22788 Rifleman Herbert Henry Flute
D Company 1st Battalion
3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade
5th December 1917
Born on 06/05/1888 in Astwood, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England.
His parents were Charles Flute(1848-1925) and Eliza Wright(born in 1852). They were married in 1871.
Herbert had 2 brothers, Charles Ernest(11/04/1872-1945) and David Wright(04/12/1883-06/09/1922). He also had
3 sisters, Mary Agnes(born in 1876), Sarah Rebecca(born in 1877) and Nellie Ellen Elizabeth(1878-1951).
In the 1891 census, the family were recorded as living on Bury Lane, Astwood, Newport Pagnell. Charles snr was employed as an agricultural labourer.
In the 1901 census, the family were still living in the village of Astwood. Herbert was now working as an agricultural labourer, whilst his father was now a horse keeper on a farm.
In 1911 Herbert moved to Canada and was recorded in the Canadian Census for that year working as a farm labourer in the Saskatchewan area.
His stay in Canada was not too long as at some point he must have decided to join his brother David in New Zealand, as he was recorded in the NZ Electoral Roll of 1914 as living in Fern Flats, Marton and working as a farm labourer.
Herbert enlisted in Marton on 07/02/1916,having previously taken a medical on 12/12/1915. Details as follows;
Apparent Age - 27 Years, Height - 5ft 91/4 inches, Weight - 140lbs, Chest Measurement - Minimum - 33 inches,
Maximum - 37 inches, Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes - Grey, Colour of Hair - Brown, Religious Profession - Anglican.
He was posted to F Company 13th Reinforcements on 07/02/1916.
On 25/03/1916, Herbert was found guilty of overstaying leave from Featherston Camp and was forfeited 1 days pay.
He was once again found guilty of overstaying leave on 04/04/1916, this time he was awarded 1 days confined to barracks. The end of May saw Herbert embark on his journey to England aboard troopship 55 "Tofua" from Wellington on 29/05/1916. Just under 2 months later, he disembarked in Devonport, England on 28/07/1916, before marching in to Sling Camp and being posted to B Company 5th Reserve Battalion NZRB.
He was at Sling until 12/08/1916 when he was sent to France, marching into Etaples Camp the following day.
Herbert was then posted to B Company 3rd Battalion 3rd NZRB on 08/09/1916. A week later he was admitted to S.M.D. Casualty Clearing Station with a gunshot wound to his upper arm that he had received whilst in action.
He was moved to no.13 General Hospital on 17/09/1916. The next day he was evacuated back to England on the Hospital ship St Denis and admitted to No.2 New Zealand General Hospital at Grey Towers, Walton on 19/09/1916.
Just under a month later he was transferred to Hornchurch on 13/10/1916.
Herbert stayed at Hornchurch until being discharged to Codford Camp and went on leave on 21/04/1917 until 07/05/1917.
From Codford, he was stent to Sling Camp on 28/06/1917 and there was posted to B company 5th Reserve Battalion NZRB on 13/07/1917. He was at Sling Camp until once again he was sent to France on 23/10/1917.
Herbert was transferred to 1st Battalion and posted to D Company in Rouen on 02/11/1917.
He was killed in action just over a month later on 05/12/1917.
Herbert was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.
His Brother David was Private 8/1981 10th Otago Regiment. He was Injured on 17/08/1915 at Otago Gully, Gallipoli Peninsula.
“While he was engaged in making a dugout, he was struck on the left eye by a fragment of shell. His eyeball was so badly damaged that it had to be removed by surgical operation (at Hamrun Hospital, Malta) on 28/08/1915.
He was invalided back to NZ on 06/03/1916 and discharged from NZEF on 10/05/1916.