Harry Eric Earp

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Vogeltown, New Plymouth, New Zealand

General information

last known residence:
Vogeltown, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Church of England

Army information

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

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Reutel, Beselare, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Enlistment place
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

Private Earp Harry Eric was 22 years of age when he enlisted the 3rd Battalion of the Wellington Regiment, part of the 4th New Zealand Brigade, on 11th January 1916.
The former bushman was still single and lived with his widowed mother in Vogeltown, New Plymouth.

Up to the end of 1917, the Allied posture had been on the basis of an early resumption of the offensive. However, it soon became apparent that the Russian collapse (the Revolution had by now taken place) would be followed by a German drive on the Western Front in the Spring.
This fact, together with the desirability of waiting for the American forces indicated a need to strengthen defences instead.
This, accordingly, became the priority on the New Zealand Division’s front, as elsewhere, and a great deal of effort was made to this end in difficult winter conditions.
To give some idea of the type of work being done, this included fascines, sleepers, slabs, concrete blocks, cement, shingle, sand, reinforcing rods, sandbags, duckwalks and iron dugout segments.
Minor raids and skirmishes by both sides continued, and from time to time, artillery fire intensified. There was a great deal of shelling on cross-roads, and other centres of activity, and casualties were occasioned in rear areas.

New Year’s Day 1918, found the 3rd Battalion Wellington Regiment still in the line in the Reutel Sector. There was intermittent shelling during the day. On the 2nd, the Regiment was relieved by the 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade and proceeded to Manawatu Camp south of Ypres.
The relieve came too late for private Harry Eric Earp, aged 24.
He was killed in action and buried in the cemetery near the Butte. Later his body was reburied at the Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood plot I, row A, grave 16.

Sources 8

"From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth, the New Zealand Division on the Western Front 1916-1918",Gray J.H., Willsonscott Publishing, Christchurch NZ, 2010, page 175-177
Sources used
"The Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 1914-1919",Cunninham W.H.,Treadwell C.A.L.,Hanna J.S.,The Naval & Military Press Ltd, Uckfield, East Sussex, England, page 240
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NZEF Project
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Service Record
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The Long, Long Trail
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