Topic: Albert Robert Stemmer

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Albert Robert Stemmer (Service no. 7/786) was a First World War soldier with links to St. Augustine's Anglican Church, Cashmere and Upper Riccarton.

Albert Robert StemmerAlbert Robert Stemmer (Bert) was born on 25th October 1886, in Christchurch. He was the oldest son of Robert Anthony Stemmer and Mary Ann Webb. Robert and Mary were married on 6th February 1884 at St. Barnabas Church in Fendalton, Christchurch. Mary and Robert had two more children; Harold born in 1888 and Catherine Lilly born in 1891. Robert was a gardener. The family lived in Upper Riccarton, where Albert attended Riccarton School. Sometime before 1914, they shifted to Dyers Pass Road, Cashmere.

This was the second marriage for Robert. He was previously married to Fanny Drew at St Peters Church, Upper Riccarton on 17 October 1881. They had a son Robert Percival born in 1882. Fanny died in 1882 and their son in 1883. On both of Robert's marriage records he states that he was born at Southampton in England however he was born in Berlin, Germany. His parents Frank (Franz) and Luise Wilhelmina went to England in 1861. On the 1861 England census it is recorded that Frank was born in Strasburg and Luisa Wilhelmina in Prussia. All the children were born in Berlin; Mary, Robert, Phillip, Katherine and Edward.

After school, Albert did wool-classing and then was a shepherd, first at Glenlee Station, Awatere, and then at Molesworth Station in Marlborough, working for Duncan Rutherford, a major landowner in Canterbury and Marlborough.

Albert was 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighed 147 pounds and had blue eyes and brown hair. He was an Anglican.

When war broke out in 1914, Albert signed up on 30th October, and joined the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 2nd Reinforcements, leaving from Wellington on 14th December 1914 and arriving in Alexandria, Egypt about six weeks later.

Albert was in the Gallipoli landings, and fought there for almost four months before being killed in action on 14th August 1915 , aged 28.

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

Albert Robert Stemmer's body was never identified so his name is recorded on Panel number seven of the Hill 60 (New Zealand) Memorial, Hill 60 Cemetery, Turkey. He is also remembered at the Upper Riccarton Memorial Library Roll of Honour, and on the roll of honour at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, Cashmere, Cashmere, the Seddon District War Memorial and the Marlborough War Memorial.

Albert had made a will and left everything to his younger brother Harold. This came to £199 6 shillings and 4 pence cash in his bank account and £100 in property. Harold also enlisted in the army on 4 nov 1918 just a week before the war ended on 11 November 1918. By this time he was married and the father of three children. He was discharged from the army on 18th December 1918 so never served overseas.

Riccarton Memorial Library plaque for soldiers: from NZ History: 'Upper Riccarton memorial library', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/upper-riccarton-memorial-library, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage),

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Albert Robert Stemmer


First Names:Albert Robert
Last Name:Stemmer
Place of Birth:Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand