Ernest George Campbell

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Taupiri, Waikato, New Zealand

General information

Professional Soldier

Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1st Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

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


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Ernest George Campbell was born in 1891 in the small town of Taupiri along the Waikato River in New Zealand. He was the son of Robert and Clara Campbell. At the start of the war, Ernest was already serving in the army. As a professional soldier Ernest was selected to train fresh recruits, working as a sergeant instructor at the Narrow Neck Military Camp near Fort Takapuna, Auckland. In 1916 Ernest chose to go and fight overseas. He enlisted in September and joined the 1st Battalion Auckland Regiment, part of the 1st Brigade, of the New Zealand Division.

On 4 October 1917 the New Zealand Division took part in the Battle of Broodseinde, a stage in the Battle of Passchendaele. The Division would take the ‘s Gravenstafel - Abraham Heights section of the Broodseinde Ridge. The 1st Auckland were on the left flank. In anticipation of the attack they had occupied positions round Cluster Houses, in front of the German strongpoints of Winzig and Aviatik Farm. Ernest’s Battalion was in the first wave and was to capture the first objective, the crest of the ‘s Gravenstafel Ridge.

The Battalion attacked at 6 a.m., crossing the bog of the Hanebeek stream. Due to the state of the ground, the Aucklanders drifted to the north. They came under fire from pillboxes around Aviatik Farm and Dear House, which were quickly cleared. Resistance was sporadic. Most Germans had been caught off guard. Having planned an attack of themselves, the Germans charged on the moment the allied barrage came crashing down. Heavily demoralized and counting severe casualties, most Germans chose to surrender or to retreat. Nevertheless the 1st Auckland encountered heavy resistance at Winzig. The concrete strongpoint only fell after heavy fighting. When the advance was continued, the Battalion now came under fire from entrenched positions at Albatross Farm, which the British on the left flank had failed to capture. “C” Company was sent into the gap and assisted the British with the taking of Albatross Farm.

Ernest George Campbell, 25-years old, was killed during the attack on the ‘s Graventafel Ridge. He has no known grave and is remembered on the New Zeeland Apse of the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 2

Sources 6

"Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Uniform, 2018, pg. 112-114.
Sources used
"The Auckland Regiment: being an account of the doings on Active Service of the First, Second and Third Battalions of the Auckland Regiment.", Burton, O.E., Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd., 1922, pg. 172-181.
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The Long, Long Trail
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