WW1 Eric Howard Perry (16044)

E H. Perry, Kantara War Memorial Cemetery. Egypt. NZ Wargraves Project.

St Luke's Church Remuera Roll of Honour

E H Perry, All Saints Memorial Church, Rawene (Claire White 2017)

Eric Howard Perry was born on the 18 November 1893, the youngest of six children of Catherine Anne Perry (Fisher) and the Reverend Edward Ovenden Perry, an Itinerating Presbyterian minister for Auckland and Northland, living at Brighton Road (now Bassett Road), Remuera.

Before his enlistment on 11 January 1916, Eric was farming in the Hokianga District, Northland. He was described as 6ft 1 ¼ in (186 cm) tall, with blue eyes and light brown hair. Eric sailed on 13 July 1916 on the vessel ‘Manuka’ then transhipped to the vessel ‘Malwa’ at Sydney arriving in Suez, Egypt on 24 August 1916.

He was given the rank of Sergeant with the 15th Reinforcements of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Whilst in Egypt, he was promoted to Lance Corporal, but reverted to the rank of Trooper with the Auckland Mounted Rifles. [1]

He served in Suez, Moascar and Rafa in Egypt near the Sinai-Palestine border in the harsh, arid desert. The Battle of Rafa, also known as the Action of Rafah, fought on 9 January 1917 was the third and final battle to recapture of the Sinai Peninsula by British forces.

In the early hours of 9 January 1916, the plan called for the encirclement of Rafah (Rafa) by horsemen and cameleers, followed by simultaneous assaults from all sides. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade was charged with carrying out the most daring part of this plan: to cut Rafa off from the supply route to Khan Yunis and Gaza, by attacking from the rear. In doing so, the New Zealanders inadvertently became the first Expeditionary Force soldiers to cross the frontier into Ottoman Palestine, which finally broke through and successfully overran the Ottoman defences. It was here that Eric was killed in action on 9 January 1917. [2]

Eric is buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt, B. 178. [3]. He is remembered on:

Ellerslie School Roll of Honour.
St Luke’s Church, Remuera, Roll of Honour.
Onehunga Parish Church Roll of Honour.
Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories and in the Far North:
Hokianga Arch of Remembrance, Kohukohu, and Kohukohu Town Hall, Rawene All Saints Memorial Church, Kaikohe War Memorial Hall
The Western Front Association [4]


G. Ralph
June 2020