Arthur Heather Aitken

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

General information


Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Featherston, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Auckland Infantry Regiment, 2nd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

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


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: New Zealand Apse panel 1

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Private Arthur Heather Aitken of the 2nd Battalion Auckland Regiment was killed in action on the 4th of October 1917, during the Battle of Broodseinde.

The New Zealand Division advanced astride the ‘s Gravenstafel-Mosselmarkt road with two brigades. The 1st New Zealand Brigade on the left, attacked with the 1st Auckland and the 1st Wellington. When the first objective had been obtained and consolidated, the 2nd Auckland and the 2nd Wellington were to move through the leading battalions and were to head to the second objective at the foot of the Bellevue Spur.

As soon as the attack started, the 1st Auckland drifted to the north, dragging the left companies of the Wellingtons with them. The 1st Auckland took Winchester Farm, Winzig and Albatross farm. All these strongpoints were in the 48th Division’s area of operation. As the first wave had strafed to the north, certain German positions had been left unharmed. So when the 2nd Auckland and 2nd Wellington Battalions advanced, the 2nd Auckland met opposition from Korek on the ‘s Gravenstafel Ridge. After fierce fighting at Korek the 2nd Auckland and 2nd Wellington took up the advance. They worked together, taking a German battalion headquarters in a group of pillboxes known as Waterloo. The 2nd Auckland went on to Calgary Grange and established a line just east of this position.

Private Aitken was killed in action on the 4th of October 1917. His service record mentions he was buried near Korek Farm. Notwithstanding this information, his remains weren’t recovered or weren’t identified and Aitken is remembered on the New Zealand Apse, Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing.

Files 1

Sources 3

"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 99 & 101.
Sources used
Burton O.E., The Auckland regiment N.Z.E.F. 1914-1919. Being an account of the doings on active service of the first, second and third battalions of the Auckland Regiment, ( Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs, 1922), pg. 171-179.
Sources used
Stewart H., The New Zealand Division 1916 - 1919 , (Auckland, Whitecombe & Tombs, 1921), pg. 248 - 297.
Sources used

More information 5