceremony being performed by the Rev Father Hurley. He nominated her as his next of kin while he was to serve overseas. Not long after enlisting he received his wish and was transferred to the NZ Engineering Tunnelling Company and promoted to temporary Sergeant on 4 February 1917. He left from Wellington with the 4th Reinforcements on 16 February 1917 aboard HMNZT76 SS Aparima bound for Plymouth, Devon England, arriving on 2 May 1917, and marched into the NZ Engineers Depot. The next day (3 May), he reverted back to temporary Corporal and continued his training until proceeding to France on 4 June where he again reverted in rank again, this time back to Sapper on 5 June.

Betram was then posted to the NZ Engineers Tunnelling Company in the field on 10 June 1917. Just prior to his joining his unit, they had been working on the famous Ronville system in immense caverns said to be large enough to house between 20000 to 25000 troops in preparation for the Battle of Arras. This system was so large the New Zealanders gave the caverns names from home like Russell, Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and Bluff so they could find their way round. You can visit them today and still see these names and names of some of the troops who had spent some time there. Bertram’s arrival in his unit coincided with the construction of the prefabricated steel “Hopkins” designed Havrincourt Bridge over the Canal du Nord. This was to be a notable engineering feat as the men were not a trained bridging company and they had very little suitable equipment for this task, plus the location was practically in the front line, so no preliminary work could be done other than taking measurements. This task, verging on the impossible, was finished in eight days complete with footways and handrails. Many were the tasks to be carried out by this unit, but he must have done well as on 21 October 1918 Bertram was promoted to the rank of second Lieutenant.

On 30 January 1919 at Havre, France, Betram reported ill with trench mouth and was transferred on 26 February, to No3 NZ General Hospital at Codford, until his discharge to the NZ Command Depot on 10 March. Finally on 14 March 1919, he boarded the SS Ionic for his return home, arriving in Auckland on 24 April. He was sent home on sick leave and received treatment as an outpatient at the Stratford Hospital from 9 May to 5 June. After having served 2 years and 345 days, he received his discharge from the army on 30 July 1919, and was absorbed into the Unattached General List [of reservists] as a Second Lieutenant. He was later awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service.

Following the war Bertram continued with his career in the Public Works. In 1919 he was back at Kohuratahi, in 1928 at Tahora, 1935 at Moturoa New Plymouth, 1938 at Denlair Fordell Manawatu, and in 1942, was at Trentham Camp. Withy the coming of the Second World War he enlisted here again into the NZ Defence Engineer Service Corps as a second lieutenant, serving in the Central Military District from 11 May 1942 until his discharge to the Reserve of Officers, on 1 January 1944. For this service he would have been awarded the 1939-1945 War Medal and NZ War Service Medal.

Betram remained at Trentham as a civil engineer until 1949 before retiring to Foxton where he lived with his wife until 1954, before moving to Castlecliffe. During the Second World War he had two sons who served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force: Pilot Officer George William Annand who was wounded in action in January 1942, and Warrant Officer James Bertram Annand, who was killed in action in March 1945. Bertram himself died at Wanganui on 13 September 1963, aged 73 years, and is buried in the Aramoho Cemetery, Wanganui.

After the First Worlk War in 1921, a War Memorial had been unveiled at the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy in London. Attending was Field –Marshall Earl Haig, senior commander of the World War One British Expeditionary Force. In his address he said, ‘You have afforded me an opportunity to say a few words of special thanks for a body of men in France that seldom drew upon itself much notice or glory at the time, but was surpassed by none in the demands it made upon the skill, the courage and the resolution of the individuals concerned, or in the services it rendered to the Army as a whole. Few outside of those who took part in the work and benefited by its results realise the immense amount of steady, persistent toil in every circumstance of peril, surrounded by danger in a form that might appal the stoutest hearted, that went to the preparation of triumph. Few realise how vast, how important to the safety, comfort, and success of our troops, was the work of the miners, work that was little commented upon in the Press, but yet went steadily and continuously, day after day, and year after year, along the whole of the British Front.’

Sources

Auckland War memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (June 2017); New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=5963; "Probationary NCO's' 22nd Reinforcements in Hawera & Normanby Star 15 August 1916 p8, 'Civil Service Examinations' in the Star 24 February 1914 p8, 'Railway Link' in the New Zea;and Herald 31 October 1932 p6, and 'Town & Country' column (details of letter to mother on return to NZ) in the Timaru Herald 7 May 1919 p6, courtesy of Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/; Assorted records at Ancestry at ancestry.com; Wanganui District Council Cemetery records at http://www.whanganui.govt.nz/our-services/cemeteries-and-crematorium/Pages/Cemetery-Search.aspx?; New Zealand Tunneling Compnay facebook page (stories on Tunnelling Company men including B.C. Annand) at https://www.facebook.com/NZTunnellingCompany/

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

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