WW1 Evan Gibb Hudson (Service Number 61946)

Hudson Family 1910 [1]

Evan Gibb Hudson was born in 18 December 1895, the youngest son of Ellen (nee Winks) and Harold Willey Hudson of 28 Clonbern Road, Remuera.

Harold Hudson (1841 – 1934), was Secretary and a Director of L D. Nathan and Company Limited, grocery merchants who had arrived from England in 1880s.

Evan’s elder brother William was not accepted for military service due to a serious accident to his knee ten years earlier, and became an instructor in agriculture in the Waikato employed by the Auckland Education Board. [1, 2]

Evan Gibb Hudson attended King’s College at nine years old in 1905 and was consistently head of his class throughout his schooling. He was the winner of the Wellington prize in 1912. As well as passing his Matriculation Examinations, he also studied and passed the Junior Civil Service Examinations. He entered Auckland University College (now the University of Auckland) in 1913 to study civil engineering. During the University semester break of November 1915 to February 1916 Evan worked for the Auckland Harbour Board and was eventually employed as a civil engineer cadet.

Lieutenant Evan Gibb Hudson [2]

When he volunteered in November 1916, Evan was refused as he was too young to serve as an officer, so reenlisted as an NCO, but was attested and recommended for a Commission. He continued his studies for a year and eventually was accepted as a Commissioned Officer. His suitability was evident in his excellent examination results and having spent nearly 10 years’ service as a Sergeant at King’s College under Major Stuckey. He was a member of College Rifles cadets and was subsequently a lieutenant in the No. 3, Field Company, New Zealand Engineers. He was also a member of the University Rifles Team, which won the Haslam Shield for shooting.

When he was accepted for military service, he was 6ft 1/2inch tall, (he had grown an inch since his initial enlistment application). He had blue eyes and light brown hair. He left New Zealand on 2 March 1918 and arrived in Southampton, England on 8 April 1918 on the vessel ‘Tofua’ as a Second Lieutenant of the 35th Reinforcements, A Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He was posted to the Rifle Brigade and went to France 16 August 1918 [1]

At the time Evan was posted to France, the Germans were retreating to the Hindenburg Line on the Western Front, in front of the advancing British Army. The New Zealand Division were ‘mopping up’ a succession of rear guards behind the British Army. The New Zealand Division fought their way through Havrincourt Forest and Gouzeaucourt Wood before reaching Trescault Ridge, where Evan was killed on 9 September 1918. Evan is buried at Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery, Nord, France, VII.E.14. He was 22 years old. [3]

St Aidan's Memorial [3]

Evan was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal In 1949 in Evan’s memory, his father Harold established an Engineering Scholarship at the University of Auckland, which is still available annually. [4, 5]

There are 3 other memorials to Lieutenant Evan Gibb Hudson:

• A plaque at the Auckland Garrison Officers Club, St Mary’s Church (part of Holy Trinity Cathedral), corner St Stephens Avenue and Parnell Road, Auckland, New Zealand

• St Aidan’s Church, Remuera, Auckland. The lychgate was funded by Mr H.W. Hudson and his daughter in memory of their son and brother. A brass plate on the roof beam is inscribed,

‘In memory of / Evan Gibb Hudson Lieut. N.Z.E.F. / and of /  

“those others” / who gave their lives in the great war for civilisation / 1914-1918 / 

“Their names liveth for evermore”’. 

The lychgate and cross were designed by K.O. Atkinson Abbott.

• Evan’s ceremonial sword is on display at the University of Auckland in the Faculty of Engineering. [6]