ALEXANDER FREDERICK McINTYRE ~ ANZAC Medallion for Greymouth great-nephew of 2nd day Gallipoli casualty.

6/683 ~ ALEXANDER FREDERICK McINTYRE    

Malcom McINTYRE (1834-1899) and Margaret Elizabeth McDOUGALL (1850-1917) were both Scottish migrants to Dunedin, he a blacksmith from Glassary, Argyll and she from Lawrencekirk, Aberdeenshire. 

Malcom McIntyre (1834-1899), born at Rothesay, Buteshire was a 24 year old journeyman (apprentice) blacksmith in Glassary when he married 17 year old Marion GIBSON (1843 -?) from Kilwinning in Ayreshire.  The two married on 26 Nov 1860 at London Road, Bridgeton in Glasgow, with their first child being due in Jan 1861.  Unfortunately daughter Marion (jnr), born on New Year’s Day 1861 at Kaimesburgh, North Bute, survived just two months before she died at 44 Ladeside Street, Rothesay, Bute Scotland.  

“Storm Cloud”

Malcom and Marion left the River Clyde on 3 May 1861 as Assisted Immigrants on the Storm Cloud’s second of three voyages that carried new migrants to Otago.  Captain Campbell commanded the Storm Cloud through an incident free passage of 85 days from Glasgow to Port Chalmers, Dunedin arriving on 30 July 1861.  Many of the migrants would be joining the rush to “Gabriel’s Gully” following the discovery of gold the same year by Thomas Gabriel Read.  Malcom McIntyre no doubt joined the rush which also provided countless opportunities to put his blacksmith skills to good use. 

In March 1862 Malcom and Marion’s first (and only) son, Malcolm McIntyre (jnr)** was born in Dunedin. 

From this point in my research there is an information gap regarding Malcom and Marion’s whereabouts between 1863 and 1867.  Based upon subsequent events it appears that while in Otago, the couple parted.  With no registration of Marion’s death, it is always possible she could have remained in Dunedin or the in one of the goldfield towns of Central Otago (certainly while Malcolm Jnr. was an infant), or re-married and remained elsewhere in NZ, or left and gone to Scotland or Australia.  Without any hard evidence  to prove otherwise, I have assumed baby Malcolm (jnr) remained with his mother.  Malcom Snr it would appear went to Victoria, Australia (probably to the Ballarat or Bendigo goldfields) for a number of years.

Otago to the West Coast, 1867 

Panning for gold at Charleston – c1867

In May 1867 Malcom McIntyre Snr (35) returned to Greymouth from Melbourne on the Rangitoto.  His occupation was listed as ‘Miner’ and from Greymouth, he promptly went north toward Charleston where gold had been discovered at Brighton the previous year in 1866 by Irishman and gold prospector, William Fox (possibly the reason Malcom came back?).  Brighton (now called Tiromoana) is about 10 km south of Charleston on the Charleston–Westport road.  Just as Malcom arrived on the Rangitoto Fox had made a second and much larger gold strike the same month, much closer to Charleston.  It was this find which precipitated the last real gold rush on the West Coast.  The population of Charleston went from zero to around 35,000 in the two years.  Brighton and its environs boasted 53 hotels while Charleston had 37 in 1867 although evidence of at least 99 hotels has been subsequently found.

The first public census record of Malcom McIntyre showed he was living at Back Lead, Charleston in 1875 which is about 20 km south of Westport.  Over the next 10 years Malcom presumably worked his way down the South Island back to Greymouth (coal & gold), and then on to Hokitika (gold) and Ross (gold) until he arrived back in Otago where the mining and prospecting was in full swing – Gabriel’s Gully, Lawrence, Arrowtown, Kawarau Gorge/Shotover River, Naesby, Clutha and Cardrona Rivers were all characterised by a sea of tents and diggings.  The influx of prospectors had also ensured a continual demand for Malcom’s blacksmith services.

A typical goldfield blacksmith’s forge.

While in Otago Malcom had met Margaret Elizabeth McDOUGALL (1850-1917), a fellow Scot from Lawrencekirk, Aberdeenshire.  They married in Dunedin on 23 Sep 1874 and moved to Hampden Otago where their first child, also named Margaret Elizabeth was born in March 1877.  A subsequent move to Geraldine settled the McIntyre’s for the next four years in Pleasant Valley where Malcom opened a smithy.  Malcom and Margaret’s first son John Malcolm McIntyre (1878-1937) was born the same year gold was discovered in Waihi.  A second daughter, Adeline Mary Isabella McIntyre (1881-1963) remained a life-long spinster.  From Geraldine in South Canterbury, Malcom and his family travelled to Paekakariki, north of Wellington in 1881 where he had been contracted to produce materials on site for bridge building and the installation of railway lines.  A son, Richard Charles McIntyre was born here in Sep 1882, the family remaining in the area until 1885 at which point Malcom took his family back to the West Coast of the South Island.  After a brief stay at the Nelson Creek gold workings, the family settled into accommodation at Kamaka Twelve Mile which is situated on what is now State Highway 6 at the Notown Road intersection.  Kamaka 12 Mile was 17 km up the Grey Valley from Greymouth, just past Stillwater and a few kilometers short of Ngahere on what was the main coaching track to Reefton.  Kamaka 12 Mile no longer exists having been absorbed into Stillwater around 1900.  The McIntyre children largely grew up at Kamaka with Malcom, Margaret and the younger children living there (and latterly Stillwater) for the best part of the next twenty years.  The McIntyre’s fifth child, Francis William Ernest McIntyre, was born at Kamaka in April 1887, while their last child, Maud Louisa (HILDEBRAND) was born at Stillwater in 1896. 

Six McIntyre children in all ? – well, not quite … “Fred” was an unexpected latecomer! 

Stillwater near Kamaka 12 Mile  in the Grey Valley – 1896

Note:  ** Malcolm McIntyre (jnr) grew up in Dunedin and Otago to become a miner.  Malcolm was 21 when he left for Melbourne aboard the SS Manapouri on 29 Aug 1883.  He spent time at various gold and coal mines around Victoria and NSW  before leasing an allotment of land to start farming sheep along the Wimmera River at Dooen and Vectis East, East Horsham in Victoria.  Malcolm’s holdings grew to approx half a square mile in area by 1880.  By 1930 he had moved to Ingleburn, Werriwa NSW where he had a much smaller holding.  It is unknown if Malcolm ever married (descendants suspect not).  Malcolm McIntyre (jnr) died in the Nepean District Hospital, NSW from food poisoning and subsequent collapse in July 1937, aged 76.

“Fred” McIntyre

It is probably not too difficult to imagine in this harsh pioneering environment just how the McIntyre’s 17 year old daughter Margaret Elizabeth (jnr) found herself with child in Feb 1893.  Margaret E.  (as I shall refer to her to differentiate from her mother) gave birth to a healthy son on 18 October 1893 whom she named, Alexander Frederick McIntyre.  To avoid any searching questions or unnecessary scandal, Malcom and Margaret (snr)  passed Alexander off as his Margaret E’s brother!  When Margaret E. (jnr) decided to marry in 1896 it was decided that baby Alexander would remain in the care of his grandparents and her older siblings while Margaret E. and her new husband established themselves in Brunnerton, the mining settlement that housed miners and their families working the Brunner Coal Mine which ironically was almost directly opposite Kamaka 12 Mile across the Grey River.

In May 1899, Malcom McIntyre Snr died at the age of 67.  Anecdotal evidence has it that Malcom was visiting Nelson Creek further up the Grey Valley (a gold mining town behind Ngahere, 31 km from Greymouth) and had fallen from a ladder while drunk.  The  actual cause of his death was deemed to be the result of a stroke, but whether Malcolm had had the stroke before or after his fall, was not determined.  After her husband’s death Margaret McIntyre together with her now mostly teenage children Adeline, Richard, Alexander, Francis and Maud, moved from Kamaka 12 Mile–Stillwater into the Greymouth riverside settlement of Cobden, situated on the north bank of the Grey River, opposite the Greymouth central township. 

Canvas Town – South Melbourne in the 1850s

Margaret McIntyre’s eldest son Jack had by this time been drawn across the Tasman to Australia after his father died, to what was then termed “Marvellous Melbourne.”  The term was coined due to the spectacular growth of the town and the wealth that successful prospectors and miners bought into it after the discovery of gold at Ballarat in 1851.  Nearby Beechworth and Bendigo also produced rich pickings for the thousands of prospectors and attendant business people from all over the world who continued to flood into Victoria between 1852 and 1896.  75,000 had arrived in the first year which had given rise to a massive tent city on the southern outskirts of Melbourne to accommodated miners, prospectors and all manner of others who arrived at Port Phillip by the shipload.   

In 1910 Jack McIntyre whilst in Victoria, married Mary Hepzibah ARNOTT (1889-1980) in Mary’s hometown of Mortlake, south-west Victoria.  By the time the couple returned to Greymouth in 1911 they were accompanied by two of their eventual eight children, with the remainder being born in either Greymouth or Hokitika.  The house in Cobden became become too small to accommodate the McIntyre expanded ‘clan’ so Margaret and her brood moved across the river into the central Greymouth township and a larger house at 30 Herbert Street.  Son Richard, a saw miller and the eldest in the absence of his father and brother Jack, had taken a job as a bushman in Karamea which left 15 year old “Fred” (as Alexander was generally known) to assume his father’s responsibilities until Jack returned.

A typical motorized Ford taxi car used by Kennedy Brothers – Greymouth 1912.

The Kennedy Brother’s Garage was Greymouth’s oldest transport and taxi company and had been started by Martin James Kennedy in 1872.  Young Fred McIntyre started work at the Garage when he was 11-12, firstly doing odd-jobs for what was then called the Kennedy Brothers Rink Stables & Garage – cleaning stables and grooming horses, maintaining tack , cleaning handsome cabs, drays, gigs and the like, until motorised vehicles became part of the fleet around 1910.  His duties then revolved around washing and cleaning taxi cars and passenger coach transport, ticket collector (conductor), etc.  In his later teens Fred went to work on the Greymouth wharves at Mawhera Quay as a general labourer/watersider loading and unloading cargo from ships, mainly coal and timber going out, and general goods, grain, tools, explosives and heavy machinery coming in.  At the time Fred enlisted for war service in 1914, he was working for a James Anderson who ran a general carter/carrier business. 

Early Kennedy Brothers passenger coaches – c1908.

The Kennedy brothers and office lady outside their Greymouth Motor Garage, 1922.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside of work, one of Fred’s key interests had been with the local militia unit  ‘D’ Company of the 13th (North Canterbury–Westland) Regiment.  Fred joined the unit in 1911 when he turned 18, a decision that proved to be rather prophetic given the events that unfolded in Sarajevo in June 1914.

For King and Empire

Within three short years of him joining ‘D’ Company, Fred McIntyre was among the first soldiers called to ‘fight for King and Empire’ as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF).  The King’s request for military support to halt the invading German army in Europe had been answered with the promise of an Infantry Brigade which was to be largely made up of territorial volunteers from all parts of New Zealand.  As a result, all territorial militia units around the country intensified their training in preparation for full-time service overseas.  Meanwhile country-wide recruiting had begun for volunteers to supplement the regular and territorial soldiers to bring the NZ Brigade up to full strength.  There was no shortage of volunteers.  Such were the numbers turning up to enlist, the Brigade was fully manned in short order with sufficient volunteers left over to form at least four Reinforcement drafts which would be necessary to replace the inevitable casualties.

13th (North Canterbury-Westland) Company cap and collar badges

‘D’ Company was one of four territorial Companies which made up the 13th (North CanterburyWestland) Regiment of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion (CIB).  The four Companies were drawn from North Canterbury personnel up to and including Nelson and Marlborough. i.e. the top two-thirds of the South Island.  The Companies were formed according to their geographical locations – the 1st (Canterbury) Company (almost exclusively full-time regular army soldiers domiciled in the central Canterbury region); the 2nd (South Canterbury) Company consisted of soldiers drawn from all other areas between the Rangitata River south of Ashburton up to the Waimakariri River north of Christchurch; the 12th (Nelson–Marlborough) Regiment soldiers came from as far as Farewell Spit down to the south side of Kaikoura; and the 13th (North Canterbury–Westland) Company included men drawn from all areas north of the Waimakariri River to the Conway River (south of Kaikoura), including the whole of Westland. 

The CIB was one of four Infantry battalions (Auckland, Wellington Canterbury, Otago) that made up the Main Body of New Zealand Infantry Brigade and as such, would be the first troops to be involved in the fighting.  Fred McIntyre (21) would be one of them. 

Fred completed his pre-enlistment medical at Greymouth in August 1914, the doctor describing him as – 5 feet 7 inches (170 cms), 138 lbs (63 kgs) with brown eyes, fair hair and a fair complexion – Fred was passed  “Fit for Field Force.”   After the usual long and arduous journey over Arthur’s Pass to the King Edward Barracks in Christchurch, Fred went into camp on 13 August 1914. 

Main Body

6/683 Pte. Alexander F. McIntyre – 1914

6/683 Private Alexander (Fred) McIntyre was attested for military service ‘for the duration of the war’ at Addington Park in Christchurch along with his fellow D Company ‘coasters’ and the soldiers from North Canterbury. 

The Battalion was assembled at the Mobilisation Camp established at Addington Park where soldiers were attested, re-checked for medical and physical fitness and issued with the equipment they would be going overseas with.  Two months of training followed at the Sockburn Park Mobilisation Camp followed by a period of home leave.  Following a farewell parade and march through the streets of Christchurch, the troops entrained for Lyttelton to waiting troop transport ships.  The parades and farewells by family and friends was a scene repeated in all the main centres of Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, and were followed by personal family farewells at the ports of departure, after the troops were embarked.

They NZEF Main Body was transported in 10 troopships the government had requisitioned from commercial shipping lines.  Pte. McIntyre  with one half of his battalion embarked HMNZT 11 Athenic, while the other half of the battalion including the Canterbury Mounted Rifles boarded HMNZT 4 Tahiti.  Both ships set sail from Lyttelton on 15 August 1914 heading north to Wellington where they would link up with ships carrying the Wellington (WIB), Otago (OIB) and Auckland (AIB) battalions.  Unfortunately the convoy’s departure was delayed for several weeks until a ‘more powerful naval escort’ could be arranged.  

It was the largest single group of New Zealanders ever to leave our shores.  About 8,500 men – and nearly 4,000 horses – which included the 1st Reinforcements, finally left Port Nicholson on 16 October 1914.  The 10 ship convoy made for its first port of call, Hobart, where the NZEF convoy was joined by the first of the Australian Imperial Force’s ship transports.  From Hobart the convoy proceeded to Albany in Western Australia to link up with the remainder of the AIF ships.  It had been decided the NZ and Australian forces would travel together due to the limited size of Royal Navy escort.  The convoy totalling 28 ships finally left Albany for Southampton, England on 1st November 1914.  The convoy was 7 ½ miles long!

HMNZTs 4 Tahiti and 11 Athenic  at Lyttelton, Aug 1914 

HMNZT 11 Athenic

Almost four weeks into the voyage there was a sudden change of plan in late November – Athenic and the remainder of the NZEF and AIF convoy was re-directed to the Suez Canal and a revised destination – Egypt. 

When the Ottomans (Turks) joined with the Germans against Britain, the initial plan by Britain was to force Turkey out of the war.  An attempt by British warships to force their way through the Dardanelles and take Constantinople (Istanbul) had failed and as a result the Ottoman army rapidly reinforced their exposed coastal borders, predominantly on the Mediterranean coast – Gallipoli.  This precipitated the British decision to attack the Ottomans on the Gallipoli Peninsula in an attempt to end World War 1 as quickly as possible by creating a new war front that the Ottomans could not defend. 

Zeitoun Camp

The NZEF Zeitoun Camp north-east of Cairo, Egypt – 1914

The Athenic steamed through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea arriving at the port of Alexandria, Egypt on 3 Dec 1914.  Here the NZEF’s Main Body and horses disembarked into the heat of North Africa and boarded a train to Cairo.  The NZEF’s  Zeitoun Camp was positioned 10 km north-east of the city in the open desert where the troops would train for operations against the Ottoman Empire that were expected to be fought in similar terrain.  The AIF’s Mena Camp was positioned south of Cairo and duplicated the NZEF camp facilities at Zeitoun.

In Feb 1915 the Ottomans launched an attack on the Suez Canal across the Sinai Desert.  The NZEF soldiers had their first combat experience ** of the war when the assisted members of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) to defend the Canal during this attack.  

“How do you like our lawn?” says Fred (far left wearing Fez) with his feet on a piece of turf – Zeitoun Camp, Jan 1915

‘Massey’s Tourists’ – Fred (back right) and mates get the obligatory photo taken at the Pyramids and Sphinx – Egypt, Dec 1914.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  ** It is noteworthy that 6/246 Pte. William Arthur Ham from Ngatimoti near Motueka, Nelson was also aboard the Athenic with Fred.  William was a member of the 12th (Nelson-Marlborough) Company and was severely wounded when the New Zealand Infantry Brigade helped to repulse the Ottoman attack on the Suez Canal.  Fred McIntyre would have been with Pte. Ham on the line at the Canal when he became the first NZEF combat fatality of the war.   

Pte. Ham’s younger brother, 2/3004 Gunner Thomas Henry Merrick Ham was enlisted in Dec 1915 with the 11 Reinforcements of the NZ Field Artillery.  Thomas survived WW1 to become a Captain in WW2 but  sadly died of sickness in Fiji in 1942 at the age of 46.

Death comes quickly

Having research the events leading up to Pte. Fred McIntyre’s arrival in Egypt in Feb 1915, his file contained only TWO entries in his record of field service:

  • Missing Dardanelles – 28 Apr 15
  • Killed In Action – 27 Apr / 01 May 15

The Australian’s had gone ashore on Gallipoli at dawn on 25 April 1915.  At 1000 hours the Auckland Battalion and half of the Canterbury Battalion were the first New Zealand troops to go ashore to reinforce the Australians on the 400 Plateau and Baby 700.  The second half of the CIB went ashore at 1600 hours with the Wellington Battalion, the beach at Anzac Cove by this time was covered with dead and wounded.  The ANZAC troops capture Baby 700 then lost it.  The fight to defend and hold Baby 700 changed hands five times during the day before finally being lost to the Ottomans.

Such was the savagery of the combined infantry and artillery assaults from both sides during the period 27 April to 1 May (which included naval gunfire support [not always accurate] from Royal Navy battleships standing off Gallipoli), Fred McIntyre was reported ‘missing’ on 28 April.  6/683 Pte. Alexander Frederick McIntyre’s body was never found, his date of death being officially recorded as 27 April 1915.  Fred’s sacrifice is commemorated on the Lone Pine Cemetery Memorial in the Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli.

Medals:   1914-18 Star, British War Medal 1914-18, Victory Medal;  Memorial Plaque & Scroll.  Entitled to ANZAC (Gallipoli) Commemorative Medallion (1967)

Service Overseas:   196 days

Total NZEF Service:   260 days

 

 

 

 

 

An unexpected bonus

A couple of years ago I was contacted by the great-niece of Fred McIntyre, Linda W. of Greymouth.  She had had the good fortune over the last decade to find Alexander Frederick McIntyre’s Victory Medal on the internet which she bought.  Linda had asked me to list Fred’s missing 1914-15 Star and British War Medal on our Medals~LOST page of the website. 

In reading Pte. McIntyre’s military file (possibly the first West Coast soldier killed at Gallipoli ?) I noted that Fred’s service at Gallipoli entitled him to receive the ANZAC (Gallipoli) Commemorative medallion (had he lived).  Produced in 1967 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, the medallion was available to all veteran’s of Gallipoli, living and dead.  In the case of soldiers who had been killed, died on the Peninsula or subsequently, the soldier’s next of kin could lay claim to the medallion.  The Medallion (and the Lapel Badge if applicable) when claimed was usually noted in the soldiers file with a special stamp which was initialled which acknowledged the issue of these items.  However, there was no such evidence a claim being made for Fred’s entitlement.

My first inclination was to advise Linda of this fact as she was clearly interested in Fred’s service, being a direct descendant of his.  After making several attempts to contact her without success, I left this in the “to do” pile as I had more pressing research to complete. 

Several months later my MRNZ colleague Brian Ramsay happened to mention he was mounting a set of Replica medals for a relative of “Alexander Frederick McIntyre” which immediately got my attention.  Brian was preparing the medals for Fred McIntyre’s great-nephew, Brian Thomas Vincent McIntyre (Brian Mc.) who also happened to be a Nelson resident.  I made contact with Brian Mc. and advised him what I had found re the Medallion (including my attempts to contact Linda).  Brian said he and Linda were cousins and  was aware she had recovered Fred’s British War Medal, 1914-18.  He also told me he had Fred’s Memorial (‘Death’) Plaque (minus Scroll) that his father had given him some years ago, and had treasured it ever since.  With no hope of acquiring Fred’s original medals, Brian Mc. had asked Brian to prepare him a set of Replica medals to wear on suitable occasions.

What happened to Fred’s medals?

Brian Mc. indicated that no-one in the family knew what happened to the medals.  Interest in them had probably waned over the years and gone from the family along with the memory of Fred.  Brian said of Fred, “years ago while my father was visiting me I can recall him and his cousin Jackie McIntyre who also lived here in Nelson, almost whispering to each other about him (Fred) and the fact that his mother wasn’t married.”  It had only been the interest generated nationally as the country collectively commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, that enthused families and individuals (like Linda) in search of family medals.

I noted from Fred’s military file and his attestation form therein, that he had named his grandmother “Mrs M. McIntyre, Herbert St, Greymouth” as his primary Next of Kin to be informed in the event of casualty.  After she died in 1917, the Next of Kin had been altered to read “Mrs M. Richardson, Brunnerton.”  Brunnerton and Taylorville were side by side miner’s settlements just a few kilometres up the Grey Valley on the western side of the river.  The Brunner  Mine (which incidentally was owned by Martin Kennedy of the taxi and transport company among other interests) had been a highly productive coal mine since it was opened in 1864, however, all that ceased when a massive gas explosion killed 65 miners in 1896 forcing the mine to close.  

The NZ Military Forces had more than likely been provided Mrs Richardson’s name as a result of Fred’s death being advised to the family, and probably by the solicitor (Mr Scott) who was acting for Mrs McIntyre’s deceased estate.  Mrs Richardson’s name was also been ruled through and further down, the details of Fred’s brother Jack added, “Mr J.M. McIntyre, North Revell St, Hokitika.” 

I took a punt and guessed that “Mrs Richardson of Brunnerton” was possibly Fred’s natural mother, Margaret E., nee McIntyre who had subsequently married.  A little more digging in the BDM records and a Family Tree proved my guess correct.  Margaret E. McIntyre was 21 when in 1896 she married 23 year old William James RICHARDSON (1873-1951) at his home in Stillwater, not far  from her home at Kamaka 12 Mile.  William was an Oxford University educated London butcher who had emigrated (?) to become a dairy farmer in New Zealand.  The Richardson’s had three children – Eunice, William Jnr., and Leonard, all of whom were born at Stillwater.   

Obverse

ANZAC  (Gallipoli) Commemorative Medallion (1967) 

Reverse* 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: * original issued medallions contained initials and surname only

After the war Fred’s medals, Memorial Plaque and Scroll were originally destined for his grandmother, then his next of kin, however after her death the name of ‘Mrs Richardson of Brunnerton’ had been inserted in her place on Fred’s military file.  From reading the  file it would seem Fred’s medals, Memorial Plaque and Scroll had ended up in the hands of a local solicitor (Mr Scott).  This could have been done either by Fred’s natural mother (Mrs Richardson) or perhaps by the solicitor acting on behalf of Fred whilst determining who exactly was his legal Next of Kin after his grandmother had died.   Fred’s file shows that his brother Jack was also added as his Next of Kin and that Mrs Richardson’s name had been ruled through.  A note on the file signed by Mr Scott stated: “no medals to be issued unless applied for.”  In 1922, Fred’s medals, and Memorial Plaque and Scroll were released to his brother, Jack McIntyre in Hokitika. 

“Jack” – John Malcolm McIntyre

It is presumed Jack had remained in possession of Fred’s trio of medals plus the Memorial Plaque and Scroll, at least until Jack’s untimely death.  Jack and Mary had moved back to Cobden, Greymouth from Hokitika around 1930 where Jack had taken a job as a wharf labourer.  Remebering this was the first year of the Great Depression that started following the Wall Street Crash in 1929, the only paying work in the area was mining, bush/milling or labouring as available.   Jack had spent seven years labouring on the wharf on and off, until 22 Dec 1937.  Fifty eight year old Jack was assisting to unload Australian hardwood from the Karepo moored at Mawhera Quay.  Jack and some others were in the Karepo’s hold loading the timber into a rope sling which was lifted out of the hold by a wharf crane.  As a load was raised several pieces of timber fell out of a partially collapsed rope sling, striking Jack on the head.  Sadly he did not regain consciousness and died of his injuries in the Greymouth Hospital the next day.

U.S.S.Co bulk cargo vessel KAREPO (1929-1964)

Mary McIntyre, his widow remained living in Greymouth and bought up her and Jack’s children alone.  After 30 plus years without her husband, Mary (70) re-married about 1960 to Greymouth born and bred pensioner Albert RICHARDSON (1884-1968) – no relation to William Richardson above.  Albert had been a bushman in his early years, then a sawmill hand, and later a general labourer until he had retired in the late 1950s.  The couple lived in Albert’s house at 9 Turamaha Street in central Greymouth.  After Albert died in 1968, Mary went to live with her eldest daughter Lucy Margaret [McIntyre] GRENFELL (formerly NORMAN) in Blenheim.  Lucy predeceased her mother as the result of a brain tumor in 1977, aged 66.  Mary Hepzibah Richardson (formerly McIntyre, nee Arnott) passed away quietly in Blenheim in April 1980 at the age of 91 and was buried in Karoro Cemetery, Greymouth with Albert. 

Mary Hepzibah ARNOTT –  wife of Jack McIntyre.

The fate of Fred’s medals after Jack McIntyre was killed is unknown by the surviving descendants.  It would be reasonable to assume Jack’s widow Mary had retained the medals until she passed away in Blenheim, or possibly she had given them to another family member ?  Based upon the medal Linda bought from the internet, obviously the other two were not with it, the medals could well have been separated at some point.  This suggests the medals were lost/found, stolen, or could have been sold either by Jack or Mary, by the estate law office acting for Mary upon her death, or by the Public Trust if Mary did not have a will or an appointed trustee.

Whatever the case, Brian is happy that at least some of Fred McIntyre’s military medals have been recovered back into the family.  The ideal would be to kept them all together so they could be looked after by a single custodian.  This tends to minimise the chances of medals and memorabilia being separated and potentially lost to the family again.  The medals are significant as they collectively represent Alexander “Fred” McIntyre’s voluntary military service for his King and Country, and in volunteering that service had made the supreme sacrifice within 24 hours of going ashore at Gallipoli. 

Brian Mc. is now the proud owner of an officially issued ANZAC (Gallipoli) Medallion to commemorate the service of his great uncle, 6/683 Private Alexander Frederick “Fred” McIntyre, during the Gallipoli Landings on 25-27 April, 1915. 

Brian with the ANZAC (Gallipoli) Medallion

Fred’s original Memorial Plaque

Replica medals and the original Memorial Plaque

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can assist Brian to locate the missing 1914-15 Star and British War Medal 1914-18 named to 6/683 PTE. A. F. McINTYRE N.Z.E.F., I would be pleased to hear from you.  Brian is very willing to negotiate a buy-back.

The reunited medal tally is now 246.

 

‘Reunited’