Profile

HAMMOND, Herbert Harold
(Service number 7/590)

Aliases
First Rank Captain Last Rank Major

Birth

Date 17 June 1881 Place of Birth Leeston, Canterbury, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 13 August 1914 Age 33
Address at Enlistment Leeston
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience Enlisted 1901 - served 1 yr Ellesmere Guards, 2 yrs Christchurch City Guards, 1 yr E Battery, 6 yrs Ellesmere Mounted Rifles, 3 yrs 8th (SC) Mounted Rifles
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Edward HAMMOND (brother), care of Briscoe and Co. (Limited), Christchurch
Religion Anglican
Medical Information 5 foot 11 1/2 inches tall, weight 135 pounds (61kgs), chest 32-36 inches, dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, good teeth, mole size of a shilling underside of left knee

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 16 October 1914
Transport HMNZT9 "Hawkes Bay"
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian, Balkans (Gallipoli)
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, 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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

19-20 May 1915 - admitted to Field Ambulance - influenza; 15-23 Jul 1915 - admitted to 16 Stationary Hospital ill - transferred to Australian Casulaty Clearing Station (CCS) - diarrhoea - transferred to1 Australian Stationary Hospital, Mudros; 8 Aug 1915 - admitted to NZ Mounted Ambulance - gun shot wound, right hand - evacuated to England, ex-Mudros on 19 Aug - admitted to Endsleigh Hospital

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 9 August 1916 Age 35 years
Place of Death Bir el Abd Egypt (Battle of Romani)
Cause Killed in action
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Memorial Reference A. 47.
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Herbert was born at Leeston, Canterbury, on 17 June 1881, the eldest son of John William and Mary Jane (nee Wooler) Hammond. John was born in Preston, Rutlandshire, England, in 1840, and had been brought up to commercial life. After having lived in America as a young man for 6 years, then another year back in England, he came out to New Zealand in 1879 on the ship “Opawa”. He first went to Amberley, then later to Leeston, where he finally set up in business as a Draper. Mary Jane was born at Newcastle, Northumberland, England in 1851, and by 1880, was in New Zealand, where she married John. It is not know exactly when Herbert’s parents died but possibly John in 1935, and Mary in 1943 (there is a burial record under those names in the Waimari Cemetery, Christchurch).

Herbert was an enthusiastic cricketer, a splendid all-round athlete, and musician, having passed many exams at the Canterbury College. He joined the Territorial’s as a Trooper in 1901. He served a year with Ellesmere Guards, two more years with the Christchurch City Guards, another year with E Battery, and finally another six years with the Ellesmere Mounted Rifles. This unit later became part of A Squadron of the First Canterbury Regiment. Through his hard work and perseverance, he was promoted to acting Lieutenant on October 6 1909, followed by promotion to Lieutenant after passing his officers exam on March 16, 1910. Herbert moved to Ashburton in July 1911 where he took up a position as accountant with the firm of Friedlander Brothers, and transferred to A Squadron 8th (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles. Here he was promoted to Captain on 2 September 1912.

On the outbreak of war, Herbert was farming at Ashburton. Enlisting at Timaru on 13 August 1914, he was immediately appointed second in command of his unit. Major Gabites, a local doctor who had served as a Captain/Surgeon in the Seventh Contingent during the Boer War, had a busy day medically examining 61 volunteers, of whom 11 were rejected. The next day they left by train from the Showground’s at Waimataitai for camp at Addington. Herbert’s enlistment papers described him as being single, Anglican, 5 foot 11 ½ inches tall, weighing 135 pounds (61kgs), with a chest measuring 32-36 inches, of a dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, good teeth, and he had a mole on the underside of his left knee the size of a shilling. Addington Showground’s had been set up as a Mobilisation Camp for the Canterbury Military District. Here the men were to live under canvas and carried out training under the instruction of officers and non-commissioned officers who had gained their experience in the Territorial’s. Range practice was held at Redcliff’s and the mounted men rode throughout the local area and hills. At the beginning of September due to bad weather, the camp moved to the Metropolitan Trotting Club’s grounds next door for a few days, before again moving to Plumpton Park Trotting Ground at Sockburn on 7 September.

On 23 September 1914 the 8th (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles boarded HMNZT11 “Athenic” in Lyttelton and proceeded to Wellington where the ships berthed until it was judged safe to depart. The delay was caused by the presence in the South Pacific of enemy warships, and the lack of a suitable naval escort powerful enough to protect the convoy. In the meantime the Mounted Rifles disembarked and entered camp at Trentham. Finally on 16 October 1914, after the arrival of HMS “Minotaur”, the Japanese warship “Ibuki”, and the escorts HMS “Psyche” and HMS “Philomel”, Herbert boarded HMNZT9 “Hawkes Bay” and sailed across the globe in convoy with these escorts and nine other transports, namely: HMNZT3 “Maunganui”, HMNZT4 “Tahiti”, HMNZT 5 “Ruapehu”, HMNZT6 “Orari”, HMNZT7 “Limerick”, HMNZT8 “Star of India”, HMNZT10 “Arawa”, HMNZT11 “Athenic” and HMNZT12 “Waimana”. This convoy was made up of 8,500 men, and about 4,000 horses, which made its way to the Middle East by way of Hobart, Albany where they joined the transports convoying the First Detachment of the Australian Imperial Forces. Together they proceeded via Colombo, Aden, and finally arrived in Alexandria via the Suez Canal to disembark the soldiers on 3 December 1914. The usual activities of physical training, rifle practice, sports etc, took place on the voyage, and the food was better than the camps, although spoiled at times by “unskilled but good intentioned cooks”.

From Alexandria they travelled by train to Zeitoun Camp where they settled into the routine of training and the odd spot of sightseeing and sport. By 17 December the horses had acclimatised and mounted training began which was to continue until May. On 9 May 1915 the Mounted Rifles left for the Dardanelles aboard HMT “Grantully Castle”. They landed at ANZAC Cove on 12 May where they were to fight as infantry, and over the next four months, were to suffer more than half of their total casualties in the war. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade was responsible for the defence of the northern perimeter of the ANZAC beach-head, holding a sector from the position known as Walker's Top down the ridge line to the sea, a line which included positions on Russell’s Top and Walker’s Ridge.

Like many, his time at Gallipoli was punctuated with illness. On 19 May Herbert was admitted to the Field Ambulance suffering from influenza but was back on duty the next day. On 15 July he was again admitted, this time to No.16 Stationary Hospital with illness, again being briefly discharged back to duty the following day before being admitted again on the same day – this time to the Australian Casualty Clearance Station with diarrhoea. Soon after he was transferred off the peninsula to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital on Mudros. By 23 July he was back on duty with his unit.

On August 8 as part of the assault on Chunuk Bair, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles (CMR) were tasked to capture Bauchop’s Hill. It was during this attack that Captain Hammond was wounded, receiving a gunshot wound to his right hand. He was admitted to the NZ Mounted Ambulance. He was eventually evacuated on 24 August to England aboard the Hospital Ship “Canada”, where he was admitted to the Endsleigh Palace Hospital. Only months before the Endsleigh Palace Hotel had been converted into a hospital for officers. After about a month in hospital he was discharged on sick leave, and over the next few months was able to enjoy visits to Scotland and other parts of England. On 2 January 1916, he returned to his unit’s theatre of operations, disembarking at Alexandria, Egypt, from the “Ionic” and rejoined his unit at Zeitoun.

On 23 January the CMR left Zeitoun for the Suez Canal, 140kms to the east, to base themselves at Serapeum where training resumed. February was spent in training, sport, and swimming in the Suez Canal. On 5 March they left for Ferry Post railhead, relieving the Australian Infantry. Soon after, on 11 March the Australia and New Zealand Mounted Division was officially established, soon referred to by the men as ANZAC Mounted Division. The next day, 12 March, Captain Hammond was promoted to Major. Early April saw the CMR back in Serapeum before riding to Moascar and on the 7th to Salhia. In later April they moved to Kantara in response to Ottoman raids on British Outposts near Katia where they were occupied in escorting camel trains and patrols. May saw them riding to Romani, then to Bir Etmaler where they were to protect the wells in the area. Ordered to Bir el Abd to attack Ottoman forces on 29 May, a short battle with their rearguard took place before withdrawing back to Bir Etmaler. Most of June was spent on reconnaissance before setting up camp at Hill 70, on 24 June, where they spent July in support of the 5th Australian Light Horse Regiment. From 7 to 14 July the 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron rode to Kantara for a week at the rest camp, before returning to Hill 70.

On 20 July, a large Ottoman force was discovered advancing westward on a 12km front in the vicinity of Salmana and Bayud 30km east of Romani, leading up to the battle of Romani on 4 August. It began with some determined assaults by the Ottoman forces, but by 6.30pm most had either withdrawn or surrendered. The next few days were spent in pursuit, and attacking the Ottoman rearguard at Katia which held a strong position. On 8 August the CMR found that position abandoned and contact was made 3km west of Bir el Abt. The next day the CMR left their bivouac at 4 a.m. to take part in an attack on Bir el Abd by the Anzac Mounted Division. The CMR was initially in reserve but was soon sent forward to support the left flank of the Auckland Mounted Rifles. Ottoman counter-attacks eventually halted the advance, and at 11.20 a.m. enfilading fire forced the left flank to retire. With Ottoman counter-attacks continuing, the division received orders to withdraw late in the afternoon. The CMR withdrew successfully while in close contact with enemy forces. The day’s fighting had cost nine men killed and 22 wounded. Another six men are reported as wounded and missing. One of those reported as missing was Major Herbert Hammond. His body was found and buried on the battlefield a few days afterward, but later his remains were moved to the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery.

In 1920 a plaque, scroll and Herbert’s war medals (the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal) was forwarded to his father care of Mr E Hammond, Clyde Street, Riccarton, Christchurch. Herbert’s name is commemorated on the Leeston Plaque of the Ellesmere County War Memorial.

Sources

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [28 November 2017]; 'South Canterbury Men' in the Timaru Herald 15 August 1914, 'Reported wounded' in the Southland Times 20 August 1915, 'The fallen and wounded' in the Ashburton Guardian 20 August 1915, 'For King and Empire' in the Sun 22 August 1916, 'Major H H Hammond' [photograph] in the Star 30 August 1916, 'News of the day' in the Ellesmere Guardian 2 September 1916, and the Star 24 September 1914, Sun 20 August 1915, Press 20 August 1915 courtesy of Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs); New Zealand War Graves Project at https://www.nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/herbert-harold-hammond; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=104639; 'Anzac MD, AIF Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division Roll of Honour Australian and New Zealand Forces' on the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre website at http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog?start=1249390859&topic_id=1106662

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG, Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

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