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  #1  
Old 22-07-12, 11:56 PM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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Default A strange survivor

Dear NZ collectors,

back in the 1980's I used to go to my church jumble sale in North London, every Sunday. I became a familiar figure. One day one of the old ladies there said that if I was interested she had her families 'military stuff'. She was about to 'go back to NZ for the last time', and would I, A) be interested in it and B) put some money in the charity box. Obviously, though a mere youngster, the answer to both was 'yes'. Hence I received a group of WW1 medals, a box of WW1 badges, a WW2 RAF cap badge (of which more later), a Tin of assorted badges (of which more later) a set of WW1 award certificates and finally a notebook.

The notebook fascinated me. A hard back book that would just about fit in a pocket. The story I was told was that her Father had joined the Army. He became a 'batman' and served an officer. Looking at the book I suspect it was illegal as it contained names, ranks, locations and pictures. I suspect some of it was filled in on the boat back to NZ, but some signatures could only have been acquired in theatre.

I attach some pictures, of some of the many pages, but I'm aware this should all be documented and I'll try to attach photos. Names of officers and staff in Brigade Headquarters, from Lt Col, through Capt, RSM, to 'Runner'. Some of you out there may have relatives/medals/badges involved.

I'd love to know some stories about the individuals mentioned, and I'm sure there are some out there. Over to you. I particularly love the pictures of 'Digger' and 'Appous an Shocolat' which are dated Nov 17, so the war still had a year to run...

I know I'm bad at following through with photos/stories, for which I apologise, but encourage me here. I'm happy for you to copy/circulate the pictures, not being a copyright lawyer, but just keep me informed if you find out anything about the individuals mentioned, or if you want more photos. Oh, and a final word, I'm so impressed at the standard of artwork and penmanship (calligraphy?) demonstrated by the soldiers, that I wonder where we went wrong. I'm just sorry that we'll not see their type again...

Ian H
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Last edited by ianh67military; 23-07-12 at 12:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 23-07-12, 12:10 AM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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I attach a photo of the contents of 'the tin' she gave me. As you can see it contains the personal effects of an officer KIA. She was particularly touched by the 'cords' which he apparently wore round his hat. The badges are shown from the back, so markings can be seen.

Grateful for any info on the badges - 24(obviously an officers cap badge) - NZR (with a bullion pip embroidered directly onto the eppaulette) - NZRC - D/NZFAV

Ian H

Edit; The 24 badge, which I had assumed was an officers cap badge because of its size, 42mm wide, has a tiny STG SILVER on the back, under the bulldogs rear paws.
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File Type: jpg DSCF2455.jpg (74.3 KB, 148 views)

Last edited by ianh67military; 23-07-12 at 08:12 AM.
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  #3  
Old 23-07-12, 02:44 AM
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Hello Ian,

I marvelous little book ,with a lot of researchable names.I think the author may be one John Douglas Andrews ,from Papanui ,Christchurch.Service number 15/22.He sailed with the Main Body of the NZEF on 16/11/1914 and again on the 23/9/1916 with the 17th reinforcements.He gained a commission as a Second Lieutenant.His file should be online at NZ archives as well.

Now we can go through the names and find out more of those gentlemen if you so wish.

The silver 24th Reinforcement badge is a sweetheart badge.The D over NZFAV badge is not a common one,in fact i have never seen one .But it is attributed to the New Zealand Field Artillery Volunteers.The NZRC title stands for New Zealand Rifle clubs.

Regards Iain
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  #4  
Old 23-07-12, 02:57 AM
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Hi Ian,
Thankyou for showing these relics which I'm sure you will look after.
In answer to your questions:
The 24th Reinforcement badge was made in both bronze and gilding metal and Other Ranks wore both types.
The straight NZR (New Zealand Rifles) title is of the Volunteer period before the First World War. The usual WW1 NZR title is curved.
The NZRC (New Zealand Rifle Clubs) title is not strictly military but was worn prior to the War.
The D/NZFAV titles, according to Geoff Oldham's most recent catalogue are Dover New Zealand Field Artillery Volunteers. Just why it should be Dover, I have no idea, maybe it should be Driver.
The Princess Mary's Gift Box was not given to New Zealand troops unless, of course, they were serving in the British Army at the time.
Thanks again,
Tinto

PS I now believe "Dover" above is meant to be D over New Zealand Field Artillery Volunteers. D could stand for D Company?

Last edited by Tinto; 25-07-12 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Correction of typo
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  #5  
Old 23-07-12, 07:18 AM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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Wow, thanks for the rapid replies. I attach a photo of the box of badges. It contains collar dogs, shoulder titles and buttons, together with a 'NZ RETURNED SOLDIERS ASSOCIATION' silver lapel badge. The number in the middle appears to be 26/17. Most of the black horn buttons are marked NZRB with a bugle, but some (replacements?) only have the bugle. The little silver badge at the bottom has 'PIETAS PROBITAS ET SAPIENTIA 1857' and may not be military, but had some personal relevance because it was kept with his badges. The brass button with 20 appears to be a QVC and the EDVARDUS VI DG button also seems earlier.

Grateful for any more info.

Ian H

Edit: From reading some of the other threads on the NZRB on this forum, it appears the original issue of buttons did NOT have the NZRB. The NZRB were actually the 2nd pattern button.
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Last edited by ianh67military; 25-07-12 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Info on buttons
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  #6  
Old 23-07-12, 07:38 AM
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If your RSA badge is in fact marked 26/17 then it would belong to Captain Kendall Reginal James Von Tunzelmann Saxon,who was awarded the Military Cross and bar.From Nelson.His file is online at Archives New Zealand,Archway search engine,if any one wants to take a look.

The Latin motto is for Nelson Colledge etablished in 1857,which Mr Saxon may have attended or have been a teacher,which was his occupation before the war.He also may have attended Cambridge University post war.A hero and a scholar!!!

New Zealanders used the Black bakelite Rifle Brigade buttons both marked with NZ RB and the British equivalent marked only RB (Rifle Brigade).

Last edited by pukman; 23-07-12 at 09:45 AM.
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  #7  
Old 23-07-12, 08:35 AM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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I knew the interweb was good, but this is VERY impressive. I'd love to know how one lady ended up with such differing items. I'm sure she was a 'Saxon' as well, but that's a damm fine Germanic middle name, and to win an MC and bar! I'll have to try and track down the medals and paperwork I've got, but after 3 house moves and 2 now teenage boys that's easier said than done.

Ian H
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  #8  
Old 23-07-12, 03:29 PM
revdougal revdougal is offline
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D/NZFAV caught my attention. Corbett (pp104-4) would suggest D Bty based at Wellington, originally formed 26 Jan 1903; it later became D (Mountain) Bty in the Wellington Field Arty Bde, NZ Fd Arty.
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  #9  
Old 23-07-12, 03:57 PM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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The story moves on - after a day looking up Google, I find that Kendall Reginald James von Tunzelmann Saxon, born Sept 1894 was an officer in D Company, 4 Battalion, NZ Rifle Brigade in WW1. He won the Military Cross and bar. His number was 26/17. Whilst at Cambridge university he was photographed with Harold Abrahams ("Chariots of Fire") and he was a 1st class cricketer. He died in 1976 in Pinner, Middlesex, UK (where I lived at that time). His wife Betty lived there with him. His son JHK Saxon has his MC.
He had an older brother, John Buller Hicks von Tunzelmann Saxon, born in 1890. 'Jack' joined the NZ Field Artillery, no 6 Howitzer Battery, and was KIA on the 17 Sept 1916. Sgt Saxon, number 17259, is buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetary, Mametz, a victim of the Somme and High Wood area.

- it makes it all so much more human.

Ian H
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  #10  
Old 23-07-12, 04:20 PM
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Ian.

What an absolutely marvellous story, keep it going.

Regards

Brian
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  #11  
Old 23-07-12, 07:16 PM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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The next installment:

I attach photos of the medal that knew I had but couldn't find. It's the 1914-15 star to John Buller Hicks von Tunzelmann Saxon. Sgt in the 6th How. Bty, NZ Field Arty. KIA on the 17 Sept 1916 in the Battle of the Somme. A story that's unfolded thanks to some superb help from some generous experts. A name that has been heard aloud here for the first time in many years. His brother, a decorated Officer, kept it until he died.

No words needed...

Ian H
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  #12  
Old 24-07-12, 11:06 PM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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Dear Readers,

just a quick note to tell you that there's been a huge amount of activity outside the forum and I hope to bring you up to date shortly.
In brief, I've been in contact with the Saxon family.

Ian H
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  #13  
Old 25-07-12, 09:14 AM
ianh67military ianh67military is offline
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Dear Readers,

I attach below extracts from an unbelievable series of e-mails and photos, including a photo of the wearer of the 26/17 badge that started this entire saga, wearing his NZRB collars which were also in the box and his Brother, who wouldn't survive the Somme, but whose medal he kept close. This came about because somebody on this forum shared their knowledge by ID'ing what the numbers on a small silver badge meant.

Thank you so much for bringing all this to light and I hope it encourages more of you to dig a little deeper into some of the bits you hold in your care. It also opens the door to further questions, such as did the boys from Nelson College survive the war and where did Elizabeth Saxon get the Batman's book?

Ian H

---------------------------------------------------------------------
From: John Saxon
To: Ian H

Hi Ian.....

Yes - I had never seen Jack's (John Buller Hicks von T Saxon) 1914-15 Star medal before. I do have some other items of his including a huge/heavy bronze medallion and the letter that went out from King George V (attached). Plus a postcard he sent from the trenches the night before he was killed. Needless to say with a name like that the folks in NZ spelt his surname incorrectly on the Nelson NZ Anzac memorial. Many tried to get it corrected but eventually Lola succeeded!

I had to join as a member of the forum to see the photos so I considered posting to it. But I have a lot of work on at the moment - so I'm happy for you to post anything you like from these Emails and attachments - except perhaps the service record. When I get a chance I'll see if I can find the official citations for the MC & Bar.

Take it gently - JohnS

-----------------------------------------------


From: John Saxon
To: Ian H
Cc:
Sent: Tuesday, 24 July 2012, 5:39
Subject: Re[2]: Kendall Saxon in Pinner

Hi Ian...

Have now read the thread on the British badge forum site. Had we corresponded earlier I could probably have helped a bit!

My Father was (Captain) Kendall Reginald James (von Tunzelmann) Saxon who received the MC and Bar from his actions in the Somme and elsewhere. His wife was Elizabeth Murial Saxon - never called Betty as far as I know. Her maiden name was Francis and as far as I know her Father was definitely not a Batman in WW1! BUT my Father died in Pinner in 1976 and shortly after that my Mother was able to Emigrate the AUSTRALIA and she lived in Canberra until she died in 2000 aged 95.

My Mother certainly helped every weekend with the jumble sales in St.Lukes and donated a lot of stuff - no doubt lot's of my Fathers things which she thought (probably incorrectly) were not worth shipping to Australia. Much of the family silver was flogged off as well "who would buy a Victorian Silver Soup tureen down Under"?!

My Father was indeed a teacher at Nelson college before joining up in 1916 and then fighting in the Somme etc. His eldest brother (Sargent) Jack (my Uncle) was killed a few trenches away from where my Father was.....

My Father returned to NZ and taught again at Nelson College and was given some sort of scholarship (by the Rhodes foundation) to Cambridge for (I believe) ex-service men. He went to Emanuel college where he got his BSc then MA - but he also manged to be a double blue in Rugger (also picked for England - but never played due to a broken collar bone) and another Blue in Athletics (Long Jump). He was a good friend of Harold Abrahams (Chariots of Fire) and used to occasionally beat him. I've attached a photo of the reverse situation. KRJS is on the left just being beaten by HA - the big guy in the middle! Only about a stride in it... For good measure I have also attached a photo of "the boys from Nelson College" behind the lines in WW1 and also one of the 2 brothers in Uniform.

Finally I have recently obtained a terrible scan of his service record from NZ - it's a real example of how not to scan stuff (probably done automatically). I complained but they did not reply.... Page 8 does have some small entries about the MC and bar actions.

Nice to know someone is taking an interest. Best wishes - JohnS
P.S. Almost certainly the Officer's badges were my Fathers - but they could well have been mixed up with other WW1 memorabilia at the jumble sale.

-----------------------------------------------
From John Saxon
In Cool Wintertime Canberra
-----------------------------------------------


On 24/07/2012 at 9:18 AM, Ian H wrote:
Thanks so much for replying. Since e-mailing you I've turned my house upside down and finally located one of the bits I knew I had, but couldn't find immediately. The story unfolds on the British & Commonwealth Badge Forum/Other Commonwealth Military Insignia/New Zealand Badges, where incidentally my name is is 'ianh67military'.

I still have lots of unanswered questions, such as 'was your Mothers maiden name Andrews and was her father a Batman in WW1?' and 'why would she have a WW1 tin box full of what appear to be officers badges cut off his uniform?' (although they could be 'Jacks', but why officers when he was a Sjt?). 'Was one of her brothers a WW2 fighter pilot?'

From what I remember of your Mother she was a widow who was looking to move to New Zealand (it's explained further in the Forum). St Lukes Church in Love Lane, Pinner ran a market where furniture and odd bits could be 're-cycled' to help out both the community and the church.

Sorry it's taken me 30 years to get the story out, but it may not have been possible at all without the internet.

Ian H

From: John Saxon
To: Ian H
Cc:
Sent: Monday, 23 July 2012, 23:43
Subject: Re: Kendall Saxon in Pinner

Hi Ian...

A very interesting message from you! The lady who sold you "some bits" was probably my Mother - she was always helping there and probably flogged off quite a few of my Father's bit and pieces! I doubt if it would have concerned my Father - he tried to forget about WW1 as much as possible. But I do have some memorabilia from that time including 2 diaries and the MC and Bar.

I'm just about to go out - but I'll take a look at the badge forum later today (hopefully).

I recently acquired my Father's service records from NZ and will see what I can extract for you - I also have some citations from an NZRB book.

Will write again within a couple of days. Best wishes John (H.K.) Saxon.

P.S. I was born in Pinner - feel free to check out my web site personal stuff {:-((

-----------------------------------------------
From John Saxon
In Cool Wintertime Canberra
-----------------------------------------------


On 24/07/2012 at 2:10 AM, Ian H wrote:
Dear Lola,

I have just had a fascinating journey of discovery regarding your great-great uncle. In about 1980, whilst a schoolboy, I bought some bits off a lady in the weekend market of St Lukes Church, Pinner. Amongst the items were some black horn buttons from the NZRB, and a black badge with a number on. On cleaning the badge I found it was silver. I photographed the items last weekend and put them on the "British and Commonwealth Badge Forum" asking for help in identifying them.

It may be best if you look up the thread that has developed there. It's called "A strange survivor" and details the items I bought.

I have found the photo of the Military Cross and bar held by JHK Saxon. I would really like to see a copy of the citations that resulted in him winning this unusual medal.

Ian H
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Jack and Ken.jpg (49.5 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg boys from Nelson College.jpg (44.2 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg KRJ Saxon and Harold Abrahams (Large).jpg (67.4 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg JBHS Bronze.jpg (69.5 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg JBHS Bronze letter.jpg (29.2 KB, 45 views)
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  #14  
Old 25-07-12, 10:13 AM
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Brilliant.

Marc
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  #15  
Old 25-07-12, 06:38 PM
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Your ''Nelson College Boys''

Captain William Forest Fowlds ,Military Cross, service number 26/4.
Luiet Kenneth Cameron Clatyton 26/508


26/ Indicates that they are both in 4th Battalion NZRB.Both these gentlemen survived the war.

Johnston will take some tracking down .Being a common name there are 14 men listed with the same surname as having been killed in action,who served with the NZRB.



Source ;NZRB official history ,published 1924
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