East Coast Run Mitchell 1914

Original digital file



  • Eric Battershill

Format of the original

Glass plate negative

Date published


Additional information

6 cylinder Mitchell, 1914
Driver Eric Battershill on the East Coast run
The East Coast run was from Herbertville to Dannevirke, established by AWS Longley.

Article from Hawke’s Bay Today, Monday April 28, 2014
Dannevirke: Heroes’ history fondly remembered, by Christine McKay.

Napier’s Lew Willoughby spoke of Eric Henry Battershill, whom he described as a gifted and courageous young man. Born in Hastings in 1897, he attended Napier Boys’ High School where he was awarded the Vigor Brown Challenge Shield for lifesaving.

“However, his most notable achievement came when he was prosecuted by a heavy-handed official in the telegraph department in Napier for illegally operating a home-built wireless apparatus of his own making.

“The case actually went to court with plenty of publicity. Lawyers from round the district attended the trial which in the words of one reporter ‘closely approximated a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera’.

“The judge showed good sense when he found Eric technically guilty and discharged him.

“He tried to enlist for World War I in New Zealand and was told he was too young and that his conviction was held against him, he left New Zealand on the steamer Maheno and swam ashore at Albany in West Australia and made his way to Sydney where he was working as a motor mechanic until he enlisted in the Australian Forces, which makes him a true Anzac.

“He served as driver and in many other capacities including wireless operator, despatch rider, intelligence officer and later as a pilot.”

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