Topic: Archibald Currie

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Archibald Currie (Service no. 6/1001) was a First World War soldier with links to Hillsborough and Opawa

 Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1915. AWMMArchibald Currie was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, November 1882. His parents, Mary and William Currie, emigrated from Rothesay on the Island of Bute Scotland travelling to New Zealand aboard the SS Tudor from London on June 10 1865 and arriving in the port of Lyttelton on 23rd September 1865. They settled in Hillsborough and built their family home in Station Road close to the Woolston railway station where William Currie, Archibald’s father, worked as a platelayer/trackman.

Archibald attended Opawa Primary School then went on to work as a Tanner at Bowron Bothers Tannery in Woolston before enlisting in the Army on 20th August 1914, aged 32 years 9 months. The last address listed for him before his enlistment was Station Road/ Gadds Road (now Curries Road, named after his parents), Hillsborough, where he lived with his next of kin Mr William Currie Snr.

When Archibald joined the Canterbury Infantry Battalion (1st) he was given the rank of Sargent and even though his complexion was noted as being sallow he was a fit, healthy, single Presbyterian man. He stood 5ft 9in tall, weighed 153 lb, with dark brown hair and grey eyes.

The Battalion trained at both the Addington Showground and Redcliffs rifle range, with the bulk of the training being carried out under the tuition of the officers and non-commissioned officers who had previous Territorial experience.

On 23rd September the 1st Company, of which Archibald was a member, along with the machine-gun section, six officers and two hundred and thirty-two other ranks, as well as sixty horses and the first line transport left the port of Lyttelton for Wellington on the Tahiti (H.M.N.Z.T. No. 4) with the rest of the Battalion sailing aboard the Atltenic (H.M.N.Z.T. No. 11). It had been intended that the South Island transports would join the Wellington transports in port then pick up the Auckland transports off the coast. Unfortunately due to the presence of enemy warships in the South Pacific and the lack of a naval escort powerful enough to protect the transports the departure of the Expeditionary Force was postponed and the ships were forced to stay berthed in Wellington where the 1st Company and machine-gunners were transferred to the Arawa,* while the horses were sent to the Canterbury Mounted Rifles' lines at Lyall Bay. The troops lived on board but went ashore daily for exercises and training on the hills on the outskirts of Wellington. They finally departing for Australia on 16th October. By the 22nd October the fleet reached Albany where they joined the majority of the Australian transports and on the 1st November they all put to sea escorted by H.M.A.S. Sydney and Melbourne. The convoy arrived at Alexandria on 3rd December and the New Zealand Forces were ordered to camp at Zeitoun, four miles out of Cairo.

The 1st and 2nd Companies left at Alexandria on the Lutzow on the 10th April for Mudros where they received the general plan of attack. The Australian Division sailed out of Mudros bay on 24th April and the New Zealand Division followed, leaving in the early morning of the 25th and landed at ANZAC Cove at 5 p.m. The Australian and New Zealand forces were supposed to make a subsidiary landing about nine miles further north of the main landing but all did not go as planned and they were immediately dispatched to the lower slopes of Walker's Ridge. Here they came under heavy fire, facing several infantry attacks. By the morning of the 26th the whole of the Canterbury Battalion was concentrated on Walker's Ridge.  It was here that Sergeant Archibald Currie is believed to have been killed in action sometime between April 25th and May 3rd. He was reported Missing Believed Killed on 2nd August 1915 and a Board of enquiry held on 10/01/1916 officially ruled that he had been killed in action 2nd May 1915 in the Dardanelles.

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal (Red) & Victory Medal (Blue).

He is remembered at the Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey Panel 73 and on the Opawa School roll of honour 1916


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Archibald Currie

First Names:Archibald
Last Name:Currie