Topic: Travis Armitage

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Travis Armitage (Service no. 26/381) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton

Travis William Armitage was the son of William Charlesworth Armitage and Elizabeth Ann Armitage. He was born in Christchurch on 2nd April 1889, and attended  New Brighton School.

On the 12th of October, 1911, he married Ninna Armitage (nee Loter) at a registry office in Dunedin, and was, for a while, a clerk, living at 19 Seaview Rd, New Brighton. Then he worked as a labourer for NZ Rail in Raetihi, Manawatu.

He was tall, 5’11”, with fair complexion, and brown hair and eyes.

Travis was recruited to the Army as a rifleman in October 1915. He served in the 4th Battalion, B Company, New Zealand Rifle Brigade. They trained at Maymorn, near Trentham, and then Rangiotu, near Foxton. They left Wellington on the 5th February 1916, destined for Suez, Egypt, where they disembarked, and went by rail to Ismaila, then marched to the Brigade camp at Ferry Post, arriving there March 15th. Then they headed to the Moascar Camp for more training, with liberal allowances of leave to enjoy Cairo, and other places nearby.

On the 6th April they headed for Alexandria, and then took a ship to Marseilles, in France. There, they took a train up to Steenbecque. They went onto the field, and were fighting at the front in dreadful conditions.

Travis was killed in action, six months later, at Flers during the attack on Brown Trench in the Battle of the Somme,  on 15th September 1916, at the age of 27.

He was reported wounded in France on 15th September, then ‘missing, believed killed’. A Court of Enquiry later decided he had been ‘killed in action’ on that date after hearing the evidence of Rifleman William Scott:

“I knew 26/381 Rfm T. Armitage very well, he had been my mate since we entered camp at Maymorn. During the attack on Brown Trench at Flers on Sept. 15th, Armitage was next to me on my left. When we got to about 50 yards of Brown Trench, a big shell burst near us. I immediately dropped to the ground, and Armitage did likewise. I called out to him to see if he was safe, but he did not reply. I then went over to where he was lying, and found that he had been killed”.

He is remembered on the Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial, Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France.

He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

He is remembered on the New Brighton School Roll of Honour Board.

Related Resources

References

  • ROLL OF HONOUR. New Zealand Herald, Volume LIV, Issue 16476, 28 February 1917, Page 10

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Travis Armitage


First Names:Travis William
Last Name:Armitage
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand