New Zealand Law Society - Herman Stuart Baddeley, 1891 - 1915

Herman Stuart Baddeley, 1891 - 1915

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Herman Baddeley
Lieutenant Herman Baddeley

Herman Baddeley was killed in action at Gallipoli during the landing on 25 April 1915, the first New Zealand lawyer to be killed in World War I. He was aged 23. His body was never found and his name is on the Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery in Turkey.

Herman was born in Greymouth on 13 November 1891. His parents were Fanny and Frederick Atkins Charles Baddeley and he had one older brother, Frederick. He grew up in Kimbolton and Feilding. His father was later manager of the Bank of New Zealand at Kimbolton.

He attended Wellington College and was a member of the school cadets. After leaving school he enrolled at Victoria University College to study law, securing work as a law clerk with Wanganui law firm Prior and Gillespie. In June 1912 the Wanganui Chronicle reported that Baddeley had "severed his connection" with that firm to work for Bell, Gully and Cooper in Palmerston North. He was presented with a fountain pen by the staff and a "handsome cheque" by his old firm. While in Palmerston North he was an active member of the territorials, holding the rank of Lieutenant. He played golf and was a member of the Manawatu Golf Club.

He continued to study and on 26 March 1914 he was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Sir Robert Stout on the motion of Herbert Edgar Evans (later KC and Solicitor-General). By July 1914 he was practising law in the Waikato town of Otorohanga. He was resident partner there in the newly opened branch of the Te Awamutu firm of Cox, Luxford and Baddeley (later Cox, Luxford and McCarter before its dissolution in 1922). He was involved in the territorials as well, belonging to the Waikato Regiment.

On the outbreak of war Baddeley enlisted immediately. His medical examination report shows he was 5 foot 11 (1.8 metres) tall, weighed 11 stone 10 pounds (74.4 kg) and had brown eyes and black hair. By early September he held the rank of Second Lieutenant and was among 2,100 men in the mobilisation camp at Auckland. Baddeley embarked from Wellington on 16 October 1914 with the main body of the 16th Waikato Regiment of the Auckland Infantry Battalion. They arrived in Suez, Egypt on 3 December 1914. He was promoted to full Lieutenant on 19 March 1915.

On 25 April 1915 Baddeley was among the New Zealanders who landed at Gallipoli. The Auckland and Canterbury Battalions were the first New Zealand troops to land, starting around 11 in the morning. Baddeley was among the estimated 147 New Zealanders who died on 25 April. His death is mentioned in at least two accounts of the fighting. A letter from Private WH Rhodes of the Auckland Battalion about the day of the invasion stated: "Our major is wounded, our captain shot through the lungs, and Lieutenant Allen (killed) and Baddeley (missing). The last named is supposed to be wounded in the bush somewhere." (in Gardens of Hell: Battles of the Gallipoli Campaign, page 55).

Allen and Baddeley were killed in the fighting on the hill known as  Baby 700. This remained in Turkish hands and Baddeley's body was never recovered. Another eyewitness, Lieutenant Herbert Westmacott of the Auckland Battalion, also encountered Baddeley as they fought their way towards the top of Baby 700. They exchanged a few words ("Our last on earth together", Westmacott later stated) and shortly afterwards Baddeley and the surviving members of his platoon, after making a "gallant stand" against a Turkish breakthrough, were all killed (Shadows of Anzac: An Intimate History of Gallipoli). 

The confusion of the landing and an army not used to dealing with such a large number of casualties meant it was many months before Baddeley's death was confirmed. He was reported slightly wounded in early May, and in August he was reported to be "previously reported wounded, now after searching inquiries, reported wounded and missing". In January 1916 New Zealand newspapers included Lieutenant Baddeley in the list of those "previously reported missing, now reported believed dead (Result of Court of Inquiry)." By February that had changed to "now reported killed in action as result of Court of Inquiry". The Court of Inquiry was held on 29 January 1916 at Moascar Camp in Ismailia and came to the conclusion "Believed to be dead". Later reports referred to Baddeley as having been killed in landing at Gallipoli. 

Baddeley's name is among the lawyers listed on the Hamilton District Law Society memorial bronze tablet in the Waikato Bay of Plenty branch of the New Zealand Law Society. His name is among those on the Hamilton World War I Memorial and he is also remembered with 57 others on the Otorohanga First World War Memorial

Sources: Hawera and Normanby Star, 30 October 1907, page 5; Evening Post, 27 October 1909, page 4; Evening Post, 24 October 1910, page 8; Evening Post, 3 April 1911, page 3; Wanganui Chronicle, 10 June 1912, page 8; Feilding Star, 12 October 1912, page 2; Manawatu Standard, 15 April 1913, page 5; Evening Post, 18 December 1913, page 2; Manawatu Standard, 22 December 1913, page 5; Evening Post, 26 March 1914, page 7; King Country Chronicle, 4 July 1914, page 5; New Zealand Herald, 5 September 1914, page 4; Manawatu Times, 28 April 1915, page 4; Feilding Star, 4 May 1915, page 3; Marlborough Express, 4 May 1915, page 5; Evening Post, 4 May 1915, page 8; Auckland Star, 4 May 1915, page 5; New Zealand Herald, 5 May 1915, page 7; Evening Post, 7 July 1915, page 7; Waikato Times, 11 August 1915, page 5; Otago Daily Times, 12 August 1915, page 5; Ashburton Guardian, 27 January 1916, page 2; Bay of Plenty Times, 17 February 1916, page 4; Waikato Times, 6 December 1916, page 6; The Spike, War Memorial Number, 1920, page 16; David W Cameron, Shadows of Anzac: An Intimate History of Gallipoli (2013, Big Sky Publishing Ltd); Patrick Gariepy, Gardens of Hell: Battles of the Gallipoli Campaign (2014, University of Nebraska Press). 

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.

Roll of Honour

By Geoff Adlam, New Zealand Law Society. Further information is welcomed:

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