10/2A Private Ditlev Gothard Monrad – Wellington Infantry Regiment

Ditlev Gothard Monrad was born in Longburn, Palmerston North on 7th August 1893[i] the eldest son of Kamma and
Ditlev Gothard Monrad. Ditlev had an older sister Olga and two younger brothers Vigga and Carl[ii].

The Monrad family was of Danish descent  Ditlev’s grandfather was a bishop in the Lutheran church and had been a minister in the Danish Government during the Second Schleswig War with Germany in 1864. Following Denmark’s defeat the Monrad family had come to New Zealand, settling as farmers in the Linton area of Palmerston North[iii].

Ditlev enlisted on 5th September 1914, while he listed as living in Wellington, his mother’s address, prior to that he was employed as a
farmer in Linton on his uncle’s farm. Ditlev entered Trentham Camp as 10/2A Private Ditlev Monrad. Private Monrad’s military papers note that he was qualified as a bugler[iv]. Following basic training Private Monrad left with the main body
of the NZEF for service overseas.

Instead of going to Europe the NZEF arrived in Egypt and prepared for action in the Dardanelles. A family friend from the Linton area Hector Craw[v] noted in his diary that he had gone down to visit Ditlev prior to the infantry embarking on
12th April 1915 for the Gallipoli Peninsular. The Wellington Infantry Battalion landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on the
25th April 1915 and was in action in this sector until 5th May 1915. The Wellington Battalion along with other New Zealand units was then moved to the Helles area at the southern end of the Gallipoli Peninsular. On the 8th May 1915 the Wellington Infantry Battalion was in action in the Second Battle of Krithia. Allied forces attempted to take the village of Krithia and the crest Achi Baba. It was frontal assault in full daylight and the Wellington Battalion struggled a few hundred meters before being brought to a halt in the killing ground of ‘Daisy Patch.’  The New Zealand casualties were 800 and of 
those killed 48 were from the Wellington Battalion[vi].

The survivors of Krithia were returned to ANZAC Cove on the 19th May 1915. The impacts of the campaign took their toll
on 14th July 1915 Private Monrad was evacuated to Murdos and admitted to hospital, sick with diarrhoea [iii] . Private Monrad remained in hospital for two weeks returning to his unit on 26th July 1915. This was during the build up to the Battle of Chunuk Bair  \which was launched on 8th August 1915 where the Wellington Battalion captured the Chunuk Bair Heights. The Turkish forces recaptured the heights and the Allied force was pushed back to defensive positions.

On 28th August 1915 Private Monrad had been evacuated from Anzac Cove and admitted to the 1st Australian Stationery Hospital, Lemmos where a tumour in the renal areas was diagnosed. Private Monrad remained in hospital until the
18th September 1915 when he was transferred to the hospital ship Aquitania for shipment to England. Private Monrad
was admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester on 27th September 1915 also travelling to the hospital were other NZEF wounded from Gallipoli including Corporal Hector Craw a family friend from Linton[vii].

Private Monrad remained at the Western General hospital until 14th January 1916 when he was considered fit enough
to be transferred to Grey Friars Tower, London. Grey Friars was a convalescent hospital where men were assessed to see
if they could be returned to active service or be repatriated to New Zealand. Private Monrad remained in hospital, on
28th October 1916 went before a medical board and was declared unfit for active service. Private Monrad was reported
as seriously ill in November 1916 with a cystic tumour and following his recovery was sent again for assessment in
April 1917 and was declared unfit for service and on 26th April 1917 was repatriated.

Private Monrad arrived in New Zealand on
6th July 1917 and was given a month’s leave and
then discharged, on 3rd August 1917 as ‘no longer
physically fit for active service on account of illness
contracted while on active service.’
Private Monrad was granted a war pension and
returned to Linton, Palmerston North.

In April 1917 Eric Craw’s younger sister Juanita
(Nita) Heather Sylvia Craw purchased 34 Moana
Road, Plimmerton. The Craw family often visited
the area for their Christmas holidays. It is not
confirmed but it is possible she had the house
named Somme House 1916 in memory of a
beloved brother Eric who was killed during the
Battle of the Somme.

On 7th August 1918 Ditlev Gothard Monrad married
Juanita Heather Sylvia Craw, three years prior Ditlev
and Hector Craw  had been fighting on Anzac Cove
in the Battle of Chunuk Bair.

                                                                                                                              Ditlev and Nita on right of photo 

Ditlev and Juanita Monrad later moved up to the Hauraki Plains and the couple had, at least two children Lauir Nelson
and Ditlev Gothard Monrad.[viii]

Ditlev Gothard Monrad died in Otorohanga on 12th November 1955[ix].

Military files list Ditlev as Ditler possibly a simply administrative error.
See story on Eric Hector Dunstan Craw

Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Paperspast Online
Diary unpublished  11/26 Corporal Eric Hector Dunstan Craw, Wellington Mounted Rifles.
Manawatu Heritage: Ditlev Gothard Monrad
The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 – 1919: NZETC

Chunuk Bair: painting by Ion G Brown – Alexander Turnbull (D-001-035)
Wedding photo Ditlev and Nita: Craw family archives

[i] Archway Archives New Zealand Military files: 10/2a Private Ditlev Gothard Monrad
[ii] NZ BDM
[iii] Manawatu Heritage
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/2a Private Ditlev Gothard Monrad
[v] Diary 11/26 Corporal Eric Hector Dunstan Craw
[vi] The Wellington Regiment
[vii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 11/26 Bombardier Eric Hector Dunstan Craw
[viii] Oil Fuel Breach, 20th April 1945, New Zealand Herald
[ix] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/2a Private Ditlev Gothard Monrad
Chunuk Bair - August 1915