Topic: George Cuthbert Mayne

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George Cuthbert Mayne (service no. 7/179) was a First World War soldier with links to St. Augustine's Anglican Church, Cashmere.

George Cuthbert Mayne George Cuthbert Mayne was born on the 20th February, 1883 in Fernside, North Canterbury. His parents were James Boxer Mayne, a teacher, and then an inspector for the North Canterbury Education Board, and Ada Mayne. He had two sisters, Una and Helga. During the First World War, his parents were living on Dyers Pass Rd, Cashmere.

George was a good scholar. He went to Ashburton High School, when his father was a teacher in Ashburton, and then Christchurch Boys’ High School. Then he went to Canterbury College, studying law.

He became a lawyer. He was on the committee of the New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association, and connected with the National League of New Zealand, and the Navy League. He worked in Canterbury, then Kaikoura. While there, he joined the Kaikoura branch of the South Island Main Trunk Railway League.

In March, 1914, he moved to work in Gisborne, for De Latour, Barkers & Co law firm. His last address was Waimariri, Rutene Rd, Gisborne. He belonged to the Territorials in all the places he lived.

 He was 5’6” tall, with grey eyes, and slightly sandy hair.

He was one of the first men to sign up when war broke out.  Shortly after joining up, he married Myra Julia Whitcombe at St. Mary’s Church, Merivale, on 26th August, 1914

 He left Lyttelton with the Main Body on 16th October, heading for Alexandria. He was a Lieutenant, second in command of the 10th Nelson Mounted Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment. He was promoted to Major early in 1915.

After some training in Egypt, he and his forces landed at Gallipoli. He fought there for 3 ½ months. He was killed on the 8th August, 1915, in the fight for Chunuk Bair, aged 32.

Newspapers in New Zealand published parts of a letter received by his wife just a day or two before she heard that he had died, talking of life in the trenches at Gallipoli, and his longing for condensed milk, and wishing he had willow trees to sit under!

A letter written by Captain J. G. McCallum, another captain of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, was also published, describing how George had gone out with a small reconnoitring party, and met some English Territorials who had lost their officers and were becoming demoralised. He rallied them successfully, but was himself killed while doing so.

He was well known, but apart from his kindly personal qualities, his keen soldierly instinct, devotion to duty, and capacity for leadership will make his loss severely felt by us.”

His grave is not known, but his name is on the Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.

His name is also on the Ashburton War Memorial, and on the roll of honour board at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Cashmere.

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Related resources

  • Online cenotaph record for  George Cuthbert Mayne. Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • George Mayne's military personnel file. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
  • Ancestry Library Edition :New Zealand Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981

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George Cuthbert Mayne


First Names:George Cuthbert
Last Name:Mayne
Place of Birth:Fernside