The Newlove brothers

Brothers (from left) Charles, Edwin, and Leslie Newlove pictured at Tapawera military camp, near Nelson in 1916. All three were killed at Passchendaele the following year.

From Tākaka in Golden Bay, the brothers were part of a family of eight boys. Of the three, only Leslie had married, a month before he embarked. After enlisting in 1916, they had all joined their battalions in France by July 1917. Charles served in the 3rd Battalion, The Auckland Regiment and his brothers in the 2nd Battalion, The Canterbury Regiment.

Charles went missing during the successful 4 October attack at Gravenstafel Spur. Edwin and Leslie fell during the disastrous second attack at Bellevue Spur eight days later. Leslie was probably hit about 45 m after he started moving forward, and disappeared into the mud. How Edwin met his end will never be known, but his body was later carried out and buried behind the start line in a site that was lost during subsequent fighting. If his brothers’ bodies were ever recovered, they could not be identified. They may be among the 322 unidentified New Zealand victims of the Passchendaele attacks buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, close to where they fell. For their mother in Tākaka, the three weeks following the battle must have been harrowing as news arrived periodically of the deaths of her sons.

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