Topic: John Alexander Huntley Holmes

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A soldier of the Great War who died of wounds received at Gallipoli.

Lance Corporal John Alexander Huntley Holmes - 7/428Holmes, Huntly 

Huntley was born 24 October 1884 in Christchurch, the second son of George Gordon and Hannah Holmes, of "Knocklynn," Halswell. He was educated at Christ's College. After leaving College he had been sheep farming on a portion of the Holmes Bay Estate, at Pigeon Bay. He was 5ft 10 ¼ inches tall with dark complexion, grey eyes and black/grey hair. He was described as being “of a particularly bright disposition, and was a great favourite with everyone who knew him”.

Huntly enlisted on 17 August 1914 at Addington as a trooper in the South Canterbury Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Regiment. He embarked with the Main Body on 16 October 1914 for Suez and disembarked 3 December 1914. While in Egypt he promoted to Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 26 December 1914. After a period of training in Egypt he went with the Regiment to Gallipoli on 8 May 1915 aboard the HMT Grantully Castle. However the HMT Kingstonian did not disembark the horses and returned with them to Egypt leaving the troopers to fight as infantry. Huntley was wounded on 21st of August suffering a gun-shot wound to his arm, possibly as one of the troop sent to help the Auckland Mounted Rifles defend Walker’s Ridge against a strong Ottoman attack. He was admitted to hospital ship Assaye on 30th August and then to no 2 Australian Hospital, Ghezireh. He died a month later on 30th September of paratyphoid and pneumonia, supervening on wounds in action at Gallipoli, aged 31. He was buried in the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. In New Zealand Huntley is remembered on the Tai Tapu & Halswell War Memorials.

Researched and written by L M Seaton

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John Alexander Huntley Holmes


First Names:John Alexander Huntley
Last Name:Holmes
Date of Birth:24 October 1884
Place of Birth:Christchurch
Date of Death:30 September 1915
Place of Death:Cairo, Egypt
Memorial or Cemetery:Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
Age at death:31
User Name:Selwyn Library
Other names known by:Huntley
Occupation before enlisting:Farmer
Marital Status:Single
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Mounted
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:17 August 1914 at Addington
Parents or Next of Kin:George Gordon and Hannah Holmes, of "Knocklynn," Halswell.
Service Number:7/428
Rank last held:Lance Corporal
Embarkation:16 October 1914
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Tahiti or Athenic
Theatres of War:Gallipoli
Cause of Death:Died of wounds
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
John Alexander Huntley Holmes by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License