THE LATE MAJOR NORMAN HASTINGS, D.S.O.
After a long and anxioin suspense of upwards of nine months, Mr E. A. Hastings, of Rapaki, has received the report of the final Court of Enquiry that his son, Major Norman Hastings, died of i wounds received at Gallipoli on ;or about August 12th, 1915. First he was reported wounded, then missing, and now the worst fears of his friends and relatives have been confirmed. Notwithstanding every effort made by the military authorities, no trace of the deceased officer can be found after his arrival at the hospital ship Mr E. A. Hastings, writes: "That Major Hastings served in the South African War, and a number of Peninsula men served with him there, so that the late Major would be known to a number of Peninsula men. Colonel Meldrum, C. M. G., writes: "I would have written sooner, but have been in hospital and am only just getting about again. I am very sorry" to say that after making the fullest possible enquiries, I can only come to the one possible conclusion, that your son, Major
Hastings, died at sea from wounds received about August 12th, 1915. He was wounded at Chunuk Bair on the morning of August 9th. I saw him just after he was wounded. He held out his hand and said, I'm sorry Colonel, I did my best; but they've got Ime this time.' I said, 'I know you did, old chap. I then asked him if he would take the risk of being carried down to the dressing station, or wait till dusk for the stretcher bearers. He said he thought he had better get down at once. I lifted him on to Sergeant Read's back, _ and he carried him down the hill, mat was the last I saw of him. He was one of my best officers, was always to be depended upon, and always did good work. I was glad to see he received such distinguished honours for his services."
The late Major Hastings was 35 years of age, and lived at Petone. In civil life he,was an engineer. He served till the end of the Boer War with Damant's Horse, and Hamilton's Brigade, returning to New Zealand with the Queen's Medal with three j clasps. On the day of the declaration of war with Germany hej offered his services, and was gazetted Captain in the 6th Regiment, Wellington Mounted Rifles and left for the front with the Main Body. He was afterwards promoted to the rank of Major. For his services at Gallipoli he received the distinguished Service Order, and was awarded the Chevalier's Cross, Legion of Honour, by the President of France.
Numerous letters of condolence have been received from his brother officers at the front and elsewhere. Captain W. J. Hardham, V.C., writes the following graceful tribute to the memory of the deceased officer: —'The last time I saw Major Hastings was on May 30th, when I was lying wounded in the hospital. Everyone I have spoken to of your son speaks in the highest praise of his great and brave work at all times, and under all difficulties, and his name will always be remembered with, pride by all who knew him for his fine work at Anzac. During my time at Anzac your son was recognised as one of our finest officers, and we, one and all, regret no trace of him can be found, I am afraid the report of the Court of Enquiry must be accepted as final, much as I regret to have to say so. What particular action your son received his well-won distinctions for I cannot say, but I only know that his fine work all through was well worth any honours the King could bestow/ upon him. I mourn with you the loss of a very dear friend and fellow-officer."
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THE LATE MAJOR NORMAN HASTINGS, D.S.O., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3539, 26 April 1916
THE LATE MAJOR NORMAN HASTINGS, D.S.O. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3539, 26 April 1916
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