43077 Fitter Alfred Trevor – New Zealand Field Artillery

The Trevor family originated from Middlesbrough,  ngland with James and Sarah Jane Trevor immigrating to New Zealand, with two sons in 1879.[i] Their daughter,  Gertrude, was the first child registered New Zealand in 1880 with Alfred born in 1882, followed by another two boys and three girls.[ii]

James Trevor was a successful builder and contractor in Wellington operating a James Trevor and Sons. In 1905 when the company became a limited liability company, James Trevor is listed as the Managing Director with sons; George Edgar, Arthur, Alfred and Harold Trevor as directors.[iii]

In 1915 Alfred Trevor established himself in Paremata when he purchased, under the auspices of the Patriotic Society,
two sections in Paremata. The land was presented by Mr Patrick Mungavin a Porirua farmer and sold for 136 pounds.[iv] The sections, potentially, were on Golden Gate, Paremata overlooking Ivey Bay and the entrance to the Pauatahanui Inlet of  Te Awarua-o-Porirua habour.

On the 19th January 1917 Alfred entered Military Camp as 43077 Gunner Alfred Trevor, 25th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery (NZFA).[v] Gunner Trevor’s papers note that he was a single man living in Paremata and working as a Carpenter / Fisherman. Gunner Trevor had spent five years as a Navy Cadet and served then served seven years in the Wellington Naval Artillery Volunteers prior to his enlistment.

Gunner Trevor left  New Zealand on the 26th April 1917 with the 25th Reinforcements arriving in England in July 1917. Gunner Trevor then went to the NZFA training camps at Chatterton where prior to departure for France he qualified as
a ‘wheeler.’

Gunner Trevor arrived in France in October 1917 and was attached to the 2nd NZ Army Field Artillery Brigade with the ranks of Driver Trevor and was posted to the Brigade Ammunition Column (BAC).

The BAC was used to build up the main ammunition dumps but
also to bring up ammunition and stores to close to the gun lines.
Even in 1918 a large amount of horses were used in the transport
of ammunition and also the guns themselves.

2nd Battery, 2nd Brigade NZFA late 1916 

Driver Trevor remained in France through 1917 / 18 being
appointed as Fitter Trevor. The rank of Fitter is a specialist rank
that involves maintain a variety of equipment required to keep
the unit operating.

In October 1918 Fitter Trevor was granted two weeks leave in the
UK returning to his unit two days before the 11th November 1918
Armistice. There were then months on inactivity as arrangements
were made to repatriated men from the NZEF. Fitter Trevor finally left the UK on NZTS Waimana in May 1919 arriving in Auckland in June 1919.

43077 Fitter Alfred Trevor, NZFA, was discharged on 21st July 1919 ‘on termination of period of engagement’ and returned to civilian life.
On the 2nd August 1919 Fitter A Trevor and seven other veterans of the Great War were honoured in a ‘social event’ at Pauatahanui;[vi]

‘ Eight residents of the Pahautanui district who saw service in the war –
Gunner F. Attwood, Trooper J Barber, Private E Draper, Gunner A Greig,
Private H Harris, Private N Olsen, Private A Sims (MM), and Fitter A Trevor
 – were guests at a “social” held at Pahautanui last night. During the evening,
Mr. R. A. Wright, M.P. for Wellington Suburbs, on behalf of those present,
Handed to each man a gold albert chain and maltese cross suitably Inscribed.
Mr W. H. Feild, M.P. for Otaki, replied on behalf of the soldiers, and the rest of
the evening was spent in dancing music being provided by Mr. E. J. King and
Mr W. C. Tanner.’

Alfred Trevor returned to Paremata and fishing he is remembered by many older residents as Uncle Trevor and , the name Uncle Trev was adapted by local author Jack Lasenby as the much-loved character in his books.[vii]

Alfred was also involved with the Paremata Boating Club donating  the Trevor Cup in the early 1920’s for competitions  involving motor boats. Alfred was also involved in the setting up to the Paremata Netball Club.

Alfred Trevor c 1930's

Alfred Trevor died on the 5th May 1959 aged 77, his death was reported to the NZ Defence Department by his younger sister Mrs  Lilian Gilchurch.
The area that Alfred had his bach on Golden Gate now celebrates the name as Trevor Terrace, Golden Gate, Paremata. Alfred is also commemorated on the St Albans, Pauatahanui, Roll of Honour that notes all men from the district who serve in WW1.

The historic spelling is used in documents from the times.
Lilian Gilchurch was living in the family home 316 Adelaide Road, Wellington when she reported her brother’s death

NZ BDM Online
Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand
Porirua City Council – Sign post stories - Paremata

Alfred Trevor – PCC (Trevor Murphy)
2nd Battery, 2nd Brigade NZFA late 1916 : Imperial War Museum (Q50753)

[i] Online free UK BDM
[ii] Online NZ BDM
[iii] Business Notices, date, Evening Post
[iv] [iv] Patriotic Fund, date, Evening Post
[v] Archway
[vi] Patauhanui Event, 2nd August 1919, Evening Post
[vii] PCC Sign Post Stories  – Paremata (Trevor Murphy) 
2nd Battery, 2nd Brigade NZFA -  France 1916