College – Issue 40

Figure 3: Many of the Christ’s College Old Boys who left New Zealand in the Main Expeditionary Force in August 1914, signed the Heliopolis Menu.

The deaths of Guy Stanley xi and Percy John Overton occurred in August on successive days. Percy Overton was a veteran of the South African War where he had worked as a scout. His investigations on Gallipoli contributed to the decision making around the August offensive. He established that the area north of Anzac Cove was lightly held and that it was possible to send troops through the steep and rugged terrain to the north valleys. He was mentioned in despatches (MID) for his reconnaissance work, but was killed when leading an attack on Aghyl Dere. His brother, Guy, had been wounded on the attack on Bauchop’s Hill, and died at sea on the way to hospital in Alexandria.

Bair included Noel Blackburne, Lance Haines, Rupert Jennings, and Reginald Davie. Haines and Jennings were two of the 297 men that were lost that day. Reginald John Davie and Robert William Surgenor were the only two remaining in the forward trench on Chunuk Bair. Wounded at least twice, Davie and Surgenor were attacked by the Turks but continued to repel them. Stowers wrote that he believed they were both candidates for a VC but as there were no officers or witnesses “their valour went uncited”. Davie’s personnel records indicate that he spent three years in Turkish prisons and was finally repatriated on 6 November 1918.

The Overton’s were not the only family to lose two sons who signed the menu. Edward James Ross, who had also attended Christ’s College from 1871–1876, was the father of John William Turton Ross and Hugh Macpherson Ross. JWT Ross had attested on 12 August 1914 in Christchurch and was with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion when he was killed in the forward trenches at Helles. xii HM Ross had gone to England to further his engineering career and attested in England on 22 September 1914 in the British Section of the NZEF. Thomas Wreaks had two sons who enlisted in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles. Both Robert and Thomas Rayne had been members of the Christ’s College Rifles and

Christ’s College Canterbury


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