Topic: Alfred Victor Fitchett
Alfred Victor Fitchett (Service no. 6/1027) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner.
In the 1901 England Census the family is recorded as living in the civil parish of Newnham, Basingstoke, Hampshire and shows that Alfred (recorded as Victor on the census) had nine brothers, Harry Charles, Bert, William, Arthur, Frank, Albert, Cyril, Howard and Norman, and two sisters, Lilly and Daisy.
He is not recorded on the 1911 England census having migrated to New Zealand during the intervening years. There is a record of a Mr AV Fitchett, farmhand, arriving in Wellington in 1908 aboard the Rimutaka from London, however newspaper articles about Alfred implied he had lived in New Zealand for a longer period.
Prior to enlisting Alfred is recorded in his service records as living in Wakefield Avenue, Sumner and being employed as a butcher with Gibbs Bros at Sumner (although this was a Coal and Cartage business). He was a prominent member of the Sumner Football Club and Sumner Volunteer Fire Brigade.
He served as a Private with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion. He is described in his service records as being 5 foot, 5 ½ inch tall with brown hair and blue eyes, and scar on the little finger of his right hand.
During the war he served in the Dardanelles and his records show he embarked from Wellington, New Zealand on 16 October 1914 aboard either the Tahiti or Athenic with the main body of the Canterbury Battalion, arriving in Alexandria on 3 December 1914.
His military records also show he had a couple of hospital stays during his service at Mudros and Malta, for quinsy (peritonsillar abscess) and dysentery before re-joining his unit and leaving for the front again in July 1915.
Initially it was thought Alfred had been wounded and was missing, possibly evacuated, but a board of enquiry later found no trace of him and it was deemed he had been killed on, or about, 7th August 1915.
He is remembered on the Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey, and on the Sumner War Memorial Plaque.
- Military personnel file for Alfred Fitchett. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
- Online Cenotaph record for Alfred Fitchett. Auckland War Memorial Museum
- 1901 England Census via Ancestry - recorded as Victor Fitchett
- Passenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960 via Find My Past - arrival of AV Fitchett in Wellington 1908
- The Roll of Honour. Evening Star, Issue 15836, 22 June 1915
- The Fallen and wounded. Press, Volume LI, Issue 15374, 3 September 1915
- Casualities. Sun, Volume II, Issue 489, 3 September 1915