Arthur Walter Bee

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Mohaka, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

General information

Sheep Farmer

Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Canterbury Regiment, 3rd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XII special memorial
Row: AA
Grave: 6

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Arthur Walker Bee was born on 14 April 1890 in Mohaka, Hawke's Bay. By the time he enlisted in September 1916 he was a self employed sheep farmer in Putorino, Hawke's Bay. He joined the 21st Reinforcement, enlisting at Trentham Camp.

He embarked from Wellington on 19 January 1917 on the troop ship Waitemata. He remained in a reinforcement camp until he was posted to 3rd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment in May 1917.

The New Zealand Division was in the Polygon Wood area after the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. Much of the time was spent in wiring, repairing crumbling trenches and improving defences. The landscape was covered with waterlogged shellholes. The right of the New Zealand position was enfiladed from Polderhoek and a decision was made to capture the spur on which the ruins of Polderhoek Ch√Ęteau and German pillboxes sat.

After the unsuccessful attack on Polderhoek on 3 December, the various battalions took turns in the line and in reserve. Neither the New Zealand Division history or that of the Canterbury Regiment give detailed information for the December 1917-February 1918 period so it is impossible to say with any certainty how Arthur died on 28 December 1917. The opposing German forces generally held higher ground and movement in the New Zealand lines was often observed and shelled or machine-gunned. On the 28th of December five men of the 3rd Canterbury Battalion, including 27-year-old Arthur Bee, were killed in action.

Sources 1

Ferguson David, The history of the Canterbury Regiment, NZEF 1914-1919 (Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1921) , pg. 218-223.
Sources used

More information 5