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173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde - 25th (Infantry) Battalion, 2NZEF 
   
Selwyn Lloyd Hyde was born in Tawa Flat on the 14th November 1916 he was the youngest child of George James and
Ellen May Hyde.[i] Selwyn grew up in Takapau Road with his elder brother Eric James and sister Estelle Airini Clarice Hyde.

George James Hyde farmed in Taw and in 1924 he died, leaving Ellen a widow with three young children Eric (15), Estelle (11) and Selwyn (10). Ellen May remarried in 1927 to Alfred George Yorke Baxter.

The family remained in Tawa and in 1940 Eric and Selwyn, as partners, were working   a 300 acre farm running 400 sheep and 40 cattle[ii]  Following the outbreak of World War Two, both Eric and Selwyn  were enrolled in the New Zealand Army Reserves with Selwyn being attested on the 21st November 1940 as
2/18/1608 Private Hyde, 4th Battalion, Wellington Regiment.  In May 1941
Selwyn appealed against ‘call up’ for overseas service. His appeal was delayed
Sine Die but was cited when his elder brother appealed against ‘call up’ in
October 1941.[iii]



4th Armed Services Appeals - Evening Post 21st October 1941




It is possible that Eric was granted his appeal and continued working the farm
as he is listed as the next of kin on Selwyn’s military file, when Selwyn entered
camp on the 23rd February 1942. In December 1942, following training,
173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde, Infantry Reinforcements, 2NZEF,  left the
Paekakariki Camp and was shipped to the Middle East. Private Hyde
‘Entered Egypt’ on the 5th January 1943 and was posted to the 32nd Training
Battalion from where in March 1943, he joined the 25th Infantry Battalion.[iv]



173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde, 25th (Infantry ) Battalion 


The 25th (Infantry) Battalion was one of the New Zealand units committed to the
First Battle of El Alamien where they took heavy casualties when attacked by the
21st Panzer Division, Afrika Corps. The Battalion was withdrawn, reinforced, reorganised and retrained then took part in follow up battles that resulted with
the surrender of all Axis Forces in North Africa in May 1943. The 25th Battalion, as part of the 2nd New Zealand Division, returned to Egypt and the preparation for
the Italy campaign.

The 25th Battalion landed in Italy in October 1943 moving up the country and by December 1943, as part of the 6th Brigade, took part in the Moro River Campaign.
On 2nd December 1943 an attack on Orsogna was made, the official report was that[v]

The 25th Battalion made the initial attack on Orsogna on the evening of 2 December, which was launched without the use of supporting armour as Brigadier Graham Parkinson commander of the 6th Brigade, did not anticipate any difficulty. The leading platoons penetrated into the town square but soon robust defence, supported by German tanks of the 26th Panzer Division forced them back. Two platoons of infantry were captured. Two tank troops from the 18th Armoured Regiment were ordered forward but by the time they had reached the outskirts of Orsogna, the infantry were withdrawing from the town.




Main road into Orsongna - July 1944 



In 2005 375536 Private Roy Maitland Firth, 25th Battalion wrote a personal
recollection of the battle in his book ‘Roy’s Story’[vi]

Comes the attack . . . .  Some Top Brass Jerries must have come up to ‘stop the rot’
and ordered them to repel boarders – the Kiwis. We were so far up on them that
their gun lines was real close with, as we soon found out, 210 howitzers
(10 inch shells). All hell broke loose and troops poured back into the town. . . .
Then the howitzers came into play and we stopped the shit. . . .
We spent the afternoon being buried and then dug out. I don’t recommend
this as a way to spend any afternoon. Some of our chaps made a dive inboard
into a small depression with a bit of growth in the hope that would be better
than the bank edge. It probably was, but one big chap from Tawa
(can’t recall his name), was killed by a tiny splinter through his temple.
Our platoon started the day with twenty-seven bods and finished with nine,
but only one dead!!’


The big chap from Tawa was Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde, and he is buried in the Sangro River Cemetery  


Private S L Hyde's grave in the Sangro River Cememtery, Italy


Selwyn Lloyd Hyde is remembered on the family gave in Porirua Cemetery[vii]

 In Loving Memory of Our Dear Son And Brother, 173263, Private, Selwyn Lloyd Hyde, Killed In Action In   Italy, Dec 3rd 1943 "His Duty Nobly Done":

Private Selwlyn Lloyd Hyde is also remembered on the Porirua Roll of Honour

Notes:
35766 Private Lawrence (Laurie) Alfred Parnell, 22nd (Motor) Battalion (Pukerua Bay) is also buried in the Sangro River Cemetery.  Private Parnell was killed on the 17th January 1944

References:
Roy’s Story – private publication
Defence Department Archives – military files: 173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde
Wikipedia – 25th Battalion, 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Papers Past – Online
BDM – Online
Commonwealth Graves Commission
New Zealand War Graves Project

Photos
173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde, 25th (Infantry) Battalion, 2NZEF – Auckland Cenotaph
Main Road into  Orsonga July 1944 – Alexander Turnbull Library ( text and background ) 
Private Hyde’s grave Sangro River Cemetery – New Zealand War Graves Project

[i] Defence Department Archives – military files: 173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde.
[ii] No4 Armed Services Board Appeals,  21st October 1941, Evening Post
[iii] No4 Armed Services Board Appeals, 21st  October 1941, Evening Post
[iv] Defence Department Archives – military files: 173263 Private Selwyn Lloyd Hyde.
[v] Wikipedia – 25th Battalion, 2NZEF
[vi] Roy’s Story
[vii] New Zealand War Graves Project
 
 
 
Main Road into Orsonga - July 1944