Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 14 Apr 2003 2003-04-14T00:00:00.000Z 2003-04-14T00:00:00.000Z 2003.19.3 Gift of Mrs Jean Stewart (née Welch) 2003-04-14T00:00:00.000Z 1 2020-12-20T15:21:08.642Z 70 veterans/wars NZ Returned Soldiers Association badge of 54261 Private Ernest William (Ernie) Welch, Otago Infantry Regiment, WW1 Ernest William Welch, born in Howick in 1897, was working as a ploughman at the Rissington Station, Hawkes Bay before enlisting for military service as a Private with the Otago Infantry Regiment at the age of 20. He embarked from Wellington with the 28th Reinforcements, F Company, aboard the HMNZT 89 (Waitemata), destination Plymouth, England arriving 24 September 1917. During his service on the Western Front Ernie Welch narrowly escaped death when his shaving kit, carried in his breast pocket stopped the impact of a piece of shrapnel. During his service he also suffered from measles, scabies, influenza, bronchitis and gassing resulting in the loss of one lung. After the war Ernie Welch returned initially to the Rissington Station, where he had previously worked. Initially he was required to "camp out" and feed and groom 20 horses before breakfast. He continued to work here as a drover, musterer and shepherd, later becoming head yardman at Stortford Lodge and Waipukurau. Ernest Welch had a significant involvement with the scouting movement before and after the war and this is mentioned in his his obituary. Other members of the Welch family are represented in the Museum's collections including Memorial Plaques and medals belonging to three of his cousins who were killed in action during WW1. The New Zealand Returned Soldiers’ Association on 28 April 1916; the name was changed to the Returned Services Association after WW2. New Zealand Returned Soldiers Association membership badge belonging to 54261 Private Ernest William (Ernie) Welch, Otago Infantry Regiment, WW1 badge, membership
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