41993 Private Morton Edwin Paul – 10th Company, 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment

Morton was the first of two sons born on the 19th June 1891[i] to Annie and John Paul. Morton had four older and
one younger sister.

Morton may have been raised in Milton, near Dunedin as in 1911 he registered for military training in the area.[ii]

Morton’s occupation was a printer when he enlisted in the NZEF in 1916. At that stage he was working for the
Hon Walter C F Cancross the owner of the Eltham Argus a small South Taranaki newspaper.

Morton’s enlistment papers note that he was a married man with a young child. Morton had married, in mid 1915, Catherine Edith Wakefield, their only child Edith Edna Paul being born the same year.

Although Morton had enlisted in 1916 he did not enter camp until 3rd January 1917. 41993 Corporal Paul, D Company
of the Otago Infantry was with the 27th Reinforcements. The attachment to the Otago Regiment may be because of his family and upbringing in the Otago area.

Corporal Paul was promoted to Sergeant shortly before the 27th Reinforcements sailed, in June 1917. On arrival in
England Sergeant Paul was marched into Sling Camp on the 16th August 1917 and there, as was normal practice with reinforcement NCO’s, reverted to the ranks.

Private Paul remained in the reserve battalions in England during 1917. In March 1918 Private Paul confirmed that he had left a will with the Public Trustee in Wellington. This document noted that Morton Edwin Paul was a Bugler with the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Otago Regiment.[iii]

On the 10th October 1918 Private Paul was sent to France and on the 1st November 1918 joined the 10th Company of
the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment. The Armistice was signed 10 days later.

Private Paul remained in France being detached to work at the New Zealand
YMCA before being evacuated to hospital in England, (reasons not listed.)

Private Paul’s military records noted that on 2nd March 1919 that he was in
Sling Camp x Germany. It is possible for a short time he was with the Army
of Occupation stationed in German.

Private Paul returned to New Zealand on the SS Carpentaria in April 1919
and was officially discharged from the NZEF on the 14th June 1919 ‘on
completion of terms of engagement.’

Morton Edwin Paul returned to Dunedin to find that during his service
overseas his wife and moved in with another man.

In the divorce cases reported in the New Zealand 29th August 1919 was
one of Paul  vs. Paul.[iv]

Morton returned to Milton presumably with his young daughter and his British War Medal was sent to him there in 1921. He did query the issue of the Victory Medal as he was entitled to that for serving in a War Zone (France) from 10th October 1918 to 11 November 1918. There is no official record of it being sent.

Morton Edwin Paul remarried in 1925 to Rosie Elizabeth Adams.[v]

Morton Edwin Paul’s death was reported by his widow Mrs R E Paul, occurring in Balclutha on the 23rd July 1971.[vi]

This story was compiled for Private Paul’s grandson a member of the Porirua Return Services Association

NZ BDM Online
Papers past Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 41993 Private Morton Edwin Paul

Otago Infantry inspected in the Field in 1918: NZ History Online 

[i] NZBDM Birth Morton Edwin Paul – 1891/12020
[ii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 41993 Private Morton Edwin Paul
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 41993 Private Morton Edwin Paul
[iv] Unhappy marriages, 29th August 1919, New Zealand Herald.
[v] NZBDM Marriage Rosie Elizabeth Adams / Morton Edwin Paul 1925/5362
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 41993 Private Morton Edwin Paul 
Otago Infantry being inspected 1918