The Edies

World War I Service: Abel Kerr Edie

The information below is from Abel's Defence Force Personnel Record, from Archives NZ.

Biographical Details

According to his History-Sheet, his occupation was Farmer, his last employer was R K Edie, Edendale, his last NZ address was given as Lawrence, Southland, his religion was Presbyterian and his birth-date was given as 14 August, 1894. His next of kin was listed as his father, John Edie, Hill St, Lawrence. His service number was given as 7/1839, and his rank of Private.

His Attestation was dated 24 September 1917, at Queenstown. He was born at Edievale, on 2 August 1897. His father was born at Waipahi and his mother at Dunedin. His occupation was shepherd living in Arrowtown, Otago. His last employer was his father at Arrowtown. He had previously served in the 5th Mounted Rifles, and been medically examined for service and passed as Fit. Other records give his address as Glencoe Station, Arrowtown.

He was single, with no dependent children under 16 years of age, nor anyone "absolutely dependent" on him.

His physical description is given as: 20 years; he was 5 foot 9¾ inches and weighed 137 pounds, and had chest measurements of 32½ to 35½ inches. He was of Tan complexion, with Grey eyes. His eyesight and hearing were 'Normal' and he was classed as 'Fit Class A'.

Service Details

Abel's service number was 7/1839. He began his service on 1 September 1915. He served 127 days in NZ, 3 years and 61 days overseas, for a total of 3 years and 188 days, finally being discharged on 7 March 1919.

  • He served in Egypt during 1915 and 1916, and Western Europe 1916 to his return to New Zealand and discharge.
  • He disembarked in Suez on 20 December 1915 and was transferred to NZ Field Artillery battery
  • On 11 March 1916 he was transferred to 2 Battalion Canterbury Infantry
  • Embarked at Alexandrai for France on 8 April 1916
  • Attached to 2nd NZ Light Trench Mortar Battery in France on 11 May 1916
  • 5 December 1916 he was awarded 90 Days Field Punishment No 2 in the field (probably meant he was "placed in fetters and handcuffs but was not attached to a fixed object and was still able to march with his unit. ... was also subjected to hard labour and loss of pay" [Wikipedia]. The offence may have been a "breach of censorship regulations"
  • 27 June 1917 he was transferred to 3rd Battalion Auckland Infantry Regiment
  • 13 August 1917 he was attached to headquarters
  • He was awarded Leave 21 November 1917 to 9 December 1917
  • 26 March 1918 he was attached to 1st Infantry Battalion
  • 30 September 1918 he was give leave in the UK from which he returned 21 October 1918
  • 23 October 1918 he marched into Base Camp at Etaples
  • On 5 November 1918 he was classified Class 'C' by a standing Medical Board
  • He was discharged 7 March 1919 "... in consequence of being no longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on active service".