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40956 Rifleman Caleb George Isitt

C Company 1st Battalion

3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade

5th December 1917

pw49 rifleman caleb george isitt2.jpg

Born on 13/11/1893 in Wainara, Canterbury,

New Zealand.

His parents were John Thomas Isitt(01/04/1861-03/02/1919) and

Sarah Ann Lainchbury(13/04/1873-20/09/1953). they were married in 1893. 

Caleb had a brother, John Thomas(1897-25/05/1975 and 5 sisters, Helen Elizabeth(1895-18/10/1918), Violet Annie(07/03/1889-16/06/1971), Minnie Frances(1901-26/06/1952),Emily Jane(27/12/1903-09/12/1982) and

Annie Florence(1908-1964).

In the 1911 NZ Electoral Roll, Caleb was recorded as employed as a gardener and living on West Plaines Road, Waikiwi, Invercargill.

Caleb enlisted on 13/11/1915, but was turned down due to him having a bad knee, so he continued to carry on working for R.A. Anderson as a farm hand at Victoria Park, Waikiwi.

He enlisted again on 30/10/1916  in Invercargill and was accepted this time after passing his medical that was performed on 21/10/1916. Details are as follows;

Apparent Age - 22 years 11 months, Height - 5ft 41/2 inches, Weight - 132lbs, Chest Measurement - Minimum -

33 inches, Maximum - 36 inches, Complexion - Brown, Colour of Eyes - Hazel, Colour of Hair - Light Brown,

Religious Profession - Church of England.

Are there any slight defects but not sufficient to cause rejection? - Yes, eyesight and old injury to right knee.

Remarks -  Off work on account of injury to knee 6 years ago for 5 months. I have examined the knee and find no swelling, no evidence of any inflammatory condition, it is quite moveable in all normal directions and won’t in my opinion affect his efficiency as a soldier.

Although accepted, he wasn't posted to D Company 23rd Reinforcements until 14/11/1916 and then posted to

H Company 23rd Reinforcements on 25/11/1916.

Caleb set sail for England aboard Troopship 79,"Ruapehu" from Wellington on 14/03/1917 and it was over 2 months before he disembarked in Devonport, England on 21/05/1917,before marching into Sling Camp, Wiltshire the same day. he stayed at Sling for a month before heading for France on 21/06/1917, marching into Etaples Camp 2 days later.

He joined the 1st Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade in the field on 09/07/1917 and was posted to C Company.

He was killed in action on 05/12/1917,probably during the attack on Polderhoek Chateau and was buried at map reference, Map 28. J.4.G.5.2. Later to be reburied in Polygon Wood Cemetery.

Caleb was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

Details from his pay book dated 10/06/1917 stated that his mother was to receive all his property with the exception of the motorcycle which is for his brother John Thomas.      

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