Sydney Bretharte Monteith

Sydney Bretharte Monteith (Lance Corporal, Ruahine Company, Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F)

was born in Woodville on the 27th of November 1893 - a first cousin to my great-grandfather Alexander Lamont Monteith.

He was the son of Henry Monteith and Helen Downie Jones who lived at Airlie Mount in Waipukurau, Napier. Sydney was one of six children, two boys and four girls and attended North School in Hawke's Bay. His father was a devotee of populist American author Bret Harte.

In 1886, Henry, a gentleman farmer and horse breeder, named a galloper after his favourite writer. Seven years later, he would give his second son Sydney that moniker as a middle name.

Before Sydney's embarkation to the front on the 16th of October 1914, he worked as a reporter for the Dannevirke Press.

Sydney, known to his family as 'Bret' and to his fellow soldiers as 'Montie', died at 4am in the morning on the 6th of June 1915, of gunshot wounds received at Courtney's Post, Walker's Ridge. He was only 21.

Laying somewhere on that precipitous incline are his remains.

He is commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey.

Lest we forget.

The Monteith family home at Airlie Mount, Waipukurau.

Watercolour of Courtney's Post by Horace Millichamp Moore-Jones (1868-1922)

© Lisa Allen - illustrator, 2019.  All rights reserved