WW1 Blackie Brothers — 2nd Lieutenant Allan Stuart Blackie

Allan Stuart Blackie [1]

The second son of Henry and Louisa Blackie’s sons to enlist was Allan Stuart Blackie (13/878, 1/484 (WWI) and 824025 (WWII).

Sergeant Allan Stuart (also known as Stewart), was born on the 7 September 1892 in Tasmania, Australia. Prior to enlistment on 10 August 1914, he was living in Lyall Bay, Wellington, and worked as a draper and warehouseman. He had also been in the Territorials.

Allan was part of the Samoan Advanced Party of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to sail to Samoa in August 1914 to capture German Samoa, with the Auckland Mounted Rifles.They received no opposition when they reached Apia on 29 August 1914. Had Germany placed greater importance on Samoa, or had the German East Asia Squadron intercepted the New Zealand convoy en route, the story could have been very different. Samoa remained under New Zealand military administration until 1920. [1] On returning to New Zealand Allan joined the Fourth Reinforcements (Mounted Rifles) as a sergeant on 29 December 1914. He left from Wellington on 17 April 1915.

He was sent to Gallipoli where he was wounded on 28 August 1915 at one of the New Zealanders’ last offensives in the Gallipoli campaign, to capture Hill 60 (hill height in metres and also known as Kaiajik Aghala). On 21 August 1915, Allied planners underestimated the strength of Ottoman defences and the attack quickly broke down. The attack cost over 2000 casualties, including 200 New Zealanders. On 28 August 1915, the remnants of the New Zealand Mounted Brigade (around 300 men) took part in another attempt to clear Hill 60. After two days of bitter fighting, the hill remained firmly under Ottoman control. Once again, casualties were heavy; Hill 60 had effectively destroyed the New Zealand ‘mounteds’ as a fighting force. Allan was invalided to the island of Malta. [2], [3]

Allan Blackie was transferred to the training squadron in Egypt in April 1916 as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force [4]. He was wounded a second time on 9 January 1917 with a gunshot wound to the left knee and in March 1917 he was invalided to New Zealand on the vessel ‘Willochra’ suffering from permanent disability and declared: ‘No longer physically fit for war service because of wounds received in action’. [4] [5] He returned to Europe in 1919 and was in based Hemel Hempstead, England until January 1920, when he returned to New Zealand. He received promotion to Second Lieutenant on 2 April 1920, and was discharged from service in April 1920.

Allan was awarded medals for his services; the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal (1914-1920) and in 1924, the Victory Medal. Also for his services in World War I, he was awarded a wound stripe and the New Zealand Service Medal that were presented to him in 1944. He is remembered on the Roll of Honour at the Sydenham Baptist Church in Christchurch. [6].

In 1921, Allan Stuart Blackie married Elizabeth Maud (nee Fawcett). They lived in Hamilton and later moved to 18 Epsom Avenue, Epsom. Elizabeth died on 29 June 1972 and is buried Te Aroha, Waikato, New Zealand [7].

On 7 November 1940 Allan Stuart Blackie re-enlisted for World War II, and was assigned to Head Office Staff Office as a sergeant. He was promoted during that time to Warrant Officer, 2nd Lieutenant and to Lieutenant on 28 November 1943. He was granted sick leave during August and September 1942, again during June and July 1946 and then granted paid leave until November 1946 and was discharged from the army in January 1947.

He died on the 26 November 1949 in Wellington and is buried in Karori Cemetery Wellington (Soldiers Section, Plot 8 Y/3) [8], [9]. His brothers Bernard Blackie and Walter Blackie are commemorated on the Remuera Primary School gates.