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14725 Sgt. Alexander Worner NZEF

VM and MiD Certificate to Passchendaele Casualty

SKU: ZM224
  • The scarce Victory Medal and Mentioned in Despatches Certificate issued to the Next of Kin of 14725 Sgt. Alexander Worner, who was mentioned in despatches for his bravery in capturing an enemy machine-gun at Warneton, before being killed in action during the disastrous attack at Passchendaele on the 12th October 1917.


    Alexander Worner was born on 14th July 1890, at Geraldine, New Zealand. Son of Frederick William and Florence Mary Cox Worner (née Helem). Alexander married Elizabeth Jane Crook (née Hodson) 21/10/1911 at Blenheim. Elizabeth had two children by her previous marriage to Frederick Crook, who died in 1908. Together, Alexander and Elizabeth had a daughter, Florence, born in 1912.


    At the time of his enlistment in January 1916, Alexander was working as a labourer for his brother-in-law,  William Hodson. He embarked with the 14th Reinforcements in the rank of sergeant. On arrival in the UK, he was reduced to private - which was typical for new arrivals. Alexander joined 12th (Nelson) Company, 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment in the field in early October 1916, and by April 1917 had been promoted to lance-corporal. During the Battle of Messines, near Warneton, Alexander suffered a gunshot wound to his forearm, which was treated at No. 4 NZ Field Ambulance, indicating it was a fairly minor wound. It was during this action that Alexander performed the deeds which saw him being mentioned in despatches. The recommendation states: "Operations opposite Warneton - 13th June 1917. For gallantry and devotion to duty. During the advance on the night of 13th/14th June, this non-commissioned officer led his platoon with great bravery, rushing and capturing an enemy machine-gun. When the platoons had lost touch during the night, Sergt. Warner under heavy fire, reorganised his men and got them back into the correct positions. He set a fine example of personal bravery to his men."


    His "mention" was not gazetted until December 1917, after his death. Alexander was promoted to lance-sergeant in July 1917. During the infamous New Zealand Division attack at Bellevue Spur on 12th October 1917, part of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), Alexander was killed in action, along with some 800 hundred of his comrades. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. 


    The Victory Medal is correctly impressed 14725 SJT A. WARNER. N.Z.E.F. and comes with an original oakleaf. Note, Alexander's military records all record his surname as WARNER. The MiD certificate is signed by Winston Churchill. A digital copy of the original recommendation is also included.

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