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SA8878 Trooper Arthur William Sievers – 10th Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rifles
 
The Sievers family originated in what now is Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. In the 1840 Leipzig was within the Kingdom of Prussia and while the Napoleonic Wars had ended in 1815 there were many factors effecting Germany resulting in a large scale movement of Germans / Prussians to other lands.
 
Wilhelm (William) and Augustus (August) Sievers left Prussia in the 1840’s going first to England where the brothers married and then, the brothers with their new wives, in 1849 immigrated to New Zealand.[i]
 
William & Clarissa Sievers would settle in Makara where they had twelve children. There were six sons, Louis George (1851), Alfred (1852), Augustus Isadore (1856), George Edward (1857), Frederick William (1864) & William Thomas (1866).
All the sons, apart from Frederick William and William Thomas married and the Sievers family expanded.
 
Alfred Sievers (1852) married Elizabeth Angelina Catley and they would also have a large family with four sons and five daughters. Arthur William Sievers was born in Makara on the 8th March 1877 the eldest child.
 
Arthur’s younger brother George had enlisted in the 8th Contingent of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and on 7th April 1902 Arthur enlisted in the 10th Contingent. Arthur is listed as a shepherd living and working in Makara. The 10th Contingent left New Zealand on the 14th April 1902 also sailing with the 10th was SA8840 Trooper David Gibson Morgan from Tawa Flat.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10th Contingent New Zealand Mounted Rifles with Premier Richard Seddon
 
 
When the troopship SS Drayton Grange reached Sydney Trooper Sievers was off loaded and sent to Prince Alfred
Hospital as he had injured his back during the voyage.[ii] The 10th Contingent sailed on to service in South Africa but Trooper Sievers on the 17th May 1902 was invalided back to New Zealand. In New Zealand Trooper Sievers was assessed and given two months leave after this he was discharged from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles.
 
As Arthur had not reached South Africa he was not entitled to any medals.
 
Arthur married, in 1904, Margaret Ann Longhurst and they would have one son Arthur Ernest Sievers. Young Arthur died in 1910, aged six and the tragic death may have been a cause in Arthur and Margaret divorcing in 1912.[iii]
 
 With the build up to the outbreak of war there was hostility towards people with German sounding names (Ed -  the wider Sievers family mention it) , but possibly in Makara, the Sievers with the close knit community and fact two of the family
had already served the Empire may have been shielded them from the work of the Anti-German league. During
1914 – 1918 the wider Sievers family saw seven cousins and three ‘extended’ family serve in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force serve with two of the cousins being killed in action.
 
Two of Arthur’s brothers enlisted on 21st August 1916, Louis William (1887) and Albert Henry (1893) and as 30649 Private
L W Sievers and 30648 Albert Henry Sievers sailed for the European War, on 7 December 1916, as part of the 20th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Battalion. Arthur was selected in the ballot of December 1916 he appealed the conscription on the basis that he was a milk delivery driver and the farmers in Makara depended on him to get their milk into Wellington. The Appeals Board turned down his appeal and he entered camp on 17 May 1917 with the 25th Reinforcements, New Zealand Rifle Brigade.
 
51543 Rifleman Sievers arrived in England in August 1917, he may have seen his two younger brothers prior to October 1917 when he was sent to France. Rifleman Sievers served with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Regiment New Zealand Rifle Brigade until 10th July 1918 when he was wounded in action, a gunshot wound to the left buttock. Rifleman Sievers was evacuated to England and a month later was shipped back to New Zealand as no longer physically fit.
 
Rifleman Sievers was discharged ‘no longer fit for war service – GSW (gunshot wound) buttocks on the 19th February 1919 with the intention of returning to Makara. The wound while listed as gunshot was in fact from a shell and Arthur received ongoing treatment in 1920 and may have been eligible for a small war pension.
 
Arthur William Sievers remarried in 1923 to Anne Maria Luscombe.
 
Arthur William Sievers died in Palmerston North on 11th April 1964 aged 87 his death was reported to the Defence Department by his younger brother Albert Henry Sievers.
 
 
Notes:
There are two branches of the Sievers family in the wider Porirua area with one based in Makara and the other in Porirua.  
Private and Trooper are used in Military files and newspaper articles, for consistency Trooper has been used for consistency
 
References:
Papers Past Online
NZ Births, Deaths & Marriages Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: SA8878 Trooper Arthur William Sievers
Archway  Archives New Zealand Military Files: 51543 Rifleman Arthur William Sievers
 
Photos:
Background and text - Premier Richard Seddon with members of the 10th Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rilfes - NZHistory Online
 
 
[i] Familytreecircle(2015).William Louis Sievers. Retrieved from http://www.familytreecircles/william-Louis-b-Sievers-b-Mary-Ellen-b-Kelly-b-Wellington-48341.htlm
[ii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files SA8878 Trooper Arthur William Sievers
[iii] NZ BDM Online
  
 
 
 
 
 
Premier Richared Seddon with members of the 10th Contingent New Zealand Mounted Rilfes