SEYMOUR, Charles Alfred
(Service number 5/144)
|First Rank||Driver||Last Rank||Staff Sergeant|
|Date||12 April 1880||Place of Birth||Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, Engand|
|Date||20 October 1914||Age||34|
|Address at Enlistment||C/o Canterbury Frozen Meat Company, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Florence Hatchett (Sister), 51 Staverton Road, Brondesbury Park, London NW, England|
|Medical Information||5 foot 5 inches tall, weight 131 pounds (59kgs), chest 31 1/4 - 34 1/4 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, good teeth|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||2nd Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Army Service Corps|
|Date||14 December 1914|
|Transport||HMNZT 13 Verdala|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||Records Section, NZEF, Alexandria, NZ Section General HQ, 3rd Echelon Rouen, NZ Records Office, HQ NZEF London & AAG’s Office NZEF Headquarters, London|
|Last Unit Served With||AAG’s Office NZEF Headquarters, London|
|Campaigns||Egypt & Western Europe|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 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|
|Date||24 January 1920||Reason||No longer physically fit for war service|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
3 January 1918 - severe lacerations to left hand and loss of two middle fingers - admitted to 1 Australian General Hospital 10 January 1918 - embarked for England 11 January 1918 - admitted to 1 NZ General Hospital, Brockenhurst 5 February 1918 - transferred to Walton on Thames
Clerk, Assistant Pelt Buyer
|Date||31 October 1947||Age||67|
|Place of Death||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Charles was born at Huntingdon, Huntingshire, England, on April 12, 1880, son of Alfred (1850-1891) and Mary Ann (nee Steward, 1853-1900) Seymour. It is not known how or when he came out to this country, but in 1901 he was boarding with his sister Harriett in Huntingdonshire, employed as a solicitor’s clerk. By 1905, he was living at Beverly, Timaru, working as a clerk. From 1911 he was in Sefton Street, Timaru, employed as a clerk by the Canterbury Frozen Meat Company. Prior to the war he was a very keen golf player, his name appearing in many newspaper sports pages throughout the country.
On October 20, 1914, Charles enlisted at Timaru into the Army Service Corps and, being single, nominated his sister Mrs Harriett Florence Hatchett of 51 Staverton Road, Brondesbury Park, London, NW England, as his next of kin. Charles was small in stature being only 5 foot 5 inches tall, aged 34 years, Anglican, weighed 131 pounds (59 kg), had a chest measuring 31 ¼ - 34 ¼ inches, had a fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair and good teeth. After initial training at Trentham, he embarked from Wellington on December 14, 1914, with the 2nd reinforcements aboard HMNZT13 Verdala. The Verdala sailed in convoy with HMNZT14 Willochra and HMNZT14 Knight of the Garter, steaming to Western Australia where they assembled with the fleet of the Second Convoy, arriving in Suez, Egypt on January 28, 1915. On April 9 he was serving with the NZ Divisional Train at Zeitoun when he was promoted to Corporal, then transferred on the same day with the rank of temporary Sergeant, to Records Section, NZEF, at Alexandria. Further promotion to Staff Sergeant followed on January 1, 1916, before he embarked for France on April 9, 1916.
In France Charles was posted to the NZ Section General HQ, 3rd Echelon at Rouen where he was in charge of the Effects Department. On January 3, 1918, whilst inspecting a bag of personal effects of a soldier killed in action, a undisclosed Mills Bomb detonator exploded which resulted in severe lacerations and the middle two fingers of his left hand being blown off. He was immediately admitted to 1 Australian General Hospital before embarking on January 10 for England where he was admitted to Number 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst on January 11, 1918. On February 5, 1918, he was transferred to Walton on Thames before being posted on May 7 to NZ Records Office, HQ NZEF London. Here he stayed until November 14, 1918, when he was posted to the AAG’s Office NZEF Headquarters, London. Charles remained at this posting until November 1, 1919, before boarding the SS “Ruahine” at Torquay on November 3, arriving at Auckland on December 25, 1919. This was not a pleasant voyage home as an enquiry was later held concerning complaints about the accommodation and messing arrangements for the troops. After having served a total of 5 years and 97 days, Charles was finally discharged from the army on January 24, 1920, later being awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals.
Losing the fingers on his left hand during the war evidently did not affect his golf as he continued to be very active in the sport for many years. Electoral records for 1928 have him residing at 12 Dublin Street, Christchurch, still in the occupation of clerk. In 1933 he married Beatrice Anne Richards (1899-1984), daughter of Thomas Bromley and Sarah (nee Rainey) Richards. In 1935 they were residing at 14 Stratford Street, Riccarton, and, by 1946, were at 29 Clifford Avenue, Fendalton, and Charles was now occupied as an assistant pelt buyer. Charles died in Christchurch on October 31, 1947, aged 67 years. Beatrice later moved to 19 Moncks Spur Road, Lyttelton and died on December 25, 1984, aged 86 years.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [July 2017]; Assorted records at Ancestry.com [July 2017]; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=229851
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
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