Name: Private Albert Dexter 25209
Date of Birth: 17.5.1892
1911: Cropstone Road Anstey
1916: Boundary Road, Palmerston North
1918: 159, Tudor Road, Leicester
Parents Names: William E. Dexter (Riveter, Boot trade) and Maria Elizabeth
Occupation before the war:
In Anstey 1911 Clicker in Boot Trade
In N.Z. 1916 Labourer
George b 1886 | James b 1888 | Harry b 1891 | Charles b 1894 | Wilfred b 1900
Date Died: 27.3.1918
Place of Death: Somme France
Place of Burial/Memorial: Grevillers (New Zealand) Mem., France
Cause of death: Killed in action
Regiment: 2nd Battalion, Auckland Regiment, Section – Nzef
1914 – 1915 Star
British War Medal
Any other information (e.g. Service Record/ appearance etc)
- On Enlistment Albert was single, living with a brother J A Dexter, Boundary Road Palmerston North, North Island, New Zealand and working as a labourer for a Mr Handcock at Taikorea (near to Palmerston North).
- Both J A Dexter (brother) and his father Mr W E Dexter 159 Tudor Road Leicester England were listed as next of kin.
- His file gives no clue as to how long he had been in New Zealand prior to enlisting.
- On enlistment he was described as being 23 years of age, 5 feet 3¾ inches tall, 126 lb with fair complexion, blue eyes, fair hair and his religious profession was protestant.
- He was examined at Taikorea on 27 January 1916. His teeth were described as satisfactory. C W Peach Medical Officer on 27 January 1916 described Albert Dexter as having “no illnesses or fits and never absent ill – fit.” This medical report was counter signed by another doctor who had examined Albert Dexter on 7 March 1916. His service reckons from 6 March 1916. Albert Dexter’s prior military service was with the ASC Territorials.
- He enlisted on 7th day of March 1916, at Featherston and initially joined the Wellington Mounted Rifles, B Squadron, 14th Reinforcements but later transferred to the 1st and then the 2nd Battalion Auckland Infantry Regiment J Company, 14th Reinforcements on 14 October 1916. This transfer may have taken place to enable him to join a brother Charlie who had enrolled with the Auckland Infantry Regiment.
- New Zealand soldiers in WW1 were allowed to make such a transfer request although in WW2 such practice was not allowed to mitigate the impact of death rates in families.
- Albert Dexter left New Zealand on 26 June 1916 on HMNZT No 56 the Maunganui with the other 14th Reinforcements (2,287troops) (OC Troops: Major Brown; Ship’s Master L Worrall) and he disembarked at Devonport on 22 August 1916.
- He marched into Sling Camp on 23 August 1916 and embarked for France on 26 September 1916. He arrived at camp in Etaples on 27 September 1916.
- He survived the war initially until the 4 June 1917 when he received gunshot wounds to his left leg, which was described as ‘severe’.
- On the 4 June 1916 he was admitted first to the 9th Australian Field Ambulance, then to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station and on 5 June 1916 he was admitted to the 2nd Australia General Hospital at Wimereux.
- However, such was the nature of his wound he was transported from Boulogne by the Hospital Ship “Jan Breydel” on 9 June 1916 to the 1st New Zealand General Hospital at Brockenhurst. Here Albert Dexter recovered and after some UK leave when he probably visited his father he returned to the 2nd Battalion Auckland Infantry Regiment in France on 26 October 1917.
- He was killed in action in France on 27 March 1918.