6/3816 Lance Corporal Donald Burley Nottage – 12th (Nelson) Company, Canterbury Infantry

The Nottage family originated in Essex, England and one branch of the family immigrated to South Australia in the 1870’s.

Charles Frederick Nottage and his wife Elizabeth had eleven children, five sons and six daughters. Charles’ eldest son Frederick Edgar Nottage was born in 1880, in Meadows, South Australia and like his father worked in the agriculture sector.

In 1906/7  Frederick Edgar Nottage and his wife Eleanor moved to New Zealand, their first child Basil Robert Nottage is registered as born in New Zealand on 9th August 1907.[i] In 1909 Frederick (Fred) was appointed as one of four, NZ Department of Agriculture Inspectors of Orchards.[iii] Fred was based in the North Island, at one stage being the Inspector for Hawkes Bay. 

Nottage family history records that Frederick, an experienced orchardist,
was recruited by Motueka farmer Arthur McKee to set up orchards in the
Motueka area.[ii]

In 1914 Fred had moved to Aporo, Motueka[iv] where he was the Supervisor of
the Tasman Fruit Farms Ltd, Orchards. It is possible that Fred sent to Australia for
two of his younger brothers to come to work in New Zealand, Reuben Nicol Nottage
(24)  and Donald Burley Nottage (20).

Frederick Edgar Nottage (seated) and Donald Burley Nottage

10th May 1915 

Donald Burley Nottage was born in Undervale, South Australia on the 28th June
1894. On 20th October 1915 Donald was working as an orchardist for his brother
Fred Nottage of Aporo, Tasman, when he enlisted in the New Zealand
Expeditionary Force (NZEF). Two other men from the Aporo orchard also enlisted,
Norman James Adamson and Sydney Reid Dodson.

On the 15th October 1915 seven men were given a farewell at Tasman prior to
leaving the district.[v]

​' Seven local men have left during the past week to join the Reinforcements
at Trentham their names being Messers A. Austin, S R Dodson, C V Townshend, 
N J Nottage, A Hurley, D B Nottage, and F J McKee. The last-named six were 
entertained by the residents at a farewell social, when a very representative
gathering filled the hall to overflowing. Songs, musiclas items, short addresses
by Sergeant-Major Hurdley and Mr FR E Nottage , and the presentation of 
suitable pocket wallets and small writing cabinets to each of the departing 
men by Mrs Allport  . . . . . . .'

(put a bit in about the departure and the men from the Colonist)

Prior to departing Nelson for Trentham Military Camp, the reinforcements had been split into groups, either the Canterbury Infantry Regiment or the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

At Trentham the reinforcements were housed in tents, often in groups that knew each other or came from the same
region. The photo shows such a tent and is of the Canterbury Infantry “Tasman Boys.” Private Frank McKee is 2nd
left; Private Sydney Reid Dodson is 3rd Left, Private Donald Burley Nottage 4th left and Private Norman Adamson 5th left. 
It is possible that other men in the photo are Privates  C V Townshend and L C Hurley.

The Tasman Boys

Trentham Nov 1915

​Don 4th left

On 8th January, following basic training, 6/3816 Private Nottage left New Zealand as part of C Company, 9th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion. In Egypt the reinforcements were allocated to the main body of the NZEF which was retraining and re-equipping following the Dardanelles Campaign. Private Nottage was promoted to Lance Corporal and Private Dodson, Lance Corporal Nottage and Corporal Adamson were allocated to the 12th (Nelson) Company, 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment and sailed as part of this Company for service in France.  

On 15th September 1916 the Canterbury Regiment, as part of the New Zealand Division, would go “over the top” for the first time in the Battle of the Somme. On the first day of the New Zealand assault Lance Corporal Nottage was killed and Private Dodson was wounded. The wound cannot have been serious as four days later Private Dodson rejoined the 12th Company. On the 23rd September Corporal Adamson was wounded seriously enough to be evacuated to England for treatment. Private Dodson was again wounded on the 1st October 1916 with a ‘gunshot wound to the head’ and was evacuated to the rear and treated in St John’s Hospital, Etaples, France when, a month later, he rejoined the 12th Company.
On the 18th October 1916 the Nelson paper The Colonist reported that:[vi]

‘Quite a gloom has been cast over the Tasman district by the news that four
local men have fallen in the recent fighting in France. Lieutenant F G McKee and
Sergeant Donald Nottage are reported to have made the supreme sacrifice,
while Privates F J McKee and M C Walsh are dangerously wounded. . . . . ‘

6/308 Lt Frederick George and 6/3969 Private Frank John McKee were sons of
Arthur & Martha McKee. 6/4369 Private Michael Cartage Walsh was employed
on the McKee orchards.

6/3816 Lance Corporal D B Nottage is buried in the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery,
Somme, France and remembered on the Tasman War Memorial. His medals and
memorial plaque were sent to his father in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

6/3816 Lance Corporal D B Nottage Caterpillar Valley Cemetery 

Reuben Nicol Nottage the older brother of Donald enlisted in the Australian Army and was
killed in action in 1918. It is possible he left New Zealand to join the AIF.

NZ BDM Online
Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Records

Farewell to the 9th – Dodson collection
Tasman Boys – Dodson collection
Grave of 6/3816 Lance Corporal D B Nottage – New Zealand War Graves Project

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Oral history F E Nottage
[iii] The Civil Services Amendment Act 1908, recruitment of officers, dated 1909
[iv] Tasman – Reform Party, 13th May 1914, Colonist
[v] Tasman Farewell, 27th October 1915, The Colonist
[vi] Tasman News, 18th October 1916, The Colonist
Farewell to Nelson's 9th Reinforcements  1915