2/2586 Gunner Horace Arthur John Bramley - NZ Field Artilley

Horace was born in Wellington on 18th May 1895 the eldest of five children born to John and Amy Mary (nee Hampton) Bramley[i].

Horace was employed as a Civil Servant in the Government Printing Office when he enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. In October 1915 when he entered camp Horace was twenty years old, a single man living with his parents in Aorangi Terrace, Wellington.[ii]

Following basic training 2/2586 Gunner Horace Arthur John Bramley left New Zealand on the 7th January 1916 with the 9th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery. The 9th Reinforcements arrived in Egypt on 14th February 1916 and were allocated to those units who had seen service at Gallipoli and Palestine.

Gunner Bramley was shipped with other members of the NZFA to France in April 1916 and in May 1916 was posted to the 10th Battery. Gunner Bramley served with the 10th and the 7th Battery remaining on the Western Front from May 1916, apart from two weeks leave to the UK in August 1917, until September 1918 when he was admitted to hospital. Gunner Bramley had a number of conditions attributable to the conditions; scabies, abscesses and neuritis (inflammation of nerves).

Following a month in hospital Gunner Bramley rejoined his unit for the final months of the war and remained in Europe, possibly with the German Army of Occupation, until he was sent to England and shipped, on 30th April 1919 to New Zealand.

On board the SS Tainui as part of the discharge process Gunner Bramley was examined by a medical board. The board noted that he had not been wounded while in the army but that he was suffering ‘Stress of war condition’ the symptom being chest pains at night with difficulty sleeping. The army solution was to give Gunner Bramley six weeks leave and then discharged him on 28th May 1919[iii] .

Horace Bramley indicated that he would live in Johnsonville and in 1919 he was made a member of the Johnsonville Combined Sports Club.

In 1921 Horace married Catherine Jane Woodgate and at some stage the Bramleys moved from Johnsonville to
Plimmerton. Horace divorced Catherine  in 1926 and remarried in 1937 Kathleen Iris (nee ?) Bramley in 1937[iv]. The couple had Alan John Bramley and two other children. 

Horace was, prior to the Second World War, involved in the Plimmerton branch of the New Zealand Defence League
being elected onto the committee on 16th May 1939:[iv] Other members of the Plimmerton Branch were; Messers J Wallace, H Bramley, F C Denman, F L Ross, G H McDermid, C H Tolan, E Brady, K Brady, O M Lane and W Inglis.

Horace Bramley died in Plimmerton on 30th August 1965, his death reported by Mrs J C Bramley, Queens Avenue, Plimmerton.

There is a family connection to William Henry Lamberton Bramley, Plimmerton who's  daughters Madge (1921) and Mavis (1922) both attended Plimmerton School. 

K E Gibson (1979) Seventy-Five Years 1904 – 1979 Plimmerton School and its Environment, Petone, Apex Press
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military records 2/2586 Gunner Horace Arthur John Bramley
Paperspast Online 

NZ Feild Artillery on the Move France 1917: RSA Collection

[i]     NZ BDM
[ii]    Archway Archives New Zealand – Military records: 2/2586 Gunner Horace Bramley
[iii]   Archway Archives New Zealand – Military records: 2/2586 Gunner Horace Bramley
[iv]   Horace Arthur John Bramley : www.geni.com
[v]   Plimmerton New Zealand Defence League, 13th May 1939, Evening Post

NZFA on the move France 1917