WW1 Lewin Maughan Barnett

Lewin Maughan Barnett

Lewin Barnett’s military record says he was born in Auckland but his birth is not officially recorded anywhere in New Zealand. His parents were Harriet Frances and John Maughan Barnett of 212 Remuera Road.

They had arrived in New Zealand from Yorkshire via Hobart Cathedral, Tasmania in 1893, with J. Maughan Barnett already a well-known virtuoso pianist, organist, choral and orchestral conductor, and composer. For some years after his arrival in Auckland in 1912, Maughan Barnett was organist and choirmaster at St. Mark’s Church, Remuera. Little is known about Lewin’s early life, but he did win a prize for carpentry at Wellington College in 1909. (1) Lewin was farming at Piopio when he enlisted at Te Kuiti one week after New Zealand declared war on Germany in August 1914. He joined C Company 16th Waikato Regiment as part of the Auckland Infantry Battalion, giving his age as 21. His medical record described him as 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. He embarked from Auckland on 16 October 1914 with the Main Body of the N Z Expeditionary Force sailing to Alexandria in Egypt, arriving 3 December 1914, where the NZEF combined with the Australian Imperial Force to form the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

Lewin embarked for the Dardanelles on 12 April 1914 and was part of the ANZAC landing near Ari Burnu in the bay now known as Anzac Cove. In May 1915 he was listed as wounded and then missing in August 1915. His father Maughan, by then the first City Organist at Auckland since 1912, said his son had been reported as missing. ”There is every reason to believe that he is confined in one or other of the military hospitals or convalescent homes. This assumption is based on the receipt of a cable message received from a friend of the young man’s, stating that Mr. Barnett had been wounded in the right arm and had gone away in a hospital ship. So far Mr. Maughan Barnett, has not been able to trace his son, nor, has he heard front him, but in respect to that the injured man might have refrained from cabling under the impression that his case had been reported on in the ordinary war. The injury to his right arm might have prevented his writing. (2) It was also hoped that he might be a prisoner in Constantinople (3). But then as a result of a Board of Enquiry at Moascar Camp at Ismailia in Egypt in January 1916 Lewin was believed to have died on the 25 April 1915 at Anzac Cove. Most of those who died on 25 April 1915 have no known grave. Lewin Barnett is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula which stands on the site of the fiercest fighting at Lone Pine and overlooks the whole front line of May 1915. It commemorates more than 4,900 Australian and New Zealand servicemen who died in the Anzac area. Lewin Maughan Barnett’s name is on Panel 72. (4)