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9/1733 Private Alfred Edward Rhodes – No 1 NZ Divisional Employment Company

Alfred Edward Rhodes was born on 8th March 1889 in Launceston, Tasmania the eldest son of Albert James Rhodes and
Ada Anastasia (Jessie Maud[i]) Warren[ii]. As Alfred’s father was born in New Zealand[iii] the family returned in
New Zealand in the 1890’s.

In 1911 Albert, Ada and Albert’s brother were listed living in the Dargaville, North Auckland where there brothers were labourers.[iv]

By 1914 Albert, Ada and a younger brother had moved back
across to Australia with the parent are listed in the electoral
roll in the Hobart area, Tasmania.

It is possible that Alfred remained in New Zealand and
moved down to Porirua as in 1916 he is listed a jockey
working at J H Prosser’s stables in Porirua.


J H Prosser's Porirua, jockeys and stable staff 



On 29th May 1915 the Evening Post carried a list ‘of 21 men,
including 3 Maoris enlisted today included in the list was
Alfred Edward Rhodes – Jockey.[v]

Alfred entered camp on 3rd September 1915 and his military records note that he was employed as a jockey working
for Mr J H Prosser at Porirua[vi]. Alfred’s next of kin listed is his mother Mrs A J Rhodes, 63 Invermay Road, Launceston, Tasmania. Given his occupation as a jockey Alfred was allocated to a mounted unit as 9/1733 Trooper, D Squadron, 
8th Reinforcements, Otago Mounted Rifles.

Following training D Squadron left for Egypt on 13th November 1915 as one 2585 men travelling as reinforcements on HMNZTs 35 (Willochra) and 36 (Tofua). The ships must have stopped at Tasmania enroute to Egypt as Trooper Rhodes
was arrested in Hobart, Tasmania on 21st November 1915 for failing to rejoin his troopship.  Trooper Rhodes was shipped back to under arrest to Trentham, there is no record of punishment and on 7th January 1916 Trooper Rhodes sailed
with D Squadron, 9th Reinforcement, Otago Mounted Rifles. This time Trooper Rhodes reached Egypt landing on the
13th February 1916 however on the 22nd February 1916 he was admitted to hospital at Pont De Koubbeh where he remained for three months. On 14th May 1916 Trooper Rhodes was evacuated to England and admitted to hospital remaining under care until 26th July 1916 when he was discharged to Codsford Depot.

Trooper Rhodes was posted to the NZ Mounted Rifles training unit in August prior to being shiped to France on
28th August 1916. In France Trooper Rhodes was posted on 10th September 1916 to the 2nd Anzac Mounted Rifles. Trooper Rhodes had a number of brushes with military discipline being absent without leave and hesitating to
obey orders. Trooper Rhodes was finally posted on 3rd September 1917 to NZ Divisional HQ. Trooper Rhodes on
22nd November 1917 posted to No1 NZ Divisional Employment Company and was made Private Rhodes.

Two Divisional Employment Company had  formed in May 1917 to carry out labouring work behind the lines on the Western Front. The Divisional Employment Company ( NZ DEC) was attached to the NZ Divisional HQ and provided
light work for soldiers in porr physical health who were classified as unfit for further military service.
Private Rhodes remained with the unit through to the end of the war and was repatriated from Portsmouth, England
on 11th March 1919. The transport SS Raranga sailed first to Nova Scotia, Canada down through the Panama Canal
arriving in New Zealand on 30th April 1919.

Private Rhodes was given 28 days leave and discharged from the NZEF on 27th May 1919 ‘ on termination of period of engagement.’

Alfred Edward Rhodes listed the Pier Hotel, Wellington as his New Zealand address, he was working as a barman at
the hotel. Alfred later worked as a cook at the Grand Hotel which was his address for the 1919 electoral roll.

By 1922 Alfred had moved to Hobart, Tasmania where he signed for his service medals and where in 1923 he married
Mary Alice Cleator. The couple had six children but three died in iinfancy[vii].

Alfred died on 13th November 1947 in Heidelbury, Victoria, Australia.[viii]

Notes
There are two military files:
9/1733 Private Alfred Edward Rhodes
9/1733 Private Alfred Ed Rhodes (Duplicate)

References
NZ BDM
Paperspast Online
Auckland Cenotaph Database
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Ancestry.com: family trees Albert Edward Rhodes

Photos
J H Prosser – stable staff: Pataka Museum 
HMNZT 35 Wellington Harbour November 1915: Goggle Photos.

[i] NZ BDM list Ada Jessie Maud Warren
[ii] Ancestry.com: Family trees
[iii] NZ BDM
[iv] NZ Electoral Roll – 1911 Kaipara District
[v] Call to Arms, 29th May 1915, Evening Post.
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 9/1733 Trooper Alfred Edward Rhodes
[vii] Ancxestry.com
[viii] Ancestry.com

HMNZT 35 Wellington Novemeber 15