Topic: Michael Ian Adamson

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Michael Adamson (Service no. 6/2520) was a World War One soldier with links to New Brighton

Michael Ian Adamson Michael Ian Adamson was born on June 1st 1895 in Sumner, Christchurch. Michael had a fair complexion with grey eyes and light brown hair. He was one of six children born to Reverend Henry Adamson and Marianne Burke Adamson. Michael had three older brothers and one younger sister and brother. He had passed the fourth educational standard.

His father was a Presbyterian Minister in Dunedin but sadly his health failed significantly just a few months prior to Michael’s birth. Requiring a lengthy recovery period, Henry concluded his duties to the Port Chalmers community and moved his family north to Christchurch.

The Adamson family appear to have had an itinerant lifestyle and over the years lived in or around the areas of Sumner, New Brighton, Heathcote Valley, Papanui, Christchurch Central and Cashmere. Henry Adamson was listed on the electoral rolls as both a clergyman, retired clergyman and even a share broker at one time.

Michael had served two years and was still serving with the 13th (North Canterbury and Westland) Regiment Territorial Forces when he enlisted with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on the 19th April, 1915. On Michael’s enlistment paperwork his birth date is recorded as June 1st, 1894 which is incorrect as he was born in 1895. He had been working in the Kimberley and Kirwee area (near Darfield) as a farmer for an E. Holmes prior to enlisting.

On August 14th, 1915 he embarked for Egypt aboard HMNZT 27 ‘Willochra’ and arrived on September 19th. By the end of September he had joined with the 2nd Canterbury Infantry Battalion in Mudros on the island of Lemnos not far from Gallipoli. Only a few weeks later, suffering from dysentery and jaundice, he was transferred to the Hospital Ship ‘Soudan’ which sailed on to Malta and Michael was admitted to Ricasoli Hospital on Boxing Day of 1915. By early February 1916 he was again transferred, this time to a convalescence camp on Malta but wasn’t there for long. He was next listed at Moascar, Egypt on March 11th, 1916 and he was transferred from the Canterbury Regiment and posted with the 2nd Battalion 10th Company Otago Regiment.

By April 4th, Michael was heading for France via Alexandria aboard the HMHS ‘Llandovery Castle’. In late May, Michael was wounded in the face during action and found himself back in hospital, this time in Etaples, France. He again changed regiment and was posted back with the 2nd Canterbury.

In September, Michael was again wounded in action, this time to his right leg, and ended up back in hospital in Etaples. Within a few days he was aboard the ‘Stad Antwerpen’ heading for England. Once there he spent time at the NZ Convalescence Hospital Hornchurch, and went on to the ‘Strength’ unit at Codford to continue his recovery. By January 1917 he was moved to the ‘Sling’ camp to further his recovery and by March he was back in Etaples, France also in a ‘Strength’ camp but moving back closer to where the fighting was.

Michael’s run of bad luck continued when he contracted influenza in April and was again hospitalised. He recovered for a time but only a month later he was admitted once more with influenza. This time he was sent back to England aboard the ‘Pieter de Coninck’ and was listed as having contracted pleurisy. Again Michael convalesced at Hornchurch, Codford and then the Sling camp. By now it was October 1917 and once again he was on his way back to the fighting via a further stay at the Strength camp in Etaples.

On the 10th November he re-joined his unit somewhere in France. Michael was soon promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. Sadly on 27th March 1918 he was seriously wounded with a gunshot wound to his head. Over the next two days he passed through two different field hospitals and finally was admitted to No. 20 General Hospital at Camiers. On the 30th March 1918 at 12.25pm, Michael died of his wounds. He was 22 years old. Michael had spent more time recovering from injuries and illness than he spent in military action.

Michael is buried at the Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Michael was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He is remembered on the New Brighton School Roll of Honour as ‘Ian Adamson’, and on the Heathcote War Memorial.




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Michael Ian Adamson

First Names:Michael Ian
Last Name:Adamson
Place of Birth:Sumner, Christchurch