Hebuterne bell

  • Height  286 mm
  • Width  343 mm
  • Weight  30 kg
  • Note  F
Bell Inscription

In memory of Raymond Shirley McHardie,
Clarence Vivian McHardie, and
Cyril James McHardie.
Given by their father, James McHardie.

The Hebuterne bell commemorates the three McHardie brothers, Raymond, Clarence and Cyril, who all served in the First World War. The bell is named for a small village in northern France which formed part of the Western Front for most of the war. The village is also near to where Cyril McHardie disappeared while on patrol in 1918. It is one of several bells in the Carillon dedicated to siblings who fought in the war and was given by James McHardie, father of the men, in memory of his sons.

The three men were among seven children born to Florence and James McHardie from Bulls. Cyril and Clarence enlisted with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in early 1915; their younger brother Raymond had to wait until his 20th birthday before he too could enlist.

Cyril McHardie

Prior to joining the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Cyril McHardie, who had recently married Myrtle Sollitt, worked as a chemist in Palmerston North. His professional background secured him a place in the New Zealand Medical Corps, where he was part of a field ambulance unit and helped to treat men injured in battle. Cyril performed well and it was not long before he was recommended for officer training.

Upon completing his training, Cyril became a second lieutenant and was transferred to the Wellington Infantry Regiment. On 22 May 1918, while in the Somme area of the front, Cyril led a small patrol into the trenches to locate the enemy. They soon came under heavy fire and the men of the patrol scattered in retreat. In the confusion Cyril and another man were left behind. Neither was seen again. A court of enquiry held shortly after the war determined that Cyril had been killed in action.   

Clarence McHardie

Much like his elder brother Cyril, Clarence McHardie’s pre-war profession served him well at war. A telegraph operator for the Post and Telegraph Department in Dannevirke, Clarence spent most of the war with the New Zealand Postal Corps. After enlisting he was initially posted into the Wellington Infantry Regiment, briefly fighting at Gallipoli, but in late March 1916 he transferred into the Postal Corps.

The remainder of his war service was spent in England, during which time he was promoted to corporal. In 1919, having survived the war, Clarence returned to New Zealand. Four years later he suffered a tragic accident one week before he was due to be married. While out cycling he fell from his bicycle. He landed in a nearby water race (a watercourse constructed to convey water) measuring almost half a metre deep. The impact knocked him unconscious and he drowned in the water. His body was found the next morning.

Raymond McHardie

The youngest of the three brothers, Raymond McHardie enlisted in October 1916, shortly after he reached the minimum age for service. Raymond became a private with the Otago Infantry Regiment and joined his battalion on the Western Front on 5 October 1917, the day after the attack on Gravenstafel Spur, New Zealand’s first action in the drive on Passchendaele.

Seven days later, on 12 October, Raymond went missing during the disastrous attempt to capture Bellevue Spur. His body was never found and he was later deemed to have been killed in action. He is among the 843 New Zealand men who died in the day’s fighting and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing in Belgium.

Further information

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph record – Cyril McHardie

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record – Cyril McHardie

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph record – Clarence McHardie

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph record – Raymond McHardie

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record – Raymond McHardie

'Cyclist meets with fatal accident', Hawera & Normanby Star, 28 February 1923, p. 7

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