Topic: Darcy Street

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Darcy Street (Service no. 40849) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

At the age of 23, Darcy Street was working as a grocer for J. D. Watson, and living in Sumner, at 8 Duncan Street. He was a slight young man of 5’2” and 112lbs, with grey eyes and light brown hair.  Darcy was born in New Plymouth on 6th May 1893. His parents, Ellen Jane and Henry Street had three sons already: Archie, born on 8th April 1886; Leonard, born 9th July 1887; and Claud, born 1st January 1891. When Darcy was 9 years old, his sister Sylvia Melba was born on 4th September 1902.  The family lived in New Plymouth, Taranaki for many years before moving to Sumner.

Claud was the first of the brothers to enlist, on 12th August 1914. Claud served for nearly 5 years, in Egypt, the Balkans, and Western Europe. He returned home to New Zealand, and was finally discharged on 9th February 1920. Leonard also enlisted, although this was not until 18th June 1918, five months before the end of the war, meaning that Leonard did not leave New Zealand for active service.

Darcy was not so lucky. He enlisted on 11 November 1916, just days before the first conscription ballot was held, and served for two years with the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces. He embarked aboard the Ruapehu on 14th March 1917, with the rank of Private in C Company, 23rd Battalion.  When he arrived in England, he spent about a month at Sling Camp in the Salisbury Plains, England, the chief New Zealand training camp, before arriving in Étaples, France on 22nd June 1917. Following that, Darcy’s military record simply states that he was in the field.

On the 4th of November, 1918, Darcy Street was killed in action at Le Quesnoy France. At the time of his death, he held the rank of Lance Corporal in D Company of the 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He is buried at Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. During the time Darcy was serving in the army, his family returned to New Plymouth, and then moved to Auckland. His medals were officially given, not to his parents, but to his little sister Sylvia, who was just 16 years old. Sylvia was named in Darcy’s will as his sole beneficiary, and received his field pay for active service.

The family continued to mourn their loss for many years. In November 1930, twelve years after Darcywas killed, his family printed a memoriam notice in the Auckland Star. This read as follows:

“ROLL OF HONOUR. STREET. —In loving memory of Corporal Darcy Street, 40849, First Battalion, 3rd  N.Z. Rifle Brigade, killed in action, November 4, 1918 (France). Gone but not forgotten. Inserted by his father, mother, sister, and brothers, 142, Williamson Avenue.”

Sylvia never married. She passed away in 1970, aged 67, and is buried in Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland.

Darcy Street is remembered on the Sumner War Memorial Plaque.


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Darcy Street

First Names:Darcy
Last Name:Street
Place of Birth:New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand