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Lewis Jardine, 1883 - 1916

Lewis Jardine was killed in the Battle of the Somme on 25 September 1916. He was aged 32. He is buried at Quarry Cemetery, Montauban, France.

Lewis was born in Manchester, England on 9 December 1883. His parents, Catherine and John Ferguson Jardine, emigrated to New Zealand when Lewis and his siblings were young and settled in Napier. He father worked in the insurance industry.

Lewis went to Napier Grammar School, where he excelled academically, and then completed his schooling at Wanganui Collegiate. He participated in gymnastics and cricket while at school.

Jardine passed the Solicitor's General Knowledge examination at the end of 1900 and returned home to Napier where he was articled to the law firm Carlile, McLean, Scannell & Wood while he studied law through Victoria University College. While in Napier he became an avid golfer, playing for the Napier Golf Club. He passed the first stage of his Solicitor's Examinations in January 1907.

Jardine obtained employment with the Dunedin law firm Kenyon and Hosking in 1908 and moved to Dunedin. He continued his legal studies and completed his final law examination at the end of 1910. He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court on 15 March 1911. Shortly afterwards he was in a large gathering of members of Otago District Law Society to mark the knighthood given to Justice Joshua Williams.

While in Dunedin Jardine continued to play golf, joining the St Clair Golf Club. He was runner-up in the club championship in 1913 and club captain in the 1913/14 and 1914/15 seasons. His legal career flourished and he shifted firms, to work with G and JA Cooke.

photo of Lewis Jardine
Second Lieutenant Lewis Jardine.

When war broke out Jardine was among the first to enlist, on 17 August 1914. On enlistment his medical records show he was 5 foot 6 inches (1.68 metres) tall, weighed 137 pounds (62.1 kg) and had blue eyes and brown hair. He left New Zealand on 15 October 1914 with the Main Expeditionary Force as a lance-corporal in the Otago Mounted Rifles, arriving at Alexandra in Egypt on 4 December. Not long after arrival Jardine was admitted to hospital, from 10 to 16 December, with influenza.

Jardine was among the soldiers who landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. After surviving the initial fighting he was wounded on 7 August and evacuated, initially to the Metropolitan War Hospital in Cardiff, and then, from 13 October to 10 November 1915, to Liverpool Hospital. After two weeks' leave, he was sent to Weymouth for further convalescence, and on 11 January 1916 he was formally returned to active service with the Mediterranean Expeditional Force and was sent to Alexandra, Egypt. He spent from 13 to 24 February 1916 in hospital in Cairo with influenza and a further fortnight at Mrs Rabaglialis' Rest Home in Zeitoun. While there he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant and, at his request, transferred to the artillery, and was promoted to full Sergeant on 1 March 1916.

After being sent to France, Jardine was transferred to New Zealand Field Artillery on 11 March 1916 and then to the Fourth Artillery Battery on 2 May 1916. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 24 July and shortly afterwards, on 31 July, he volunteered and was seconded for duties with the Heavy Trench Mortar Battery. On 18 September he was transferred to the 12th Artillery Battery.

A week later, on 25 September (not 26 September as noted on some of his Army files) he was killed during the battle of the Somme. The allied offensive on 25 September was preceded by an intensive artillery bombardment which ran from 7am on 24 September to 12:25pm on 25 September. During the morning of 25 September German artillery focused its attention on the 12th Battery in Devil's Gully and Jardine was one of a large number of casualties.

"His battery ... was in action about 800 yards in front of Delville Wood, and in a valley popularly known as 'Death Valley', just behind the rise on which was situated the switch trench. He was in his dugout - a mere rainproof shelter - and with the other occupant was getting ready for breakfast, when it was completely destroyed by an eight inch shell," Wanganui Collegiate School's In Memoriam 1914-1918 reported.

Sources: Hawke's Bay Herald, 18 December 1895, page 4; Wanganui Herald, 16 December 1897, page 2; Otago Witness, 30 January 1901, page 8; Poverty Bay Herald, 20 March 1903, page 3; Hastings Standard, 20 June 1904, page 2; Wanganui Herald, 1 January 1907, page 5; Otago Daily Times, 10 October 1908, page 7; Otago Daily Times, 16 March 1911, page 5; Evening Post, 27 January 1911, page 2; Otago Daily Times, 22 June 1911, page 10; Press, 26 March 1913, page 10; Otago Daily Times, 25 August 1913, page 8; Otago Daily Times, 1 September 1915, page 6; Otago Daily Times, 20 October 1916, page 5; Otago Daily Times, 30 September 1916, page 8; Observer, 11 November 1916, page 22; The Spike, War Memorial Number 1920, page 27; JR Byrne, New Zealand Artillery in the Field 1914-1918 (Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, Auckland, 1922), page 137.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph soldier profile.

This obituary has been prepared by the New Zealand Law Society to preserve the memory of members of the legal profession who died while serving in World War I.

Lawyers Roll of Honour.

By Geoff Adlam, New Zealand Law Society. Further information is welcomed: geoff.adlam@lawsociety.org.nz.

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Last updated on the 11th November 2016