Topic: Frank Vernon Adamson

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Frank Vernon Adamson (Service no. 24/336) was a First World War Soldier with links to Heathcote and New Brighton.

Frank Vernon AdamsonFrank Vernon Adamson was born on October 4th 1893, in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. His parents, Rev. Henry Adamson and Marianne Burke Adamson, had six children of which Frank was the third-born. His siblings were brothers Henry, Michael, Robert, Philip and his sister Marguerite.

It was a rough ride for the Adamson family. Frank was killed in action at the age of 25: a year later his older brother Henry Arnold Adamson passed away at his father’s residence on Whiteby Road in the Cashmere hills after being unwell for some time. Two of his other brothers, Robert and Michael, also served in the First World War. Robert served as a Private in the Canterbury Infantry Battalion, surviving the war and going on to live in Christchurch, where he was a teacher until his retirement. Michael served as a Private in the Canterbury Infantry Battalion and sadly died after being wounded in France in 1918, at the age of 23. Frank’s sister Marguerite Mary De Burgh was a spinster and his youngest sibling, Philip Humphreys Adamson, was just 10 years old at the time Frank set off for the war. He worked as a farm labourer for a time: and ended up serving in World War II as a ‘sapper,’ or military engineer, in the New Zealand Engineers Unit. His father passed away in Christchurch, in 1923.

Frank never married, and was studying law at Canterbury College at the time of his enlistment whilst living with his parents at 479 Hereford Street in Linwood. Frank’s regimental number was 24/336, and he was a Rifleman in the B Company. He was described in his military records as having a fresh complexion with blue eyes and black hair. When he enlisted he weighed 140 pounds and was 5 foot 7 1/4 inches tall. Frank received his vaccinations in June of 1915, and on the 14th September of that year was declared fit for service.

It was on October the 9th, 1915, that Frank embarked for Egypt. He arrived the following month, where he joined the Western Frontier Force. On 11 June 1916, Frank's records show that his unit attacked the School of Instruction in Auxi Le Chateau. He was wounded in the field in France, at some time around July of 1916, but survived and was very active in the war until he was killed in action on October 31st 1918 at the age of 25. He was buried in France and posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Frank is remembered on the Heathcote War Memorial, and the New Brighton School Roll of Honour.


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Frank Vernon Adamson


First Names:Frank Vernon
Last Name:Adamson
Place of Birth:Port Chalmers, Dunedin, New Zealand