Andrew Theodore Anderson – Disloyal Utterances
A Lunatic Attendant Gives It Lip
Naturalised Norwegian’s Nonsense[i]

5 Corporal Theodore Anderson – NZ Army Ordnance Corp

On 13th March 1916 the Evening Post carried a story of a Porirua Hospital Attendant,
Andrew Theodore Anderson, on  trial for making a number of disloyal statements at
the Porirua Railway Station. It was stated that the defendant had made comments
about Germany winning the war and also that the sinking of the Lusitania was justified.

(The Lusitania was sunk on 7th May 1915 by a German U-Boat with the loss of 1191 lives)  

                                                                                        Allied Propoganda c1915/1916   

The newspapers reported that the defendant (Anderson) was born in 1866 and had
lived in New Zealand since the age of 18. Anderson also was recorded as being a
married man with eight children and that one of his sons had enlisted at the age of
19, ‘of which he was proud.’ [ii]

It is possible that the Lunatic Attendant also went under the name of
Theodore Anderson. Theodore was born in Peterhead, Scotland on the 9th November
1862[iii] it is possible that Theodore’s father was a Norwegian involved in Sealing or
Whaling in the Arctic Circle. Aged 18 Theodore sailed to New Zealand[iv] arriving in the
lower South Island. 

On 17th November 1887 Theodore married Ellen (Nellie) Taylor in Gore, the couple had eight children. Theodore ran  
a billiard salon in Gore during the 1890 – 1900’s but had moved up to the Wellington Area by the start of the war.

                                                                  In 1916 Theodore Anderson was employed at the Porirua Mental Hospital possibly as                                                                    a boot or sail maker rather than an attendant. Theodore and Ellen Anderson were                                                                          living in Wellington with Theodore travelling to and from Porirua by train. It was on a                                                                      wet night that Anderson arrived at Porirua Railway Station and he went into the office                                                                    where a discussion on the war was underway. In his defence Anderson said he
                                                                  quoted from a book that he had read and the statements were not his personal                                                                              opinion. However the prosecution produced three witnesses who collaborated that                                                                        the two statements were made.
                                                                  Anderson was convicted only on one charge only the judge stating:
                                                                           ‘I do not think that the references to the Lusitania were as disloyal as they
                                                                           appear on the information. Perhaps they would be if more of the conversation
                                                                           was included. The other remark as to who would win the war was undoubtedly
                                                                           disloyal. Defendant would be convicted and fines £ 25 with costs £3 11s 6d.’

                                                                   Anderson requested time to pay off the fine but this was not granted with the                                                                                   alternative set at two months hard labour.

                                                                   Allied Propoganda c1916 -1917

The fine was probably paid as on enlistment papers signed on 3rd July 1917 Theodore Anderson answered No to the question ‘Have you ever been sentenced to imprisonment by the civil power?’[v] Theodore’s military papers noted that
he was born in Scotland in 1862 and was a married man with eight children. Theodore was already working for the
Defence Department, Wellington and gave his profession as a sailmaker when he volunteered for Home Service. 
Theodore entered service as No 5 Artificer Anderson, NZ Ordinance Corp based in the stores at Trentham Military Camp. Artificer Anderson was promoted to Corporal Anderson on 12th February 1920 and was finally demobilised from the Ordinance Corp on 15th April 1921.  

Theodore Anderson drowned while bathing at Lowry Bay, Petone on 13th March 1934.[vi]

The £25 fine would be approximately $3500 in 2018

Three of Theodore and Ellen (Nellies) sons served in World War Two
        8/3862 Private Frederick Harold Anderson
        53893   Private Edgar Anderson who had enlisted as a 19 year old in 1915 and was discharged later re-enlisting   
        72444 Gunner Victor John Anderson enlisted, with his parent’s permission aged 19, in 1918.

Paperpast Online
Archway Archives: Army General Staff Filing
Archway Archives New Zealand: Military Files

Properganda Poster Imperial War Museum collection 

[i]     A Lunatic Gives It Lip, 18th March 1916, NZ Truth  
[ii]    Disloyal Alien, 14th March 1916, Evening Post
[iii]   Archway Archives Army General Filing System: 5 Corporal Theodore Anderson  
[iv]   Archway Archives Army General Filing System: 5 Corporal Theodore Anderson
[v]    Archway Archives Army General Filing System: 4 Corporal Theodore Anderson
[vi]   Bootmaker drowned, 13th March 1934, Evening Post

U-20 shown after torpedoing  RMS Lusitania