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SA79 Trooper Charles Newman – 1st Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rifles 
 
Charles William Newman was born on the 9th April 1877[i]  child of Ellen and William Newman. Charles had four siblings Ernest William (1872), Ralph (1878), Ellen Mary (1881) and Emily Jessie (1888).
 
The Newman family may have arrived in New Zealand between the birth of Ernest and Charles as Charles William is registered in NZ and there are Ernest William Newman’s listed in the UK.
 
The Newman family had moved to Tawa Flat by 1888, there is a death notice ‘at Tawa Flat Ernest William beloved son of William and Ellen Newman.’ [ii]
 
On the 21st October 1899 Charles Newman signed enlistment papers as a Trooper in the 1st Company,1st Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rifles for service in South Africa.[iii] Charles’ enlistment papers record that he was a single 22 farmer of Tawa Flat, Manawatu Line. His next of kin listed was his mother Mrs Ellen Newman. Trooper Newman had already served a year as a volunteer with the Heretanga Mounted Rifles and with his horse #79 and carbine #811 sailed
on the 21st October 1899 for service in South Africa.
 
Also sailing with the 1st Company, 1st Contingent, NZMR were other ex Heretaunga
Mounted Rifles men from the district, SA9 Trooper Chas Bould from Johnsonville,
SA 137 Trooper Joe Gestro from Paremata, and two others from Tawa SA82 Trooper
Denis Joseph Ryan and SA84 Shoeing Smith John Nathaniel Cumings.
 
 
 
 
SA79 Trooper Newman - With the 1st Contingent in South Africa  1900
 
 
 
 
 
The ‘Firsts’ arrived in Cape Town in November 1899 and were sent by rail to the
Arundel District where they joined General French who at that stage was defending
the Central Colesburg district from a Boer Invasion.[iv] Trooper Newman’s  service
can be traced by the clasps on his Queen’s South Africa medal as the 1st Company,
1st NZ Contingent fought at Jasfontein, Slingersfontein before moving to
support the ‘Relief of Kimberly’ and then the battles of ‘Paadeburg’ and ‘Driefontein'.
Following the capture of Bloemfontien the 1st Contingent, as part of the British
forcescontinued to push the Boer into the into the Transvaal. It is possible that at
this stage of the campaign Trooper Newman was notwith the 1st Company as he was
not awarded the Traansvaal clasp instead hereceived the ‘Johannesburg’ and the
‘Diamond Hill’ clasps.
 
Trooper Newman and 82 men from the 1st Contingent left South Africa on the
Harlech Castle on the 3rd November 1900.[v] arriving in New Zealand whenTrooper
Newman was admitted to Wellington Hospital for treatment.
 
He did not leave hospital until February 1901 where, like the majority of the the
returning ‘Firsts.’ received enthusiastic welcomes when they returned to their home
districts. Charles was no exception given the report in the Evening Post of the
19th February 1901;[vi]
 
‘The Tawa Flat School was crowded to the doors
          last night with Porirua, Tawa Flat and Johnsonville
          residents on the occasion of the concert, dance,
          and presentation to Troopers Cumings and Newman,
          of Tawa Flat. The chair was taken by Mr W. H. Field,
          M. H. R., and the Hon. C.H. Mills represented the
          Government. In a interval between vocal items Mr
          Field made a short address suitable to the occasion,
          and then requested the Hon C. H. Mills to make the
          presentations, which he did after making a patriotic
          speech and congratulated the two guests. The
          presentation consisted of a handsome gold lever
          watch to each of the troopers, whose responses met
with deafening cheers. The whole proceedings
were attended with the greatest enthusiasm
A telegram from the Premier regretting his
Inability to be present and thanking the
Troopers for their services to the Colony was
Read by Mr Field. The evening concluded with
a dance. The Pahautanui Band took part in the
proceedings, and a number of returned troopers
from neighbouring districts were present to
support their comrades. An excellent programme
was supplied by the residents of the district,
and the whole affair reflected the greatest credit
on the committee in charge of which Mr Herbert
Sanson was secretary.’
 
Trooper Newman was selected as part of the 1902 Contingent of Mounted Rifles to travel to England to represent New Zealand at the Coronation of the new king, so it was not until August 1902 that Trooper Newman was finally discharged from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.
 
Charles Newman returned to farming and in 1903 wrote from Horokiwi Valley, Pautahanui to query the payment of war gratituity.[vii]
 
In World War One, Charles Newman again volunteered for overseas service entering camp on 29th May 1916, with other members of the 17th Reinforcements. Charles listed Emily his sister as his next of kin. Emily was a nurse, Sister Newman of the District Hospital, Whangarei. Charles was working as a farmer for Mr Mitchell, Kaitanga, Palmerston North.
 
25930 Private Newman was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant Newman prior to departing New Zealand on 25th September 1916 with E Company, 17th Reinforcements. In England, at Sling Camp Sergeant Newman reverted to acting Corporal Newman and was attached to the New Zealand Rifle Brigade seeing action in France with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Regiment.
 
By 1919 Corporal Newman was again Sergeant Newman and on the 10th May 1919 he left England returning to New Zealand where he was discharged ‘on termination of period of engagement’ on 7th June 1919. Charles Newman’s
records note he intended to return to Kaitanga and his medals were sent to him there in 1921.
 
There are no records of Charles William Newman marrying and no official papers on his death but it is most likely he
died in Palmerston North in 1958.
 
Notes:
Charles Newman in addition to the Queens South Africa Medal and clasps received the Coronation Medal and the WW1 Vistory and British War medals
 
References:
Births Deaths & Marriages Online (NZ)
Papers Past Online
Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Files: SA79 Trooper Charles Newman
NZ Units in South Africa 1899 - 1902: NZ History Online
Christchuch Central Library - Newspapers
 
Notes:
Trooper Newman with the 1st in South Africa: 31st Janaury 1900 Weekly Press (Supplied by Christchuch Central Library) 
Backgroung !st Contingent marching in Karoria, Wellington 1899: NZ History Online 
 
 
[i] Birth 1877/4205 Newman; BDM Online
[ii] Deaths Newman (23rd May 1887) Evening Post
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: SA79 Trooper Charles Newman
[iv] The Firsts: the Contingents - nzhistory online
[v] Eight Three leave for their homes (6th November 1900) Otago Daily Times
[vi] Reception at Tawa (19th February 1901) Evening Post
[vii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: SA79 Trooper Charles Newman  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
!st Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rilfes march through Karori, Wellington   -   1899