Topic: George Albert Pine
George Albert Pine (Service no. 10/2735) was a First World War soldier with links to Hornby and Upper Riccarton
George was born at Oamaru, New Zealand, on 23rd September 1890, the son of Susannah Letitia Hagen and William Pine. He was the eighth of nine children; Sarah Francis (born 1877), William James (born 1878), Edith Eliza (born 1880), George Jonathan (born 1882), Lily (born 1884), Thomas (born 1886, James (born 1889) and Albert Walter (born 1893). Susannah and William were married at St. Mark's church, Balclutha on 1 June 1876. Sadly Susannah passed away when she was only 40 years old on 30 September 1897. William passed away on 15 December 1920 in Hawera.
Before enlisting George was working as a jockey in Hawera for T. Pine, probably another member of this racing family. He was one of five brothers who were well known throughout the Dominion in connection with racing. The youngest brother, Walter, was killed in 1908 while riding in the Harvest Handicap at the Waimate race course, His horse swerved and Walter collided with a furlong post. He was 16 years old.
George was 5ft 7in tall with a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. As was usual the Army’s concern about soldier’s teeth meant that he had a bottom set of false teeth supplied in camp to match his upper set.
He enlisted from Hawera on 19 April 1915 and was assigned to the 6th Reinforcements of the Wellington Infantry Battalion. He embarked with his unit on 14 August 1915 on board either the Willochra or Tofua. He joined the battalion on the island of Mudros on 30 September 1915 and went on to Alexandria arriving on 27 December 1915. He embarked for France and the Western Front four months later on 6 April 1916.
On 22 July he was transferred to the Battalion’s Bombers, whose dangerous task it was to fire back grenades at the Germans. His nerves may have become a little frayed as he infringed army rules “committing a nuisence and being absent from his billet in the field in July 1916 and was one of those punished with Field punishment no 2 for 18 days. He later had 4 days pay docked for being absent from his billet on 19 August.
Hopefully he enjoyed his evening out for he was killed a month later, aged 23, on the 27th September 1916 probably during the battle of Morval. His body was not recovered and his name is recorded on the Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial, Somme.
- Online cenotaph record for George Pine. Auckland War Memorial Museum
- George Pine's military personnel file. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
- New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages
- Roll of Honour. Hastings Standard, Volume VI, Issue 261, 20 October 1916, Page 5