Topic: Owen Leonard Haase

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Owen Leonard Haase (Service no. 7/786) was a First World War soldier with links to Upper Riccarton

Owen Leonard Haase, known as Sammy, was born on 14th May 1892 at Pelorus in Marlborough. He was the second generation of his family in New Zealand. Owen's father, William Otto Haase, was born in Germany but sailed from England in the ship Golconda for New Zealand on 5th September 1859. He arrived in Nelson on 27th December 1859.

Owen’s grandfather, John Ludwig Haase, was born on 5th November 1806, in Germany. He married Hanne Dorathea Charlotte Bandmann in Germany on 31st December 1844. They had 7 children when they left Germany. In New Zealand they had 5 more children. William ran a stable at Takaka. He married Emma Hounsell on 4th February 1874 in Nelson.

Emma Hounsell, was born about 1854 in Nelson. Both her parents William Alfred Hounsell and Sarah Jeffrey Durrant were among Nelson’s first settlers from England. They married on 25th May 1848 in Nelson. They had 19 children.

Owen was enrolled at Foxhill School in Takaka from 8th January 1900 to 13th February 1902. They also lived at 42 School Lane, Upper Riccarton where Owen attended Riccarton School between 23th May 1901 and 16th September 1901. After leaving school, he became a driver, working for his father until the War broke out. He was described in his military records as having a medium complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. He was a healthy young man. It was also noted he was an Anglican.

He enlisted on 21st September 1914 in Christchurch and joined the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, 12th Company with the rank of Private. He departed from Port Chalmers by ship on 16th October 1914 and then left Wellington and arrived in Alexandria, Egypt on 3rd December 1914. By July 1915, he was fighting in the trenches on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He suffered from the tough trench conditions. He needed a small operation so he was discharged from the army and returned to Wellington on board the Willochra. He spent 4 months recovering then re-enlisted for service. He joined the 8th Reinforcements on 12th November 1915 the day before he set sail for Suez, Egypt, and then onto France. He fought valiantly and was killed in action at the Somme, France, on 16th September 1916, aged 24.

Owen was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His body was never identified so his name is inscribed on Stone 3 at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, in France. Private Owen Leonard Haase (service number 6/1151) is remembered on the Roll of Honour at the Upper Riccarton Memorial Library and the Takaka War Memorial.

Researched by Jay Kang, Ryan Tsai and Anna Sun

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Owen Leonard Haase

First Names:Owen Leonard
Last Name:Haase
Place of Birth: Pelorus, Marlborough, New Zealand