No. 64 Sergeant Percy Richard Hubbard, Ohinemuri Rifle Volunteers
The illustrated scene depicts the action of Mahood and Hubbard in the rescue of a fallen comrade at Jasfontein Farm in December 1899.
Volunteer Service Medal to 1st NZMR Contingenter
The New Zealand Volunteer Service Medal (Type 2) issued to Sgt. Percy Hubbard of the Ohinemuri Rifle Volunteers, late 1st Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rifles.
Percy Hubbard was born at Christchurch, New Zealand on 11th November 1876. Son of John Charles and Elizabeth Ann Hubbard (née Jebson). His father leased a farm near Springston at this time, before moving to Mangere in Auckland and then to Komata near Paeroa. Percy was educated in Auckland before working on his father’s farm. He enrolled in the Ohinemuri Rifle Volunteers in 1896, and on the outbreak of the 2nd Anglo-Boer War was successful in being selected for the 1st NZMR Contingent.
Percy sailed for South Africa on 21st October 1899 on the Waiwera, and on landing in South Africa was soon in action. At the contingent’s first engagement at Jasfontein Farm, Percy distiguished himself when he “rode back over the plain in a perfect hail of bullets to assist a fallen comrade, and stood by him until he recovered consciousness”. Percy rode in the relief of Kimberley and at the battle of Diamond Hill. He served a full tour with the 1st NZMR Contingent, returning to New Zealand in late 1900. He continued to serve in the Volunteers and received the New Zealand Volunteer Service Medal in 1908.
An obituary for Percy takes up his story after his return from South Africa:
On his return he rejoined his brothers in carrying on the development of the farm which was subsequently roaded and divided into five holdings. His brother Arthur, took the homestead and Mr. Hubbard farmed the next one as well as acquiring a block of Crown land hill runoff. He was keenly interested in local activities, polo, the A. And P. Association, men’s club, Church, Masonic Lodge and bowls. He joined the A. And P. Association in 1900, was a steward and active exhibitor, president in 1919-20 and was made an honorary life member. He was also one of the earliest members and first president of the Paeroa Golf Club, and joined the Masonic Lodge in 1917. Mr. Hubbard and his brothers were amongst the first ten suppliers to the Thames Road creamery established by the New Zealand Dairy Association in 1900, when there was a total of 250 cows. In 1901 the Thames Valley Dairy Company was launched with 67 suppliers. An excellent farmer, he worked long hours in the early days to bring his land into production and at times grew large quantities of oats and potatoes and bred horses and cattle for the local market which was just opening up.
Mr. Hubbard was married in 1922 and his wife predeceased him. He retired to Auckland in 1947 by which time the whole of the district was settled and he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had played an important part in it. He returned to Paeroa frequently and continued to take a keen interest in local and world affairs, having travelled widely after his experiences in the Boer War. On August 18, 1967 while an inmate of the Avalon Rest Home, Cheltenham, officers of Lodge Ohinemuri, No. 107 visited him there to present a jewel in Grand Lodge recognition of his service for 50 years. He was the home’s oldest resident and to all became a sort of honorary father, a benign and affectionately regarded patriarch whom they all called “Pop”. His many relatives and Paeroa friends all had the same warm regard for him.
Percy died 1st April 1968 at Auckland and is buried in Paeroa (Pukerimu) Cemetery.
NZVSM correctly engraved in blackened capitals NO 64 SERGT PERCY R. HUBBARD, NO I CO OHINEMURI RIFLE VOLS. (1908). The award of the NZVSM was promulgated in NZ General Order 426 of 1908. Archives New Zealand file R24752561 also refers (not yet digitised).