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Nelson welcomes home Gallipoli wounded

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Nelson was one of many communities which gave its first batch of ‘Heroes from the Dardanelles’ a big welcome. Five local men who returned on the Willochra in July 1915 travelled on to Nelson on the steamer Pateena, arriving around midnight on Friday 16 July. Privates John Herbert Cock, Owen Haase and Charles William McConchie, and Troopers Henry Claude Clark and Isaac Harvey, were met by representatives of the local patriotic committee. Because of the lateness of the hour a planned official reception was deferred until the following week.

Other local soldiers who returned on the Willochra, including Trooper Frederick Savage and Corporal William Sherman, appear to have made their way home independently. 

Four of these soldiers, Privates Cock and McConchie and Troopers Clark and Savage, attended the official reception on Saturday 24 July. They were joined by Private Thomas Mansford, who had returned from Egypt in June. The other men who had returned on the Willochra were reportedly not well enough to attend.

The men were driven through Nelson’s main streets from the local drill shed to the Masonic Hotel, where local dignitaries, including the mayor, Charles Harley, addressed the crowd before proceedings wound up with the singing of the National Anthem.

Several of the Nelson men who returned on the Willochra served overseas again. Clarke and Haase left with the 8th Reinforcements in late 1915. Haase was killed in action on the Somme in late 1916, while Clarke came home on the Corinthic in 1919. Cock also rejoined the New Zealand forces but was later discharged so he could take up a commission with the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in action in France in 1917.

Credit

Nelson Provincial Museum
Reference: F.N. Jones, 287808, A4206, /p>

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Nelson welcomes home Gallipoli wounded, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/nelson-welcomes-home-gallipoli-wounded, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated