Rolls of honour and obituaries

Page 7 – Post and Telegraph obituaries

These obituaries were published in the journal of the Post and Telegraph Officers' Association, The Katipo, between 1916 and 1919. We've listed them in alphabetical order, with each man's full name, a link to his record on Auckland Museum's Cenotaph database, and a transcript of the obituary notice. Note that Peter Clarke is not listed on the Post and Telegraph Roll of Honour, as he had resigned from the Post and Telegraph Department before the war began.


Sapper Francis Cyril Aston

Greymouth: Telegraph Office

The news of the death of Sapper Aston was received with feelings of sorrow by the members of the staff here, and our sympathy goes out to his bereaved ones. “Cyril” was with us for several years, and served as messenger and later on as cadet. The Katipo, 20 January 1916, p. 153

Private Ernest John Bates

Auckland: Letter-Carriers

This branch deeply mourns the loss of Private E.J. Bates, who died of wounds. Jack was an honest worker and was respected by all. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs Bates. The Katipo, 20 March 1918, p. 417

Sergeant Edward Harold Beaumont


The sympathy of the staff is … extended towards the parents and families of Sergeant E.H. Beaumont and Sapper W.G. Sage, who were killed in action during October. Both joined the local staff as messengers, and at the time they enlisted were employed respectively as cadet at Takapau and clerk G.P.O., Wellington. The Katipo, 20 December 1917, p. 358

Private Donald Ronaldson McDonnell Blackie

Dunedin: Telegraph Office

We regret to report that Private Ronald Blackie has been killed in action. He was only 22 years of age and enlisted about Christmas time, and left with the 11th Infantry Reinforcements. He joined the Department as a messenger and after gaining his cadetship was stationed at Lawrence and Clyde. The Katipo, 21 August 1916, p. 317

Lieutenant Edward Burrows


Very keen regret was felt here on the announcement that Lieutenant Burrows had made the supreme sacrifice. This gallant officer was a well-known member of the Masterton office, and before leaving at the Empire’s call he was married to Miss O’Leary, of our Exchange. To Mrs Burrows we extend our heartfelt sympathy in her sad bereavement. The Katipo, 20 October 1916, p. 358

Captain Peter Clarke

On the Canadian “Roll of Honour” appears the name of an officer who one-time had a wide acquaintance in New Zealand postal circles, viz., Captain Peter Clarke. He joined the Post Office at Temuka and was later transferred to the Head Office, where he was employed in the Inspectors Office. When Dr. Bell, the Government Geologist, went to Canada to take up work with mining companies there Mr Clarke resigned from the service to accompany him as his private secretary. On the outbreak of the war he joined the Canadian Forces and had risen to the rank of Captain before the enemy “got him.” We sympathise with his relatives in this early close to a promising career. The Katipo, 20 September 1916, p. 340

Second Lieutenant William Robinson Henry Clarke

Auckland: Telegraph Office

The news of the sudden death of Mr. W.R.H. Clarke, Officer-in-Charge, New Zealand Wireless Troop, somewhere in Mesopotamia, came as a dreadful shock and cast a gloom over this office. The deceased was formerly O.–in-C., Wireless, Auckland, and upon its closing took up duty in the operating room. He proved one of the most popular officers of the Service, and we can scarcely yet realise that he will not take his place again amongst us. He was a sterling character, and fully realised his duty to the Department and his fellow officers. We extend our deepest and sincerest sympathy to his sorrowing wife and relatives. They can rest assured that our thoughts of Harry will always be most kindly and tender. The Katipo, 20 July 1916, p. 292

Wellington: Telegraph Office

The news of the death from jaundice of Lieutenant (Harry) Clarke, which took place in Mesopotamia, on July 8th, was received with something of a shock by his many friends here. We extend to his widow our most sincere sympathy in her irreparable loss. The Katipo, 20 July 1916, p. 296


The late Lieutenant W.R.H. CIarke, whose death from jaundice on the 8th inst. is reported from Basra, Mesopotamia, was a member of the service before he left with the reinforcements. He joined the Department as a telegraph message boy at Eltham, Taranaki, on February 17th, 1902, and after serving in different capacities in the Stratford, New Plymouth, and Auckland offices he was for four years stationed in Wellington as a telegraphist. Lieutenant Clarke had made a close study of radio-telegraphy, and was, at various periods, radio operator in the Wellington, Auckland and Owarua [Awarua] radio-telegraph offices. At the latter station he was acting officer in charge for five months. His knowledge of wireless telegraphs led to his appointment as second lieutenant in charge of the Wireless Troop, a separate unit which left these shores with the 10th Reinforcement draft.  Three years ago he was married to Miss E. Vare, daughter of Mr Vare, of 89 Brougham Street, Wellington. Lieutenant Clarke was very popular with his officers in both civil and military life, and the news of his untimely death cast quite a gloom over the Wellington telegraph office, where he was well known. The Katipo, 20 July 1916, p. 304

Wireless Stations: Radio–Awanui

The sad news of the death of Lt. W.R.H. Clarke, O.C., N.Z. Wireless Troop, Mesopotamia, came as a painful shock to us all. The memory of poor Harry will ever awaken the tenderest and kindliest of thoughts of his sorrowing friends in the North. To his wife and relatives we extend our heartfelt sympathy. The Katipo, 21 August 1916, pp. 317–18

Private William Duncan Darby


The many friends of Mr. Wm. Darby, late of the Registration Branch, will regret to hear that he has died of wounds received on the field on battle. “Tod” was popular with all, and a suitable letter was dispatched to his parents expressing our deepest sympathy. The Katipo, 20 November 1917, p. 332

Lance Corporal George Kenneth Duff


We were all extremely sorry to learn that another of the many brave lads who have left his Section, O. A. S., had made the extreme sacrifice, in the person of Mr. G.K. Duff, who joined up with the 6th Reinforcements, he being killed in action on the 28th ult. The Katipo, 20 April 1918, p. 445

George Frederick Edwards

Auckland: Messengers' Branch

There is one more name to be added to the Roll of Honour, that of George Edwards, who was killed in action in France. We deeply regret the loss of a friend and fellow officer, and desire to extend to his relatives our deepest sympathy in their hour of trouble. The Katipo, 20 October 1916, p. 355

Private Joseph Henry Edwards

We regret to have to chronicle the death of one of our popular young operators, Joe Edwards, who was killed at the front. It is only about twelve months since he left us. We extend to his relatives our deepest sympathy. The Katipo, 20 December 1918, p. 634

Corporal Harold Henry Funke

Napier: Telegraph Office

A profound shock was experienced in this office when news was received that Harold Funke (distributor) had been reported “killed in action.” He was a very promising lad and a popular member of the staff. We extend to his parents and kindred our sincerest sympathy in the great loss they have sustained. The Katipo, 20 April 1918, p. 439

Corporal Walter Ernest Raybould Hind


General regret was expressed when it became known that Walter Hind, late of ours, had died of wounds. The Katipo, 20 November 1917, p. 334

Sapper Harold Leslie Hollyman


It is with deep regret that we have to record Private H.L. Hollyman killed in action on July 31st (his portrait appeared in last issue). “Les” had many friends all over the Dominion, both in the Department and in civil life, who will feel his loss very keenly. He took a great interest in all kinds of sport, being associated with several of the leading Nelson clubs. Prior to his enlistment, he was endeavouring to form a sports club in the office. The Katipo, 20 October 1916, p. 360

Herbert Vincent Hood

Christchurch: Post Office

The recent epidemic on a troopship was responsible for the death of two of ours, viz., Messrs Tom Stevenson and Herbert Hood. We offer our sincerest sympathy to the relatives of both. The Katipo, 21 October 1918, p. 601

Rifleman Wilfred George Hosie


To the relatives of Rifleman Hosie we extend our sincerest sympathy in their sad but noble loss. His unassuming manner and genial disposition won him the respect and goodwill of all, and his supreme sacrifice on our behalf is keenly felt by all who knew him. The Katipo, 20 November 1916, p. 378

Private Frederick James Jackson

Dunedin: Telegraph Office

Quite a gloom was cast over our room when word was received that Private “Freddy” Jackson of ours had made the supreme sacrifice somewhere in France. By his unassuming and courteous manner, our deceased comrade was held in high esteem by all who knew him. His loss is a severe blow to his widowed mother, who, almost alone in her sorrow, is left to mourn the loss of a gallant son. The Katipo, 21 January 1918, p. 392

Quarter-Master Sergeant Lawrence Jamieson

Company Q.M. Sergt. Lawrence Jamieson, who was reported “killed in action” on 16th November, left New Zealand with the Main Body. He joined the Department 17 years ago as telegraph messenger, and had been stationed in Wellington, Oamaru (Gallery), Wairoa, Napier, and Te Kuiti prior to enlisting. An officer of sterling worth, his death has been noted with deep regret by those who knew him. The Katipo, 20 February 1918, p. 409

Lance Corporal Percy Trevelyan King

Auckland: Letter-Carriers
We sincerely regret the death of Corporal P.T. King, who was killed in France. He was for many years in our branch, and prior to going to the front, was promoted to the mailroom. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs King. The Katipo, 21 October 1918, p. 596

Private Henry Francis Kirk

Private H.F. Kirk, (M.M.), Exchange Clerk, enlisted when he became of age and saw a good deal of fighting, being once wounded and subsequently "Killed in Action."  Although comparatively a junior his sterling quality made him a favourite with all. To the bereaved we extend our heartfelt sympathy…. The Katipo, 20 January 1919, p. 667

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Leslie Vernon Latimer

Q.M. Sergt. Latimer (postman) left with the Main Body. He saw service in Egypt, on the Peninsula, and in France, coming through without a scratch. He recently return to New Zealand on furlough and was married shortly after his arrival. At the time of his death he was instructor at Trentham. As a footballer he represented South Canterbury and also toured England with a military Rugby team. The Katipo, 20 January 1919, p. 667

Lance Corporal Arthur James Lind

Dunedin: Telegraph Office

We regret to record the death (in action) of Private A.J. Lind, late of this staff. He was held in the highest esteem by his fellow workers. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Lind and family in their sad bereavement. The Katipo, 21 January 1918, p. 392

Captain James MacMorran

Captain James MacMorran recently reported as “killed in action" in France, adds one more name to the woefully long list of good fellows who have passed to the great majority since 1914. Always a keen volunteer, Captain MacMarran was promoted to Second-Lieutenant shortly after the Territorial Force was established and had been further promoted to Lieutenant when he joined up with the Second Reinforcement.  He saw service on Gallipoli, and proceeded to France when the peninsula was evacuated, and was later promoted to captain. He was wounded a few months ago, but recovered in time to take part in the recent big battles. To his father, Mr G. MacMarran, headmaster of the Terrace School, Wellington, and his family we extend the sincere sympathy of the officers of the Accountant's branch, in which office his was always a welcome and respected personality. The Katipo, 20 September 1918, p. 576

Rifleman William Thompson Marslin

We much regret to learn of the death of Private W.T. Marslin, once of this office. Deceased was much respected both in his private and his official capacity. The Katipo, 21 October 1918, p. 603

Corporal Leonard Ivy Joseph McCarthy

Christchurch: Messengers

News was recently received of the death, “killed in action,” of Corporal L.I.J. McCarthy, late assistant despatch clerk here. By those of us who knew “Mac” the news was received with very deep regret. We remember him as a real good sort, one who always treated messengers with justice and respect, and who played the game with all concerned. The Katipo, 20 April 1918, p. 446

Major Clyde McGilp

The late Major Clyde McGilp, D.S.O., of the Auckland P.O., was one of the most efficient and popular officers who enlisted for active service immediately on the outbreak of war. He had served in the South African War, and, being a capable artillery officer with many years’ territorial training to his credit, he was given command of the First Battery, N.Z.F.A., with the Main Body. After taking an active part in the costly Gallipoli campaign, Major McGilp saw continuous service in France with the New Zealanders, where he was awarded the D.S.O. for conspicuous bravery and gallant conduct. He returned to the Dominion last May in consequence of ill-health, and since then up to the time of his death at Featherston, from pneumonia, rendered further valuable assistance as an instructor and lecturer. His death, coming so unexpectedly after his many hair-breadth escapes at Gallipoli and in France, was sad in the extreme, especially as he was the last of the Main Body battery commanders, a young man who had risen high in his career as a soldier by sheer grit and unswerving devotion to duty and whose prospects in the future were of a most promising order. The Katipo, 20 December 1918, p. 625

Private Alexander Archibald McLean

Word has been received by cable of the death at sea of Private A.A. McLean, one time of the Timaru telegraph staff and more recently P.M. at Ohaupo. During his stay here he was a general favourite, and his genial nature and consideration for juniors endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. His death came as a great shock to his many friends, and their heartfelt sympathy goes out to his loved ones in their very sad bereavement. Their only consolation is that he gave his life for his country. The Katipo, 20 September 1918, p. 568

Second Lieutenant Evan Oswald McRoberts

The many friends of Lieutenant E.O. Mc Roberts, late of Christchurch and Auckland Telegraph Counters, will regret to hear of his death in the New Zealanders’ great fight on October 4th.
Entering camp as a non-commissioned officer in March, 1916, he was successful in gaining a commission, and achieved a reputation as an efficient and popular subaltern.
After eleven months’ training in New Zealand, he left with the Twenty-second Reinforcements, and after a short period in England proceeded to France, being slightly wounded at Messines. He had been back in the trenches for some time before he made the supreme sacrifice.
His unassuming, straightforward disposition won for him a high place in the regard of his fellow-workers, but few of whom were aware that years before the war he had already proved his worth, and was the modest possessor of the Royal Humane Society’s gold medal, their highest award. He was one of a boating party which was capsized some miles off shore. Lieutenant McRoberts left the capsized boat with the former occupant clinging to the bottom, and set out for shore. His face, raw from the action of sun and sea, he kept battling ahead, until ultimately he was picked up, almost unconscious, by some Maoris. By his splendid heroism he was the means of succouring five companions. His country and his family, for whom the deepest sympathy is felt, can ill afford to lose such a man. The Katipo, 20 October 1917, p. 294

Private Charles Frederick Normanby Minifie

Private C.F.N. Minifie (senior clerk) volunteered for service and, after completing his training was called home, the day before his draft sailed owing to Mrs Minifie undergoing a serious operation. On returning to camp he contracted a cold and subsequently influenza. As an officer he was one of the most conscientious and faithful and a good friend and adviser to those in trouble. Mr Minifie saw service in the South African war and was wounded at Bothasberg. As a tennis player he will be a distinct loss to the office club being president and one of its leading players at the time of his departure for camp. He leaves a widow and one son. The Katipo, 20 January 1919, p. 667

Sergeant George Vivian Thomas Moore

Wellington: Telegraph Office

To the “Roll of Honour“ has been added the name of Sergeant Viv. Moore, one time of this staff, but later attached to the Marton Junction Office, who died of pneumonia at Stevenage, England, on 11th December. The "Old Soldier" was a prime favourite while on this staff, and one and all had been looking forward to giving him a hearty welcome home. We extend our sincere sympathy with his relatives in the loss they have suffered. The Katipo, 20 December 1918, p. 639
Sergt. G.V.T. Moore, whose death from pneumonia was reported from England on the 11th instant, was a well-known figure to many officers and especially those who have passed through Marton Junction, where he was postmaster for several years. Always keen on a military life he had been an ardent volunteer. He went through the South African War as a Member of the Second Contingent and when the Post and Telegraph Corps was formed under the compulsory service scheme. He accepted a Commission as second-lieutenant. On the outbreak of the World War he enlisted in the ranks and joined the Main Body as a Specialist. He was through the Gallipoli Campaign and later on went to France, where he won the Military Medal for service in the field. With the exception of a short furlough in New Zealand this year he had been in the firing line right through the war and one and all who knew him or of him lament on his unfortunate demise when the campaign had ended. One had only to know him to like and respect him, and we are sure his many friends in the Service will add their expressions of sincere sympathy to those we extend to his sorrowing relatives. The Katipo, 20 January 1919, p. 669

Rifleman Frank Leslie Newell

New Plymouth

The death of F.L. Newell came as a great shock to his many friends in this office. He was a splendid type of man physically, and his fine qualities as an officer and a comrade will be long remembered. An appropriate letter was sent by the staff to his people, who reside at New Plymouth. The Katipo, 20 July 1918, p. 510

Lance Sergeant Sydney Leonard Pearce

Christchurch: Mail Room

We regret to announce the death in action of Messenger S. Pearce, of Dunedin, one time of this office. Syd. will be well remembered at the various letter-carriers' socials for his fine baritone voice. We extend to his relatives our deepest sympathy. The Katipo, 20 November 1917, p. 332

Rifleman Frederick Alfred Poole

News has been received by Mr H. Poole, of Lower Hutt, that his son Rifleman F. A. Poole (Jack), Signaller in the Rifle Brigade, previously reported wounded on September 15th, has been killed in action, Prior to enlistment, Rifleman Poole was on the staff of the Despatch branch, Wellington, where he was deservedly popular. The Katipo, 20 October 1916, p. 348

Private John Claydon Price

It is with extreme regret that we chronicle the death of Jack Price late of the Exchange staff of this office. Keen to take his place in the great war that our country was waging in the interests of freedom and justice Jack enlisted before reaching the conscript age and went into camp, there to fall a victim to the influenza scourge that swept away so many of our young men. Straightforward, kind and cheerful to a marked degree, our late fellow officer earned the love and friendship of everyone with whom he came in contact. In sporting circles Jack took a prominent place, being in constant demand to fill positions in local hockey, football and shooting teams. He was also a very keen and active member of the local P. and T. Volunteer Corps, being a senior sergeant and one of the company’s crack shots. To his bereaved relatives we take this opportunity of extending our sincere sympathy in their sad loss. The Katipo, 20 February 1919, p. 692

Sapper Walter George Sage


The sympathy of the staff is … extended towards the parents and families of Sergeant E.H. Beaumont and Sapper W.G. Sage, who were killed in action during October. Both joined the local staff as messengers, and at the time they enlisted were employed respectively as cadet at Takapau and clerk G.P.O., Wellington. The Katipo, 20 December 1917, p. 358

Captain Robert Francis Coghill Scott

New Plymouth

The hand of death is now so very impending that one almost feels that a blow will fall, and we have the sad news of the demise of Captain R.F.G. Scott, as a recent item of the heavy toll which this war is taking. Captain Scott who was acting-Major in the recent offensive in France, was attached to this staff when the war broke out, and was immediately marked off for cable guard. Shortly afterwards he joined the forces and was made Lieutenant. He gained his captaincy in Egypt, and was in the trenches as well as at the excavation of Gallipoli. Later he was in France and was previously wounded at least once. It is a magnificent career for such a young man, and as his old comrades we feel modestly proud of his achievements. At the same time our feeling of warm sympathy with his bereaved mother at Auckland must be recorded. The Katipo, 20 July 1917, p. 198

Lawrie Rex Scrivener

New Plymouth

Lawrie Scrivener was very much liked at this office. He would not be denied his place at the front, and failing to pass tests here he went to Wanganui and was there accepted. His nobility of character was therein shown, and makes his death the more sad. To the relatives of these grand young men our sincerest sympathy is accorded. The Katipo, 20 November 1916, p. 377

Corporal Waldo Lovat Simpson

Corporal W.L. Simpson (died of sickness) was the youngest son of Mrs Margaret and the late Mr George Simpson, of Green Island, and a brother of Mr R.G. Simpson, of the Dunedin Telegraph Office. On leaving school he entered the Post and Telegraph Department, serving as messenger at Dunedin, letter-carrier at Riverton and Green Island, and at the outbreak of the war was a cadet in the mail room at Dunedin. He immediately volunteered, and was among the first to enter camp at Tahuna Park. Leaving New Zealand with the Main Body, he was at the landing on Gallipoli, and took part with the Otago Battalion in the severe engagements that followed, serving on the Peninsula until he was sent off about a fortnight before the evacuation. He contracted fever in Egypt, and spent about six weeks at Pont-de-Koubeh Hospital, recovering in time to leave with the first of the New Zealanders crossing to France. He had been transferred to the field post office, and served with the mail motor transport at the front until the end of January, when he contracted the Illness from which he died on February 19th, 1917, at the 13th Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, France. He was 22 years of age. The Katipo, 20 March 1917, p. 59

Trooper James Walter Steele


Trooper James Walter Steele, who died from wounds received in action at the Dardanelles, was born in Ashburton, 1894. He commenced his school life there, but spent most of it in the Mosgiel District High School. For four years he was employed in Mosgiel Post Office, then he put in three months at the Learners' Gallery at Oamaru, whence he was appointed to Tokomaru Bay, where he remained until he joined the Third Reinforcements. He was connected with the Mounted Signal Corps, and was the first to be added from the Taieri Plain to New Zealand's roll of honour. When the news first became known the flags in the district were placed at half-mast. While on the Mosgiel staff he was a very obliging and capable officer, and much sympathy is felt for the bereaved mother and other members of the family. The Katipo, 20 January 1916, p. 147

Thomas James Stevenson

Christchurch: Post Office

The recent epidemic on a troopship was responsible for the death of two of ours, viz., Messrs Tom Stevenson and Herbert Hood. We offer our sincerest sympathy to the relatives of both. The Katipo, 21 October 1918, p. 601

Lance-Corporal James Taku Strachan


Quite a gloom was cast over the office as a result of the Messines offensive, one of ours, Lance-Corporal J.T. Strachan, making the supreme sacrifice. To the bereaved we extend our sympathy. The Katipo, 20 July 1917, p. 207

Rifleman Hector Walker

Auckland: Telegraph Office

The members of this branch were saddened this month by the news of the death in action at Messines of Hector Walker, late of this staff. He was a promising lad, who had gained the esteem of all with whom he had come in contact, and as the saying goes, “as game as a pebble.”The Katipo, 20 July 1917, p. 195

Second Lieutenant Melville Arthur White

News has been received that a young Wellington officer, Lieutenant Mel. A. White, of the Royal Flying Corps, was killed in action on the 23rd April. Prior to the war, Lieutenant White was employed in the Post and Telegraph Department, and was a member of the local Post and Telegraph Corps. On enlisting for active service, he was attached to the Headquarters Staff of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as superintending clerk in the Quarter-master-General’s branch, and held the rank of staff-sergeant. He was present during the operations in Gallipoli, and participated in the famous evacuation. Shortly after his return to Egypt he was promoted warrant officer, and later accompanied the administrative staff of the N.Z.E.F. to England, where he was specially selected for a commission in the Flying Corps. He was a young man of sterling character, who enjoyed the confidence of his superiors and the regard of his comrades and friends, all of whom will greatly regret his loss and the premature close of such a promising career. The Katipo, 20 June 1917, p. 177

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