Auckland Regimental pipe band in France, 1918

Auckland Regimental pipe band in France, 1918

Members of the Auckland Regimental pipe band pose with a canine mascot in France, 30 Apr 1918. Brass and pipe bands, choirs and other musical groups played an important role in maintaining moral and providing entertainment for soldiers in camp behind the lines.

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Posted: 05 May 2015

Dear Sir/Madam, it was with great astonishment that I found what I have been looking for after so long.

I am the Grandson of a World War One Piper who served with the 8th Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Battalion in 1915. My Grandfather is shown in this image taken in France in 1918 is in the back row, third from left. His name is Henry Martin Kennedy (Regimental No. 12/3377) and he was born on the 26th of June 1895 in Waqadra, Nadi, Fiji.

He would survive the great war and return to Fiji to manage his family lands and raise a family. Unfortunately he was not to survive the Second World War. He along with 14 other personnel perished when the PBY Catalina they where travelling to New Zealand on crashed off Kadavu Island on the 5th of June 1943. By that stage he was a (Sergeant) Forman at Works for the RNZAF Flying Boat Squadron in Laucala Bay, Suva, Fiji. (His Service No. NZ 428 587) As the war in the Pacific developed he was forced to give up his family home and lands in Nadi for Air Force runways. So he sent his wife and children to New Zealand to wait out the war and his eventual arrival which never came.

Anyhow his name is now remembered on the RNZAF No 6 Squadron plaque in New Caledonia. I just wanted to thank you for putting this picture up and it certainly brought a tear to my fathers eyes when he saw it today! Thank you for this! Kindly, Andrew John Kennedy

(email to NZHistory contributed with permission of author).