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8/3119 Thomas Patrick Kelly, NZEF

NZEF Trio -"Blown up by enemy aircraft"

SKU: ZM123
  • The 1914/15 Star Trio issued to Thomas Patrick Kelly, who served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He was 'blown up by an enemy aircraft' on 5th June 1916 at Armentieres.


    Thomas Kelly was born 3rd March 1882 at Queenstown, New Zealand. Son of James Patrick and Flora Ellen Kelly (née Hatten). At the time of the 2nd Anglo-Boer War, Thomas was working as a painter, and serving in the Wakatipu Mounted Rifle Volunteers. He was accepted for service with the 10th NZMR Contingent, and sailed for the Cape on board the Norfolk in April 1902. The 10th Contingent arrived in South Africa at the very tail end of the war, and saw little service in the field before the end of the war on 31st May 1902. For his service in South Africa, Thomas received the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasp 'South Africa 1902'.


    By 1915 Thomas was living in Wellington, still working as a painter. He enlisted for service with the NZEF in July 1915 and was posted to the Otago Infantry Battalion, embarking with the 6th Reinforcements. He served on Gallipoli with 10th (North Otago) Company, OIB during the closing stages of the campaign, and was present at the evacuation in December 1915. He transferred to the Western Front with 1st Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment. At Armentieres in June 1916 he was reported as being wounded in the knee. This was later changed to 'injured knee caused by falling bricks'. A medical report two years later clarified the situation by stating Thomas had been 'blown up by a bomb from aircraft' - this presumably causing bricks to fall on him, damaging his knee.


    Thomas was evacuated to the UK to recover from his injury. He later fell foul of the military authorities by going AWOL from the convalescent hospital at Hornchurch. He was found guilty by Field General Court Martial and sentenced to a month in military prison. He was subsequently posted back to France, but whilst still in the NZEF Base at Etaples he was adjudged to be medically unfit due 'to the stress and strain of active service'. He returned to New Zealand and was discharged in July 1918.


    All medals are correctly impressed 8/3119 PTE. T. P. KELLY. N.Z.E.F.

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