13297 Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant  Frederick Goldsmith,  Military Medal.  – Wellington Mounted Rifles

Frederick Goldsmith was born in Gisborne on 29th September 1875 [i] Frederick was of Maori / Pakeha descent[ii] a descendant of Frederick Goldsmith an early trader on the East Coast of the North Island.

Frederick began work as a medical attendant at Porirua Mental Hospital about 1902/3.[iii] When the ‘Mental Hospital Club’ (association football) was formed in 1906, F Goldsmith was one of the eighteen foundation members.[iv]

In 1911 Frederick Goldsmith married Teresa Margaret Gillin. The marriage was initially successful but as Teresa had previously married this caused issues and finally the couple were granted a divorce.[v]

In 1915 Frederick Goldsmith enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). Frederick’s military files indicated
that he was married but rather than his wife, his niece Miss J Campbell of Gisborne is listed as his next of kin. Frederick
was 6 foot tall with a dark complexion and black hair tinged with grey. There is no indication of previous military training but the 40 year old had selected to serve with the Mounted Rifles. It is probable that his hospital background was a factor
in his selection.

13297 Trooper Goldsmith entered Trentham Camp on the 11th January 1916 in B Squadron, 12th Reinforcements of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles. Trooper Goldsmith was promoted to Lance Corporal and then Corporal in February 1916. Corporal Goldsmith transferred to the 13th Reinforcements and sailed with this unit on the 25th May 1916. Corporal Goldsmith reverted to Lance Corporal while on board the HMNZTS Willochia. He was also recorded as being a patient in the ships hospital.
On arrival in England L/Corporal was in and out of hospitals, it is not clear whether he was patient or staff. On the 24th March 1917 he was sent to Egypt to join the New Zealand Mounted Rifles which was part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces. Lance Corporal Goldsmith reverted to Trooper Goldsmith on the 12th June 1917 when he was posted to the NZMR Training regiment. On the 21st June 1917 he joined 9th (Wellington East Coast) Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifles (WMR). The WMR were at Kazar, now in Israel but which at that time a small settlement near Beersheba a major city in the Negrev Desert of Ottoman Syria.

The WMR with other elements of the ANZAC Mounted Division
conducted reconnaissance and patrol around Beersheba prior
to the Third Battle of Gaza. The water wells at Beersheba were
a vital resource and the capture of these during the
October/Noveber 1917 battle forced the Ottoman and German
forces to retreat. The WMR entered Jaffa on the 16th of
November 1917 and by 1 December 1917 the Egyptian
Expeditionary Force had captured the key city of Jerusalem.

WMR Troopers in Jaffa - 17th November 1917

In January 1918 the WMR were occupying Richon LeZion where on the 23rd
they received reinforcements, the arrival of which meant that Trooper Goldsmith was detached from the regiment and returned to Egypt for dental unit. It unclear whether he was there for treatment or be part of the unit. Trooper Goldsmith remained in Egypt until May 1918 when he rejoined
the WMR. On the 24th September 1918 Trooper Goldsmith was wounded in action, but remained with the regiment. On the 11th October 1918 he was admitted to hospital with malaria and evacuated to Egypt. On the 24th October 1918, while still recovering in hospital, 13297 Trooper Frederick Goldsmith was awarded the Military Medal ‘for acts of gallantry.’

T/SQMS Frederick Goldsmith c 1920 

The war in Palestine was coming to an end at this stage with Ottaman Forces signing an Armistice on the 30th October 1918. Trooper Goldsmith remained
in Egypt and rejoined the WMR on 1st December 1918. The WMR had been relocated to Egypt as New Zealand Forces began the withdrawl of men back to New Zealand. Trooper Goldsmith was promoted to Temporary Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant (SQMS) on the 2nd December 1918 and retained the rank until the WMR returned to New Zealand in June 1919. He was discharged ‘on the termination of his period of engagement’ on the 7th September 1919.

Frederick returned to Porirua and to work at the Porirua Mental Hospital. Frederick (Fred) was among returning soldiers welcomed back to Porirua is a final reception in December 1919.[vi]

                ‘The final reception to returning soldiers of the district was held at Porirua,
                When a great number of residents gathered to extend a welcome home to
                Q.M.S. F Goldsmith, M.M., Sergeants P S Roots, H Heath, T Wright, Privates
                T Windley, E. Hook and T Burt.  The Rev. Mr Earwaker presided and made
                Feeling reference to the school boys of Porirua who had lost their lives . . . .’

Fred integrated back into Porirua life becoming the Hospital Department Representative in 1921,[vii] a member of the Porirua Ratepayers and Progressive Association.[viii]

Fred and Teresa’s marriage was finally dissolved in 1926 the paper noting that there were ‘no issue’ and Fred indicating
that he was not looking to remarry. However Fred did marry again to Lettia Cant, later in August 1926.

Fred continued to be associated with Porirua Hospital to at least 60
years old [ix] and was active in the Porirua RSA.[x]

In December 1942 as a member of the Porirua Mounted Home Guard
he assisted in searching for a young man lost off Titahi Bay.[xi]

Porirua Mounted Home Guard  1941

Fred died on the 30th March 1948 and is buried in the old Porirua
Cemetery, he was remembered by his friends as ‘Goldie.’ 

Pioneer Resident Traders on East Coast; Historic Poverty Bay & East Coast NI NZ. NZ Electronic Text Collection.
Online Paperspast
Online NZ BDM
Mental about Wests: 100 yeasr of fame fortune drama despair –Lucas and Moran
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Records: 13297 T/SQMS Frederick Goldsmith

WMR at Jaffa, 17th November 1917, NZ History
Fred post war with MM ribbon, Archway Archives New Zealand
Porirua Mounted Rifles on Parade, Evening Post
Fred’s grave at Porirua, Porirua City Council Cemetery database

[i] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 13297 Trooper Frederick Goldsmith
[ii] Psychology of “Restitution”, 8th August 1925, NZ Truth
[iii] Ibid
[iv] Mental About Wests - Introduction
[v] Psychology of Resitution, 8th August 1925, NZ Truth
[vi] Final Reception, 2nd December 1919, Evening Post
[vii] Representatives, 21st April 1921, Evening Post
[viii] Second Annual Meeting, 6th June 1921, Evening Post
[ix] Annual Picnic, 3rd April 1935, Evening Post
[x] Returned Soldiers, 20th May 1939, Evening Post
[xi] Little family notice, 1st December 1942, Evening Post  
Troopers from the Wellington Mounted Rilfes 'brew up' in Jaffa 17th November 1917