(Service number 32658)
|First Rank||Lance Corporal||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||29 July 1887||Place of Birth||Pleasant Point, South Canterbury|
|Date||26 July 1916||Age||28 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Waitahuna|
|Previous Military Experience||South Canterbury Mounted Rifles (3 years)|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Catherine FRIEL (mother), Pleasant Point, South Canterbury|
|Medical Information||Height 6 feet 1½ inches. Weight 172 lbs. Chest measurement 34-37½ inches. Complexon dark. Eyes greenish. Hair black. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing normal. Colour vision good. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth fair; some fillings required. Pneumonia 6 years ago. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. Part of left forefinger missing. No fits. Deemed "fit".|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||19th Reinforcements Otago Infantry Battalion, D Company|
|Date||15 November 1916|
|Transport||Maunganui or Tahiti|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Plymouth or Devonport, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Otago Infantry Regiment|
|Service Medals||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
27 May 1917 - wounded in Action and admitted to II Anzac M. D. Station; 30 May 1917 - at 2nd Casualty Clearing Station - dangerously ill (back right elbow); 5 June 1917 - still dangerously ill.
|Date||2 June 1917||Age||29 years|
|Place of Death||In the field, France|
|Cause||Died of wounds received in Action (back right arm)|
|Notices||Timaru Herald, 11 June 1917|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France; Pleasant Point Cemetery memorial|
|Memorial Reference||III. B. 211. General Section, Row 19, Plot 66|
|New Zealand Memorials||On Memorial wall, Timaru; Pleasant Point War Memorial; St Joseph's Church, Temuka; Lawrence War Memorial - Waitahuna West|
Edward Friel, known as Ted, was born on 29 July 1887 at Pleasant Point and baptised Roman Catholic on 31 July 1887 at Temuka. He was the son of Daniel and Catherine (née Carr or Kerr) Friel. Edward was likely educated at the Upper Waitohi School where his father was a committee member during the 1890s and some of his siblings featured in prize lists. His father died in an accident in December 1906 at Pleasant Point, suffering a fractured skull when struck by a dray.
Edward seems to have been in demand as an MC at social functions, performing in an efficient and satisfactory manner. He filled this rôle at the Pleasant Point social and dance in aid of the prize fund, in May 1911, and again in August at a dance celebrating the resuscitation of the annual bachelors’ ball. On the latter occasion he had the honour, with Miss McAteer, of leading the grand march. In 1911 he was farming at Pleasant Point, then about 1912 he moved to Puketi in South Otago, where his brother Humphrey also farmed for a few years.
Enlisting on 26 July 1916, while living at Puketi, Waitahuna, Edward Friel contributed to a full South Otago quota for the 19th Reinforcements. As the men paraded and left from Milton on the morning express of 27 July 1916, they were enthusiastically farewelled by a large number of residents. The night before they had been entertained at the “usual complimentary socials”. On 12 October 1916 Private Ted Friel and five other locals were tendered a farewell social and presentation at the Pleasant Point Oddfellows Hall. At Trentham a few days before embarkation he was appointed Lance-Corporal, though he was deprived of the stripe at Sling before proceeding to France on 1 March 1917 and joining his battalion at Rouen.
The next news of Edward was by way of a cable received by his mother at the beginning of June 1917, advising that he had been severely wounded in France. He had been wounded in Action on 27 May 1917 and admitted to the Casualty Clearing Station on 30 May, dangerously ill from wounds to his right elbow. His younger brothers Francis Hugh and Michael Joseph who also served in World War One were at the front at this time. In fact Edward had died of his wounds – gunshot wounds to his back and right elbow - on 2 June, aged 30 years.
The news of his serious wounds and death shortly after must have been of great sadness to his mother. She had lost her husband in an accident in 1906, a son James who died in 1902 aged 26 years, another son who died in 1914 at the age of 41 after a long illness, and a daughter Annie who had died in 1893. Dennis Fahey recounted: “My late father told me Edward was engaged to my late father's late aunty, when he set off to war.” Another to mourn his loss.
Edward Friel was described as of a kindly and gentle disposition, of upright, genial character, and a staunch Catholic; a man whose death was regretted by a wide circle of friends. He was remembered by relatives in an In Memoriam notice in the New Zealand Tablet of 6 June 1918, and again on 5 5 June 1919. In September 1921 the Pleasant Point War Memorial was unveiled in an impressive ceremony. Sited in a commanding position, it is an imposing monument constructed largely of Coromandel granite, with the names – including that of E. Friel - clearly engraved beneath the inscription – “Our Glorous Dead. Their Memory Liveth for Ever.” Wreaths were laid on the steps and the “The Last Post” sounded by the bugler.
His medals, plaque and scroll were all forwarded to his mother. A portrait of Lance-Corporal E. Friel (Puketi), died of wounds – appeared in the Otago Witness of 11 July 1917. In addition to the service of his brothers Francis Hugh and Michael Joseph, two other brothers – Humphrey and Patrick – were called up. Frank wrote to his mother that he had been to see Edward’s grave.
Edward had an interest in property at Puketi, Waitahuna, which he left to his brother Humphry. The remainder of his property and his life insurance policy he bequeathed to his mother, who survived him.
Edward was buried in the Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France and he is remembered on his parents’ headstone in the Pleasant Point Cemetery. His name is inscribed on the Timaru Memorial Wall, the Pleasant Point War Memorial and on the St Joseph’s Church Temuka Memorial. The St Joseph’s Church, Temuka, Memorial, an “exceedingly beautiful” monument to the memory of those who had fallen in the war, was unveiled after a Memorial Service on 25 April 1922. During the service appropriate music was provided by the choir and an excellent address was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Kennedy. The name of Private Edward Friel is also recorded on th eLawrence War Memorial for Waitahuna West, a reflection of his working life residence.
The name of Edward Friel was heard again on Anzac Day, 1927. A Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Joseph’s Church, Temuka. The celebrant preached a very stirring sermon based on the Book of Wisdom (Chapter III, Verses 2-5). He pointed out that the Gallipoli campaign and later “gigantic episodes” would remain for all time a wonderful symbol of the age-old courage of men. He reminded the lads present that the enormous sacrifices made by the soldiers of New Zealand and other parts of the Empire were helping them to have brighter and better lives, and that all should render thanks to God, who had delivered them out of the hands of the enemy.
They had gathered to commemorate the landing at Gallipoli and also to set aside the day to show their deep and grateful acknowledgement of the services of the men who had fought and died for them on other fields of the great battle-front. “The light of immortality that flashed from the abandoned tomb of the risen Christ lingers on in every mound of Flanders mud and clay, the gullies of Gallipoli, the sands of Palestine and Egypt, on the quiet churchyards in English villages and on God’s acres in New Zealand.. . . . And to-day, before God’s altar, we remember them with the love we bore them and the pride we shall have in them,” he concluded. Before the Dead March was played by the organist, the names were read of those from the Temuka parish who had died “on the field of honour” – among them that of Edward Friel.
Private Edward Friel, of Waitahuna, was also remembered in the Otago Daily Times commemorative column “For the Empire’s Cause: In Memoriam” on 2 June 2017.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [08 October 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0042583) [18 October 2013]; CWGC [09 October 2013]; Plrasant Point Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [October 2013]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [October 2013]; Roman Catholic Baptisms (Christchurch Diocese CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [October 2013]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [October 2013]; Temuka Leader, 5 May 1892, 7 June 1917, 17 September 1921, 26 April 1922, 26 April 1927, Timaru Herald, 15 May 1911, 29 August 1911, 11 October 1911, 8 April 1914, 5 & 11 June 1917, Bruce Herald, 27 July 1916, Evening Post, 11 November 1916, Otago Witness, 11 July 1917, New Zealand Tablet, 19 July 1917, 6 June 1918, 5 June 1019 (Papers Past) [02 May 2014; 13 August 2015; 19 & 20 August 2016; 09 March 2017]; Probate record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [03 May 2014]; SCRoll web submission by D Fahey, 10 April 2015; Otago Daily Times, 2 June 2017 (Allied Press) [02 June 2017]
- Great War Stories - Private Edward FRIEL - Timaru Herald 15 July 2017 (pdf, 69.9 KB updated 15-Sep-2017)
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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