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Alexander Reith  -  Military Ballot

Alexander Reith was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on 13th September 1886 the eldest of four children of Elizabeth (nee Lamb) and Alexander Reith. Alexander had two younger, Robert and John Imlah Reith and a younger sister Violet Helen Reith[i].

The three brothers came to New Zealand in the early 1910’s with both Robert and John Imlah Reith being recorded as arriving in New Zealand in 1911[ii]. It is possible that Alexander was a married man when he came to New Zealand.

Alexander and his younger brother Robert moved to Pauatahanui in 1914 when the Blackey family farm in Horokiwi Valley was leased to Alex Reith.[iii]

In 1916 Irene and Alexander Reith had a son who was also named Alexander. 

In May 1917 Alex’s younger brothers.  Robert and John Imlah Reith were both selected in the military ballot and enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.[iv]

Alexander Reith was also selected in a military ballot and appealed the decision as noted in the Evening Post:[v]

                Alexander Reith, farmer, Pahautanui [vi], said he had
                Two brothers at the front, and was “the last man on
                The farm.”  The board allowed him an adjournment
                Sine die.

Alex and family continued to farm in the Horokiwi Valley but also over time  Alex and Alexander set up as motor
mechanics close to the farm. The family moved to Plimmerton in 1938 when they purchased “Tangi Moana” on the main road and opened a garage Reith & Son on what would become SH1.

Alexander (Sandy)  jnr served in the Second World War as a Flight Mechanic in the RNZAF.

References
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
NZ BDM
Paperspast Online

Photo
Reith & Son Garage and 'Tangi Moana, Plimmerton c1940 

[i]     www.Myheritage
[ii]    Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 57143 Rifleman Robert Reith & 55625 Rifleman John Imlah Reith
[iii]   Pauatahanui – a local history
[iv]   Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 57143 Rifleman Robert Reith & 55625 Rifleman John Imlah Reith
[v]   Military Appeal Board, 7th December 1917, Evening Post
[vi] Pahautanui – older spelling of the village’s name
Reiths Garage, Plimmerton