1/384 Lt. Frederick Howard, Wellington Infantry Regiment
Superb KiA Officer Trio and Plaque
The superb Samoan Expeditionary Force/Western Front 1914/15 Star trio and Memorial Plaque to 1/384 Frederick Howard, who was killed in action on the morning of 8th June 1917 at Messines.
Frederick Howard was born 30th October 1893 at Napier, New Zealand. Son of Fred and Catherine Howard (née Thorp). He was educated at Napier Boys' High School before entering Victoria University in 1911 to study law. Whilst at Victoria he was a keen tennis player and footballer. With the outbreak of war in August 1914 he put his studies on hold and attested for service with the Samoan Expeditionary Force. He served in Samoa from the initial invasion through to March 1915, when he returned to New Zealand and was discharged from the NZEF.
Howard resumed his studies at Victoria University but it is unclear if completed them before re-enlisting for service in December 1915. He was appointed 2nd lieutenant, and embarked with the 18th Reinforcements in October 1916. Howard served on the Western Front with 9th (Hawkes Bay) Company, 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment from February 1917. In the early hours of 7th Jne 1917, Howard and his men were waiting in Hanbury Support trench. At 3:10 several massive mines were exploded under the German lines at Messines. The Wellington's remained in their trench for another 45 minutes before receiving the order to move forward. It was during this period that Frederick Howard was killed by German artillery fire. His body was later recovered, and laid to rest in Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery.
All medals are correctly impressed, although the 1914/15 Star is impressed 1/384 LIEUT: F. HOWARD. N.Z.E.F. and the pair are impressed 2/LT. F. HOWARD. N.Z.E.F. It is not clear why the star has the rank of lieutenant, as the highest rank Howard achieved was 2nd lieutenant. The memorial plaque is correctly named FREDERICK HOWARD.