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6/1614 Serjeant Ambrose Manson

2nd Company, 2nd Battalion

New Zealand Canterbury Regiment

13th December 1917

pw31Serjeant Ambrose Manson.jpg

Born on 24/05/1892 in Golden Bay New Zealand.

His parents were William Manson(02/01/1852-17/06/1936) and Catherine Harris(1851-19/03/1948). They married in 1877. 

Ambrose had 3 brothers, Samuel(22/01/1881-08/05/1915), Leonard Kaituna(13/01/1885-04/04/1977) and Randell(11/07/1886-15/10/1970).

Prior to enlisting, Ambrose was working as a labourer and living in Okuti Valley, Little River, Christchurch.

Trentham Camp was his place of enlistment on 14/12/1914, having previously had a medical on 09/12/1914,details of which were;

Apparent Age - 22 years 7 Months, Height - 5ft 4 inches, Weight - 144lbs, Chest Measurement - Minimum 331/2 inches, Maximum 361/2 inches. Complexion - Dark, Colour of Eyes - Brown, Colour of Hair - Dark, Religious Profession - Church of England.

The following year, Ambrose was sent to the Dardanelles  where he joined 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment on 02/05/1915. Poor conditions in the trenches caused Ambrose to come down with dysentery and meant he was admitted to No.2 Australian Stationary Hospital at Moudros on the island of Lemnos, Greece on 23/09/1915. The next day he was transferred to No.3 Australian General Hospital(also on Lemnos).This was where he stayed for nearly 2 months before being sent to England aboard the Hospital ship Aquitania on 25/11/1915.

Once in England, Ambrose was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital in Birmingham on 05/12/1915.

According to his service records, he stayed here until he was admitted to Grey Towers(this was the NZ Convalescent Hospital in Hornchurch) on 19/05/1916,but on his charge sheet, he was charged at Grey Towers on 04/02/1916, with being absent from tattoo roll call and was punished with 1 days confined to barracks to be served on 04/03/1916.

What is clear, is that Ambrose stayed at Grey Towers until his discharge on 17/06/1916. He was then taken on strength to Sling Camp, Salisbury Plain on 24/08/1916 and just over a week later on 05/09/1916, he left for France.

Ambrose marched in to the depot at Etaples the same day, but it wasn't long before he returned to hospital(no reason recorded), this time on 19/09/1916 to No.20 General Hospital at the depot in Camiers. This was only a short stay as he returned to Etaples on 23/09/1916 and then re-joined the 2nd Battalion in the field on 01/10/1916.

It was not long before he was sent back to hospital(again the reason wasn't recorded) on 08/10/1916 and admitted to No.3 NZ Field Ambulance and then onto No.39 Casualty Clearing Station at Allonville the next day. He stayed here for

3 days before being moved to Rouen and admitted to No.1 Stationary Hospital before being transferred to

No.51 General Hospital at Etaples. until 29/12/1916 when he was discharged to duty, re-joining his unit in the field on 07/01/1917.

Ambrose was punished with 3 days confinement to barracks after being absent from 8.30pm roll call on 06/04/1917.

He was punished again on 21/05/1917 after being found guilty of a "disturbance in billets after lights out". This time he received 7 days confinement to barracks and 7 hours extra work to start from 23/05/1917.

The first day of July saw Ambrose detached to II Army rest camp, not  having to return to his unit until 16/07/1917.

He was promoted to Corporal on 31/08/1917, Lance Serjeant on 29/10/1917 and then to Serjeant on 17/11/1917.

He was killed in action the following month on 13/12/1917.

Ambrose was awarded the 1914 - 1915 Star, the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.


His brother Samuel was a Private(6/670) in the Canterbury Regiment was killed in action 08/05/1915. He is remembered on the Twelve Tree Copse(New Zealand) Memorial in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery, Krithia, Turkey, panel 16.           


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