Topic: Harry Brian Fletcher

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Harry Brian Fletcher (SERVICE NUMBER2/1345) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

Harry Brian Fletcher (SERVICE NUMBER2/1345) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

Harry was born Thursday 13th August 1885. He was the youngest child of John Johnston Fletcher the Owner/partner of Fletcher, Humphreys and Co., Cathedral square Christchurch and Frances Ann Fletcher (nee Stamper) of South Devon England Harry had 5 siblings Florence 1865, Edwin 1866, Caroline Mabel 1869,Kathleen Muriel 1878, Constance Ruby 1881.

Harry was a single 29 year old Anglican man 5’6 ½”.tall with a fair complexion, Brown hair and Blue eyes, he had a scar on his left calf near the knee. An old boy of Christ College Christchurch.  At the time of his enlistment on the 15th February 1915 he was working in Christchurch as a Marine Engineer for British India Steam co. (of Bomby) and living in Head Street Sumner.

On enlistment Harry was assigned to 5th Battery 2nd Brigade of the New Zealand Field Artillery and was promoted to the rank of Bombardier on 25th February 1915. The Brigade trained at Trentham before departing from Wellington on HMNZT-22 Knight Templar  on 17th April 2015 in convoy with Willochra (HMNZT 21) and Waitomo (HMNZT 23) and arriving in Egypt on 25th May. Embarking for the Dardanelles on 20th August. On 3rd January 2016 they were evacuated back to Alexandra aboard HT Novian before embarking for France on 7th April aboad the HMT “Eboe”.

Bombardier Harry Fletcher was wounded in action in the field on 17th October 2016 suffering from a compound fracture of the femur.  He was transferred by 37th Field Ambulance to the Casualty Clearing Station on the 18th October then to St John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Étaples on 20th October. On 22nd of October he was transferred to the Hospital Ship Cambria bound for the London General Hospital England where he died 3 days later on October 25th from his wounds, a secondary haemorrhage and shock. He was 31.

Bombardier Harry Fletcher was buried on 28th October 2016 in the Kensal Green Cemetery London Grave no.10 sq213 Row 5.

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and  the Victory Medal which were delivered to his mother Mrs Frances Ann Fletcher  4 Korana Crescent Remuera Auckland on 4th October 1923.  He is remembered on the Sumner war memorial which was on the corner of Wakefield Avenue and Nayland Street until the building was badly damaged during the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. The building was subsequently demolished. However the plaque was salvaged and in 2017 was installed in Sumner's new library, community centre and museum -  Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.


Cenotaph - Online Cenotaph - Auckland War Memorial Museum

Archives New Zealand Harry Brian Fletcher (SERVICE NUMBER2/1345) military personnel file in Archives New Zealand

Ancestry Library Edition

Papers past - Press, Volume LV, Issue 9996, 28 March 1898, 14 July 1882,  Press, Volume XLVI, Issue 7378, 2 August 1889

Papers past - Roll of Honour Press, Volume LII, Issue 15735, 31 October 1916

New Zealand Graves Project

Department of Internal Affairs - Births Deaths & Marriages

Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

Sumner War memorial

New Zealand History

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Harry Brian Fletcher

First Names:Harry Brian
Last Name:Fletcher
Place of Birth:Christchurch New Zealand