ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE
SERGT. Samuel Forsyth, of the New Zealand Engineers, who. was the latest New Zealander to win the Victoria Cross, sealed his devotion with his life. He is the first Wellington member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to win the coveted distinction, but two other Wellington lads serving with the Imperial and Australian Forces respectively had already achieved it. These were Bri-gadier-General Freyberg (with the Imperial Army) and Private Thomas Cooke, who was serving with the Australian Forces when he performed the gallant exploit which won him the Cross, but died in winning it. * 7v * •* j. he same face lias befallen bergeant .iiimaei jdorsyfcii, wno leaves behmu him a record, of spiendict service to cu.udOie Ins bereaved parents. His age was last April, and he was one- of the two sons of Mr Thomas Forsyth, of Cottleviiie terrace (Thorndon), nightwatchman on the s.s. Maori. ±Ie was oorn at Newtown and was educated at . the Terrace School under Mr Geo. MacMorran. After leaving school he was put to the cabinet-making trade, and when war broke out he was employed as a battery hand at one of the mines at T,iie Thames.
He was one of the earliest to enlist, and he went away with the Main Body in the Engineers unit . thereof. He went right through the G-allipoii campaign, being twice wounded, but not Since Gallipoli, he had been' on almost continuous active ser-
vice in France. He was twice gassed at; the Somme, and was invalided for a month. In January, 1917, having obtained a few days' special leave, he was married to his fiancee in Glasgow.
Sergeant Forsyth won his V.C. at Greyviliers, where he was killed on the 24th August last. The circumstances are detailed by Sergeant Oxmond Burton, in a letter to his comrade's wife: —"Sam was killed m battle on Saturday, 4th August, while fighting with my company (15th North Auckland, 2nd Auckland Battalion). He had to do' a month with an infantry battalion before he obtained his commission, and he had only been a few days with us when we went into the fighting. After we had advanced for several hundred yards with great difficulty, we were violently held up by a Istrong German past, bristling with machine-guns and held by a strong garrison. At great .personal risk Sam reconnoitred this place alone, then went back and found the tanks, which he led right to the strong point, going ahead all the way alone, and on foot, although the whole time he was exposed to the fire of the machine and anti-tank guns, which were firing directly .upon him. This was one of the coolest and bravest deeds I have ever seen done. X«ater on he was wounded in the arm,. and refused to go out until the situation was more settled, and, while going from shell-hole to shell-hole organising our line, he was killed by a sniper's shot just in front of one of our forward posts. It was impossible to recover his body just a't the time, - and I was wounded myself a short while afterwards, and before the next wave of
attack swept on, i had to come out
.... Sam's life and death have both been a great inspiration to all of us wiio were privileged to be his friends." «• • . * «• ■» The Major of the fallen hero's old Battalion —the Engineers —bears similar testimony. He writes: "It is with "feelings of the deepest regret that I write chese lines to' express to you our sorrow at the loss of your husband. He was not with the Company at the time of his death, being temporarily attached to the Infantry before going to England to get his commission. He was always a very brave and keen soldier, and I believe met a soldier's end in „doing an exceptionally brave act." * •» ■» The late Sergeant Forsyth's only brother is a battery hand at Wakamarina (Marlborough), and he has two sisters, one of them being Mrs William Thomas, of Newtown. « if 4i Many Wellingtonians will remember Mr. W. T. Kennedy, an artistic young florist, who for some years conducted a business at the corner of Lambtonquay and Woodward-street. About ten years ago he hiked away to the Land of the Almighty Dollar, where he has prospered passing well. When he was here Wellington did not recognise the fine artist he was. There was not the scope here for him, so he made the big step from Lambton-quay to Fifth Avenue, where he has: earned a wide reputation amongst fashionable New Yorkers as an art decorator and florist.
Writing from New York to a friend in Wellington, Ken, as he is popularly known, states: "I've tried very hard to get into war work, but have not been successful as yet. Now I'm trying hard to get into Y.M.C.A. work for overseas. My papers have been accepted, but are held back on some technical points. As the law now stands between Great Britain and U.S.A. they will not take British subjects. I am also trying the Red Cross. I cannot go into the regular Army on account of my physical condition. I am just crazy to do some war-work overseas." His many friends in Wellington will congratulate Ken on his patriotism. His war enthusiasm is the' more praiseworthy, for he has never enjoyed very good health.
In an Auckland paper we read that Towsey lias "gone West." The name will recall to many Wellingtonians who have visited the Queen City within the past five years and have put up at the Waver ley the dapper, wellgroomed little figure and smiling face of the manager of the hotel restaurant, the most popular institution of its kind up North. Frank _ Towsey understood to a nicety the "business of catering for the refreshment of the inner man. He concentrated his whole mind upon the task of receiving; his customers agreeably and sending them away in full content.
He learnt his business in London, and came out to New Zealand many years ago in the galley of a windjammer. Then he served for a while as steward in a Union Steam Ship Company's steamer. As soon as he had saved up a little capital he came ashore, and started a popular restaurant, which he called "The Dive," in Lower Queen street, Auckland, near the corner, of Fort street. He served up such appetising meals at a shilling a head that he quickly won the suffrages of the Queen street office clerks.
iiiven.luaiiy lie disposed, of the "Dive" and took over the management ox the Waverley Hotel restaurant, where his meals extended his lame, and made the Waveriey known from end to end of New Zealand as the haven to w,hich most travellers for the .North steer their barque or make their way.
One day last week Prime Minister jlassey told the House that while in Jiingland he advocated the addition of the Southern Gross to the Union Jack, to commemorate the importance of Australasia as an integral factor of the British Empire, lixceilent suggestion ! But neither Mr' Massey nor any of his hearers seemed to remember that the idea is far from original— that, in point of fact, it was put into verse over thirty years ago by another New Zealand politician, Vincent Pyke, well remembered by "old political hands" for his wit as a speaker, his geniality in the lobbies, his cleverness as an author (he wrote /'Wild Will Enderby," one of the best novels on New Zealand goldfieid life ever published) his perennial floral buttonholes—he kept a cupboard'in one of the lobbies stocked with nosegays, which he changed half a dozen times in the day—and his'patriotic spirit at a, time parochialism was the prevailing note in New Zealand politics. In the early 'Eighties Mr Pyke wrote a song entitled "The Old Flag,' the refrain of which ran —
' 'Three crosses in the" -union, Three crosses in the jack, We'll add to it now the cross of the [South, And stand to it hack by back." Merely another illustration of the aphorism that there is nothing new under the sun. * * # # The latest is that Lady Miilicent Levesbn-Gower, daughter of the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland, is a likely bride of the Prince of Wales, and, therefore, future Queen of England. The Dowager Duchess of Sutherland, mother of this prospective Queen, was married in 1914 to Major Fitzgerald, Eleventh Hussars, son of the Hon. Nicholas Fitzgerald, M.L.C., of Melbourne. Lady Miilicent is one year older than the Prince of Wales. It is not generally known that Prince Albert was a few months younger than Queen Victoria. Lady Miilicent won't like this bandying about of her name if the match fails to come off. However, there was a Lady Sarah Napier who refused George the Third as a young man. He did hot seem then likely to reigii I She became mother of Generals Sir Charles and William Napier. s s ® a The flag of the D.I.C. in Wellington was flying at half-mast on Monday out of respect to the memory of Mr John Paul (the accountant of the Wellington branch), who died at his residence at Lyall Bay on Saturday night from pneumonia, supervening upon an attack of influenza. Mr Paul Had been connected practically all his working life with the one business. Erom school he entered the service of Messrs Thompson, Shannon and Co., who sold out to the D.I.C. twenty-eight years ago. Mr Paul continued his service under* the new firm, and for very many years now had been their accountant. He was a quiet, retiring and gentlenatured man, who was held in great respect by all who knew him. In his younger days he was an active cricketer, and for many years had been one of the auditors of St. John's Presbyterian Church. He leaves a widow
and two children. Mr James Paul, of Messrs Townsend and JL J aul is a brother. •H & w Dear Fbeei Dance :—Mr. H. E. Holland delivered a lecture upon peace proposal failures at the Alexandra Hall four weeks ago, and it was published in the "Maoriland Worker" last week. I wrote an article in reply and submitted it to Mr. P. Fraser, asking him to allow me the same fair play as Mr. Holland to state the truth re peace failures. He returned the manuscript this morning, with an enclosed letter, stating "that he could not afford the space." When I attacked Holland, per medium of your columns, some members of the X/.R.C. complained because I did not use the "Worker," the same medium as Holland used. I replied to that complaint, stating that the "Worker". would not publish but one side of the question; the (3.D.P.). I have now proved this point and am convinced that the "Worker" has no respect for truth. Yours, etc., John Tucker; South Kilbirnie, 5-11-18. * * * e Mr. Geo.' Stephenson, theatrical manager for the Messrs. Fuller at Auckland, who has passed away after an illness of several months' duration, was a keen lover of outdoor, manly sport. He was the youngest son of Mr. John Stephenson, of the big Dunedin firm of Wright, Stephenson and Co. Ait ex* leaving college he became auctioneer for his father's firm and achieved more than local fame on the i&ugby in;ld r as a dashing three-quarter back. -He has played for Otago right through jS ew Zealand. In 1902 he started out on his own account in the theatrical business and brought several good companies to this Dominion. The theatre didn't pay and for a time he returned to the old firm. But the stage called once more and Mr. Stephenson went up to Auckland several years ago to manage for the Messrs. Fuller. He was a true sport and a kind-hearted man and staunch comrade. TTi s aj?e was only 44. S
Sergt. Will Langford (killed in action) was the eldest son of Mrs. Xiangford, of Wellington. He left New Zealand with, tlie lOth. Reinforcements nearly three years ago, and had been through a lot of campaigning before his death. Prior to has enlistment he occupied a position on the local staff of the A.M.P. Society, in the service of which he had been for over twenty years. He was a keen sportsman and a well-known member of the Wellington Kennel Club, having been a successful exhibitor at the principal shows of the Dominion for a number of years. His twoi brothers Jack and Henry are also on active service.
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ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE, Free Lance, Volume XVIII, Issue 957, 14 November 1918
ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE Free Lance, Volume XVIII, Issue 957, 14 November 1918
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