Topic: Claude Findley Manson

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Claude Findley Manson (service number 63261) was a First World War soldier with links to Upper Riccarton

Claude Findley Manson was born in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 19th January 1897 (although on some records the name was spelt Claude Finely). Claude’s father's name was Joseph Henry Manson and his mother's name was Elizabeth Minnie Hackerss. They married in 1894 in New Zealand. Claude had nine siblings, in order of birth (oldest to youngest) are; Ernest Henry (born 1894), unnamed baby (1895), Arthur George (1900), Leslie Gordan (1902), Clarence Herbert (1905), Louisa Myrtle (1907), Violet Mary (1909), Pearl Coral (1912) and lastly Joseph Albert (1914). Joseph Henry Manson died in 1945 and Elizabeth Minnie Hackerss in 1966 (at the impressive age of 93 years.) They are both buried in Waimairi Cemetery.

We know that at least one of Claude’s siblings went to war; Ernest Henry Manson (service number 8/934)) died at Gallipoli in April 1915. Claude and his brother Ernest were both privates.

Claude enlisted on the 13th July 1917 making him 20 years old. His service number was 63261. The family was living on Avonhead Road, Upper Riccarton. Claude Manson’s job before the war was labourer and his last employer was listed as his mother. Claude was 5 feet 6 inches (167 cm) tall and only weighed 142 lbs (64.4 kgs). He had a fresh complexion, black hair and grey eyes and was in perfect health including perfect hearing and eyesight.

Claude signed a will on 19th June 1918 leaving all his assets to his mother.

Claude was assigned to the 1st Otago Infantry Brigade. He left Wellington, New Zealand on 22nd November 1917 and arrived in Liverpool, England on 7th January 1918. He spent three months training with the Otago Infantry Regiment at Sling Camp on the Salisbury Plain. On 20th March 1918 he shipped out for France arriving in Etaples 4 days later. He was on the battle field for five months untill he was wounded in action on 26 August 1918. He was admitted to the 56th Casualty Clearing Station then transferred to the 10th General Hospital in Rouen. He died from gunshot wounds to his left arm which was so badly shattered that surgeons had to amputate it. Hospitals back then did not have the equipment and medications we have today, so the wound got infected and he died on 7th September 1918. He was only 21 years of age.

Claude Findley Manson was buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. The grave reference is R.II.M.20. He is remembered on the Upper Riccarton Memorial Library Roll of Honour.

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Claude Findley Manson

First Names:Claude Findley
Last Name:Manson
Place of Birth:Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand