35980 Trooper Herbert Percy McGarvie  - 24th Reinforcements N Z Mounted Rifles

Herbert Percy McGarvie was born in Gore on 16th November 1889 the son of Margaret and Robert McGarvie[i].  
The family moved from the South Island to the North Island settling in the Otakeho area near Hawera, South Taranaki
Herbert’s younger brother David enlisted from Otakeho in December 1914 and served with the NZ Field Artillery at
Gallipoli and France. Herbert’s older brother William enlisted from Otakeho in May 1916 and served with the Wellington Infantry Regiment in France. 

Herbert entered camp on 13th November 1916 as 35980 Private McGarvie, 24th Reinforcements, New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Private McGarvie’s enlistment papers note his mother Mrs Margaret McGarvie, Hawera as his next of kin and that
he had been living and working at Kapuni for Mr J Bigger as a wagon driver, prior to enlistment.

Private McGarvie was made Trooper McGarvie during the military training at the Featherstone. Towards the end of
training and prior to being sent overseas Trooper McGarvie was charged on 6th April  1917 with ‘neglect of duty’ and
had his leave stopped for 7 days. This may have been quite disruptive to planning, on 16th April 1917 Trooper McGarvie’s first child, a daughter was born at Featherston and on 17th April 1917 Trooper Herbert Percy McGarvie married
Lillan Susan Wiley[ii].

On the 19th April 1917 Trooper McGarvie was loaded, along with other members of the 24th Reinforcements on the
SS Moeraki heading for Australia. Trooper McGarvie’s, next of kin was amended to Mrs L S McGarvie, c/- Mrs M McKenna, Linwood, Featherston.

The 258 men of the 24th Reinforcements were shipped to Sydney where they were due to be transhipped. In Sydney the troops were given leave and while on leave Trooper McGarvie, Private Fraser[iii] and other men from the 24th Reinforcements went out on 5th May 1917 to see the sights. Trooper McGarvie was injured suffering concussion and a broken pelvis when he stepped off a Sydney tram and was hit by a second tram.  Trooper McGarvie was taken to the Victoria Barracks Hospital to be operated on. A court of inquiry was held 7th May 1917 where three witnesses were called Trooper McGarvie, the Australian Army Medical Corp Doctor, Captain Brown who operated on Trooper McGarvie and Private Fraser who was also on the Saturday afternoon trip:

            'I was in Sydney on leave, Saturday 5th May 1917 with three other soldiers, including Trooper McGarvie.
            Trooper McGarvie and I were making our way down towards the Sydney train station and Trooper McGarvie
            jumped on a tramcar when he noticed that we others did not follow him he stepped off and was hit by a
            passing car coming in the other directions.'

In answer to questions Private Fraser stated that it was dark at the time of the accident and that Trooper McGarvie
was not under the influence of alcohol.

Trooper McGarvie remained in Sydney for two months and was then shipped back to New Zealand arriving on
28th June 1917 and was given a month’s leave and then was discharged from the NZEF ‘as consequence of being
'no longer physically fit for war service on account of injuries sustained on active service.’

Herbert was reunited with his wife Lillan (Lilly) and his infant daughter, Dorothy Maude McGarvie because of his injuries Herbert was given an initial six month pension and was registered as an outpatient at the Hawera Hospital.  Herbert returned to his trade of teamster (wagon driver) but by 1935 had moved to Featherston area. Lilly and Herbert had seven children[iv] and were living in Murphy’s Lane,  during the Second World War when Lilly and Herbert’s son Ronald Herbert McGarvie left to serve in the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
The McGarvie family moved to the Porirua area in the late
1950’s- early 1960’s,  Herbert Percy  McGarvie dying on
25th April 1970 his death reported to the NZDF by his
widow Mrs L S McGarvie, 62 Gear Terrace, Porirua. 

Herbert Percy McGarvie is buried in the old Porirua Cemetery
as is Lillan Susan McGarvie who died in 1980.

44363 Private William Fraser was also from Hawera
where he worked in a diary company.
2/1585 Driver David McGarvie – NZ Field Artillery
24/241 Private William McGarvie – Wellington Infantry Regiment

Archway Archives New Zealand Military files
Paperspast Online
Porirua Cemetery online records

Grave : Porirua Cemetery records online

[i]    Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 35980 Trooper Herbert Percy McGarvie
[ii]   Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 35980 Trooper Herbert Percy McGarvie
[iii]  Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 44363 Private William Fraser
[iv]  Myheritage – Herbert_McGarvie
Herbert Percy McGarvies's Grave