Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 07 Nov 1980 1980-11-07T00:00:00.000Z 1980-11-07T00:00:00.000Z 1980.142 Collection of Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, 1980.142, W2432 2015-05-13T00:00:00.000Z 1 2018-12-17T04:11:42.501Z 60 air warfare/wars "Fabric from tail of a Hun plane was brought down by anti-aircraft guns on Hill 63 on June 14 1917; when investigated it was found to be a British RAF plane captured by Germans some days earlier and repainted." It was used by 2/1602 Gunner Ralph Cates, New Zealand Field Artillery, to write a letter to his brother Arthur. Australian-born Ralph Cates was living in Auckland employed as a salesman with Geo Fowlds when he enlisted. He had previous service with the Auckland Garrison Artillery and enlisted as a Gunner with the New Zealand Field Artillery (Howitzer Battery). He left New Zealand with the 5th Reinforcements on 13 June 1915 and served on Gallipoli with the 6th Howitzer Battery. Following his return to Egypt he was posted to the 6th Battery and on 7th April 1916 embarked for France. Gunner Cates remained on the Western Front for the remainder of the war. This letter on aircraft fabric records his presence at the Battle of Messines in June 1917, while his Service Record indicates that he was hospitalized in September 1918 after being wounded by gas shells, and again in November suffering from scabies. Ralph returned to New Zealand on the Willochra in March 1919. fabric off British aircraft & copy of letter describing it aircraft canvas; painted black on one side and letter written on other side from Ralph Cates to his brother Arthur. letter
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