7913/66203 Frederick Elder Birbeck Ivimey NZMR/NZEF/NZPS
Rare - Three War Group to an All Black
The exceptional Boer War/First World War/Meritorious Service Medal group to Fred Ivimey, All Black #172.
Frederick Elder Birbeck Ivimey was born 28th March 1880 at London, England. Son of Robert Lincoln and Julia Anne Dawson Ivimey (née Elder). The family emigrated to New Zealand in the 1890s, settling in Dunedin. Ivimey completed his education in Dunedin, subsequently being employed by a timber merchant in Cumberland St. He was serving with the Dunedin Engineer Volunteers when he was selected for the contingent sent to Sydney in 1901 to mark the opening of the newly-formed Australian Federal Parliament. In 1902 Ivimey served in South Africa with the 9th NZMR Contingent in the rank of sergeant, for which he received the Queen's South Africa Medal w/clasps Transvaal and South Africa 1902. In April 1904 he joined the NZ Permanent Force, and was posted to the Royal New Zealand Artillery in Wellington.
In 1910 Ivimey was selected for the New Zealand All Black tour of Australia. As a loose-forward, he played one game against Queensland. Ivimey is officially recorded as All Black #172. Ivimey married Flora Elizabeth Mackay in 1914, the couple going on to have a family of two daughters. In 1912 Ivimey as appointed Area Sergeant-Major at Gore, and in 1916 he was promoted to Warrant Officer. Following a posting to Trentham as an instructor in 1917, Ivimey applied for active service. He was posted to the 38th Reinforcements and arrived in France in September 1918. He served on the Western Front with 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment during the closing month of the war. His commanding officer, Lt-Col. James Hargest noted Ivimey was "a hard worker, thoroughly conscientious and reliable and a very able instructor. He was in two engagements in which he showed great coolness and courage and sound judgement. Had the war continued I would certainly have recommended him for a commission". He returned to New Zealand in August 1919. IN the post-war years Ivimey served as a Physical and Recreational Training Instructor. He was awarded the NZ Long and Efficient Service Medal in 1921 and the Permanent Forces of the Empire Beyond the Seas Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1922. He applied for, and received, the Meritorious Service Medal in 1924.
Ivimey was commissioned in 1926, and appointed Area Officer in Napier. In 1931 Ivimey was retired as part of the retrenchment of the New Zealand Defence Force during the Great Depression. Ivimey was not alone in being retired early, this causing much agrievement as it was noted that experienced men were being retired early, ostensibly to save money, at a time when employment was extremely difficult to find and yet new recruits were being employed.
In 1939 Ivimey was recalled to service in the rank of lieutenant, and was employed as Registration Officer at Christchurch. He was promoted to captain in 1940, and spent the next four years working 60-80 hours per week - being responsible for the organsing the military records for the whole of Canterbury. He suffered a breakdown from overwork in 1944 and was demobilised and posted to the Retired List. This stalwart of the New Zealand Army, who delivered such exemplary service over 45 years of service, died at Christchurch on 6th December 1961, his ashes being interred in the Memorial Wall at Roselands Cemetery in Christchurch.
All medals are correctly named as issued: QSA (7913 SERGT: F.E. IVIMEY, N.Z.M.R. 9th CONT"), British War Medal and Victory Medal (66203 W.O.1. F.E.B. IVIMEY. N.Z.E.F.), 1939/45 War Medal and New Zealand War Service Medal (unnamed as issued), GV NZ Meritorious Service Medal (S.S.M. (W.O.1.) F.E. IVIMEY. N.Z.P.S.), Permanent Forces LSGCM (S.S.M. (W.O.1.) F.E. IVIMEY. N.Z.P.S.), NZ long and Efficient Service Medal (S.S.MJR. (W.O.1) F.E.B. IVIMEY. N.Z.P.S.)
This is a rare opportunity to secure a superb active and long service group to a confirmed All Black.