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8/1613 Henry James Reynolds, 14th (South Otago) Company, Otago Infantry Battalion

1914/15 Star and VM - KiA Gallipoli

  • The 1914/15 Star and Victory Medal issued to the next of kin of 8/1613 Henry James Reynolds, who went missing on 27th July 1915 at Gallipoli. Subsequently declared killed in action on that day.


    Henry Reynolds was born 21st June 1896 at London, England. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Reynolds. At the time of his enlistment in the NZEF in December 1914 Reynolds was working as a station hand for Septimus Mawley on his property at Ditton, north of Masterton. He falsified his age by three years to enlist, claiming to be 22 years of age when he was just 19. He embarked with the 3rd Reinforcements, and during the voyage out on the Aparima he and some mates threw a message in a bottle overboard. This was subsequently picked up by man on Kangaroo Island off the coast from Adelaide, South Australia and returned to the NZ Defence Department. The message wished "these lads may return to their homes after having wiped the floor with the Germans". Sadly, of the five men who signed the message, all but one would be killed in action.


    Reynolds landed on Gallipoli around 9th May 1915, serving on the Peninsula with 14th (South Otago) Company, Otago Infantry Battalion.  He went missing on 27th July 1915, and a subsequent court of enquiry determined he had been killed in action that day. Interestingly his remains must have been identified, as he lies buried in Gallipoli (Shrapnel Valley) Cemetery in an identified grave.


    A letter Reynolds wrote to his uncle in January 1915 is available on his probate file, held at Archives New Zealand, a copy of which is shown on this listing.


    Both the 1914/15 Star and the Victory Medal are correctly impressed 8/1613 PTE. H.J. REYNOLDS. N.Z.E.F.

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