Sergeant Ernest Carr

Sgt Ernest Carr (Mick to close friends) 12/3/1918 In Torquay.

Dar as he was called by grandson’s Michael, Peter and the Sharpin Brothers.

Dar has been well fed and looked after since being wounded in 1916. After partial recovery from wounds he became a training Sgt at Grantham Military Camp where he taught NZ reinforcements the art of using machine guns on the frontline. His normal task was to train men to a high standard and then escort them to the ship taking them across the English Channel.

Dar still had the 1,000 yard stare even when this photograph was taken.

He came home on the SS Authenic and proposed the Toast to the Allies aboard ship.

Dar was very proud to have been a frontline soldier and then Sergeant which rank he was elevated to in the line at Gallipoli.

Story has it that he lost his rank when bringing his men out of the line in France. The story as told by his fellow Sgt Shorty Marris of Christchurch was that Dar spotted a fine French Chateau and took his men into this abandoned mansion complete with a stocked wine cellar.

Shorty said that all went well until the MP s came looking for them to go back into the line. Dar was demoted to private but got his rank bank [back] when the NEW officer and new Sgt poked their heads above the parapet and got the newcomers bullet delivered by a German sniper.

I was kidnapped from my natural father and wonderful Gisborne Grandparents in 1946 after my father Lyle Andrew went off the rails and mother left Lyle subsequently divorcing him. Ten years later she married Keith Kitchin.

The kidnappers were Aunty Phill Trainor and WO 1 Ernest Carr from Trentham.

I heard many stories as a child on holiday trips from Trentham to Nelson where I sat as a kid at a meeting planning a MAIN BODY REUNION. They were happy days for Dar and myself. I became quite a Militarist and was told to steady up, at your age you will only get a job cutting wood for the cooks.

The Machine Gun Corp Cap Badge and Collar Badges are missing from the box of Medals along with the Crown Badge signifying rank of RSM, Regimental Sergeant Major has been perked by some swine although a smaller Machine Gun Corps badge has been glued to an ancient match box in my possession. Replacements are being ordered along with other medals that Dar was entitled to.

The New Zealand and Australian Governments petition the King of England to approve a badge recognising the outstanding efforts made by soldiers from both countries at Chanuk [Chunuk]  Bair and at Lone Pine during July and August 1915.

The ribbon was approved by the King but misery gutted Englishmen protested and our misery gutted politicians bowed down to the protest. The medal was ever [never] issued until a patriotic Australian decided to have 200 medals made for the last surviving ANZAC in Australia. From recollection these were issued at the time of the 75 anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings.

Replicas of these medals are available and I have 2 to have mounted. These will be mounted when I have the full sets of medals.

This explains Dar’s anger when the powers that be announced Gallipoli Medallion and the Lapel Pin. Dar was quite explicit about the ancestory [ancestry] of the Powers that be. Gutless swine to the end……As a soldier Dar put his bullets where they were meant to be and he expected political back to commemorate what the soldiers had done and suffered for.

That I think explains why he did not pick up some of his medals.

Michael Kitchin 28th July 2015

Original digital file



Date published

28 July 2015

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Computer document

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