(Service number 3/3536)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank|
|Date||25 June 1874||Place of Birth||England|
|Address at Enlistment||147 North Street, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||robert HOLMES (father), 147 North Street, Timaru|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||30th Reinforcements, New Zealand Medical Corps|
|Date||13 October 1917|
|Transport||Corinthic or Arawa|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
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
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Robert Holmes was the older son of Robert and Lucy (née Cookson) Holmes. Robert, a joiner from Manchester, and Lucy married in 1870 at Calverley, Yorkshire. Born on 25 June 1874, young Robert was baptised on 24 July 1874 at Berkswell, Warwickshire. A second son was born to Robert and Lucy in 1881 at Timaru. Robert and William were educated at Timaru Main School, where Robert was rewarded for General Competency in 1882 and 1884, and for “Neat Exercise Book” in 1887. Robert Holmes objected to serving with the military forces as he was a member of the Brethren. He was, however, prepared to serve with the Ambulance anywhere. Robert was a tailor for Ballantyne & co, Timaru, when he enlisted. He married Mary Cullen Fisher in a double wedding with her sister in June 1921 at Masterton. In November 1927, Robert and Mary travelled from Liverpool to New York, intending to return to New Zealand, and in 1928 they were residing at 132 North Street, Timaru, with his widowed father. Robert junior inherited the North Street property on his father’s death in 1932, and other personal property with his brother William. Where did Robert and Mary go after 1928? His parents, brother and wife are all buried at Timaru.
On 6 September 1922 an impressive ceremony took place on the premises of Messrs J. Ballantyne and Co., Ltd., Timaru, which goes to prove that the patriotic services during the the war of the firm’s employees is far from forgotten by principals or fellow workers. A most artistic memorial was unveiled by the Mayor, in the presence of relatives of the fallen and the men who saw service. The local manager explained that they had wished to pay tribute to the seven brave young men who left the staff to serve King and country, two of whom had made the supreme sacrifice. Though the tablet would not be exposed to the public gaze it would remain for many generations as silent witness to all who worked in the building of what they owed to the men who fought and died in defence of those principles of liberty and justice which were the basis of our civilisation. The central plate, bearing the names of the men who served, was of beaten copper, while surrounding the plate was a massive oak frame, beautifully carved, and surmounted by a carved laurel branch. It carried the following inscription: “To the memory of the men of this house who served in the Great War 1914-1918”, followed by seven names, including two who made the supreme sacrifice, and among the others Robert Holmes. The ceremony, which was a most impressive one, terminated with the sounding of the “Last Post” by Leslie Thompson.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 February 2020); English Marriage Certificate & Baptism Register entry (ancestry.com.au) [10 February 2020]; School Admission records [10 February 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [10 February 2020]; South Canterbury Times, 21 December 1882, 18 December 1884, 23 December 1887, Timaru Herald, 17 May 1917, 7 September 1922, Press, 4 July 1921 (Papers Past) [09 & 11 February 2020]
No documents available.
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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