(Service number 78550)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank|
|Date||31 October 1891||Place of Birth||Temuka|
|Date||30 November 1917||Age||26 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Staveley|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mra Maude Allison BLYTH (wife), Staveley|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||43rd Reinforcements|
|Date||2 October 1918|
|Embarked From||Destination||London, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Service Medals||British War 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
Surfaceman (Railways); railway employee
|Date||8 June 1965||Age||73 years|
|Place of Death||Chester Private Hospital, Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Cremated at Rockwood, Sydney|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Alick Blyth was born on 31 October 1891 at Temuka, the second-born child and only surviving son of Thomas Robert (known as Robert) and Mary Lizzie (née Timpson) Blyth. An elder son, Robert Arthur Blyth, died in infancy. Along with his sisters, Alick was educated at Temuka School. A. Blyth was awarded first prize in the boys’ 4th class at the annual distribution of prizes for the Temuka Presbyterian Sabbath School in June 1899. Master A. Blyth was one of the pupils who performed at the concert in aid of funds for the Temuka District High School, which was held in early April 1901. He gave a reading at The Band of Hope gathering in May 1905. He appears to have been into swimming and football with Temuka clubs. Alick Blyth married Maude Allison McKay on 5 February 1915 at the Registry Office, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, according to his military file. Their marriage was recorded in 1927, however, at Sydney. Alick’s father had died in June 1904, leaving five children, the youngest only months old. His mother lived on till January 1948, when she died in the Christchurch Public Hospital following a fall.
Maud Allison McKay (known as Maudie) was born at Geraldine in 1885, the daughter of Robert Waugh McKay and Naomi née Fishburn who had married in 1884 in Sydney. Naomi petitioned for divorce on the ground of desertion in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in July 1895. It may well be that Maudie grew up in Australia. Alick was working at Stavely in 1914 and was there with Maud Allison Blyth (married) in 1919, while in 1922 they were together at Darfield.
Alick Blyth enlisted on 30 November 1917 at Ashburton. A labourer, married and Presbyterian, he named his wife as next-of-kin – Mrs Maude Allison Blyth, Stavely. “The departure of the draft of men from Ashburton and district for the Forty-first Reinforcements marked a new era in. the despatch of reinforcements, inasmuch that the quota contained some of the married men balloted for in Class A of the Second Division.” [Ashburton Guardian, 29 April 1918.] The men were entertained at luncheon at the Drill Shed by residents of the Ashburton Gorge. There was a good attendance of friends and relatives of the departing men. The Rev. G. Miller briefly addressed the departing men, and said “the County felt very grateful to the men who were leaving to face the foe and even death to protect our shores.” The Mayor who presided, thanked the recruits on behalf of the town and district. The gathering concluded by singing a verse of the National Anthem. “On the march to the station, the recruits were escorted by the Eighth (South Canterbury) Regimental and Salvation Army Bands. A large crowd gathered on the platform to partake in the final farewell, and, as the train steamed out, there was considerable cheering.” One of those recruits was A. Blyth.
“Yesterday [29 April 1918] was a historic one in the history of the New Zealand military system, as the first section of the second Division was ordered to assemble under military instructions to proceed to training camps at Wellington. . . . . .” The Ashburton draft was entertained at the Drillshed to luncheon by a few of the Ashburton Gorge residents. . . . . .” The Mayor presided, and brief addresses to the men were delivered. “The soldiers marched to the railway station headed by Regimental and Salvation Army Bands, and a large crowd assembled to see the men depart.” Included in the draft was A. Blyth.
Private A. Blyth embarked for London, England, per the “Matatua” on 2 October 1918 with the 43rd Reinforcements, reaching London on 5 December. Alick Blyth embarked at Liverpool on 4 July 1919 to return to New Zealand per the “Port Hacking” which was due at Lyttelton on 14 August. A. Blyth, Stavely, and 29 fellow Ashburton County soldiers were returning in this draft. In 1922, when Alick and Maudie were living at Darfield, he was a surfaceman with the railways. By 1930 Alick and Maudie were in New South Wales, where he was a railway employee until his old age. Alick Blyth died on 8 June 1965 at Chester Private Hospital, Marrickville, Sydney, aged 73 years, and was cremated at Rockwood, Sydney. Maudie Allison died in April 1956. Alick’s sister Lizzie married Kerwin Richard Buckthought in 1914 at Temuka. Kerwin also served in World War One, but in the 1920s the marriage failed.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [21 September 2022]; NZ BDM Records (Department of Internal Affairs) [21 September 2022]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [21 September 2022]; Temuka Leader, 20 June 1899, 6 April 1901, 13 May 1905, 23 November 1907, 27 April 1909, Ashburton Guardian, 29 April 1918, 8 August 1919, Lyttelton Times, 30 April 1918, Otago Witness, 13 August 1919, Press, 28 January 1948 (Papers Past) [21 September 2022]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [21 September 2022]; Death & cremation details (ancestry family tree) [21 September 2022]; NSW marriage registration & death registrations (NSW Registry) [21 September 2022]; Australian Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [22 September 2022]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
Tell us more
Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!