60400 Sapper Gerald Flynn, NZETC
By Faye Baldiston
Birth: 3 July 1883, Kawakawa, Northland NZ.
Death:16 Jan 1937 Owhanga, King Country, NZ
Buried:Taumaranui Soldiers Plot No. 16, Taumaranui, NZ
Charc: Hair colour Light Brown, Complexion Fair, Height 5ft 5 inches, Eyes Blue.
War Record: Serial number 60400
First known rank: Sapper
Occupation before enlist:Contractor, living at Toko, Taranaki.
Next of kin:Mrs Ellen Flynn (mother) Te Wera, Taranaki, NZ
Body on embarkment: NZ Engineers Tunnelling Unit
Embarkment unit:6th reinforcements
Embarkment date: 26 July 1917 aged 34
Place of Embarkment: Wellington, NZ
Gerald remained single and has no children.
Gerald had lived with his family in Okiawa (in the Hawera area) as a farm hand. Also Kaponga and then Te Wera, Taranaki. He was working for Mc Mullins at Toko, Taranaki, as a contractor prior to going to war.
The following article was a plea to be exempt from going to war.
Hawera & Normanby Star 19 May 1917
The First Wellington Military Appeal Board resumed its sitting in Hawera today. Gerald Flynn, farm labourer, Toko Road, Te Wera appealed on the ground of public interest and undue hardship.
Appellant stated that he was single and 32 years of age. He assisted to support his widowed mother. Of the eight sons in the family, five were at the front: of the other two one was over the military age and the other was under the age. There were three sisters.
Captain Walker said this was one of those excellent cases where a fine spirit was shown by the family. It seemed hard to ask the appellant to go. The appellant had certainly not supported the undue hardship claim, but it was certainly a case in which appellant might be granted some leave.
The Chairman: I suppose your brothers have allotted your mother some of their pay?- They did, but she is not using the money, she is putting it away for them on their return.
The Chairman: after the excellent record shown by your family, it is hard to ask you to go Mr Flynn but you know the need for men at the present. Dont you think you could see your way to go? My mother is practically an invalid, and I have been her main support.
The Chairman: More credit to you then. The Chairman suggested to the appellant that he should go and the Board would grant him leave until July 27 1917.
Appellant: Well, if its got to be, its got to be.
The Chairman: That is the spirit to show.
The appeal was dismissed and the appellant was given leave until July 25.
How harsh was this they certainly werent very sympathetic.
Gerald embarked on the ship Ulimaroa 26 July 1917 and while aboard was hospitalised with a septic finger. After disembarking at Plymouth 24 Sep 1917 he was admitted to hospital on 29 Sep 1917, in Devonport, UK with the same complaint. He was not discharged until 19 Oct 1917 (to Christchurch, UK).
On 7 Mar 1918 until 11 Mar 1918 he was admitted to the NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst, UK with influenza.
Gerald left Boscombe, UK, for France on 5 Apr 1918 and marched into camp at Etaples on 7 Apr 1918.
It appeared he was intermittently in and out of hospital with flu, pneumonia and a stomach bug from 20 Jul 1918 to Sep 1918.
On 16 Sep 1918 he marched into Base at Etaples, rejoining his unit on 10 Nov 1918. He returned to the UK 29 Jan 1919, first to Larkhill and then Codford.
He embarked for NZ 14 Mar 1913 on the ship Ionic. Gerald was discharged from service after the termination of his period of engagement on 22 May 1919. He was to live in Te Wera, Taranaki where his mother resided.
Gerald was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Gerald owned a farm at Owhanga at the time of his death. He died, at age 54, when he was a passenger in a car that overturned. Gerald was trapped in the car when it burst into flames and subsequently died of shock and burns. In his will he left his estate to his mother (Ellen), valued at 500 pound.
Irene always said her Uncle Gerald was lovely, obviously thought highly of him.