NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES

James Hamilton Russell

Born: 12th May 1892, Wanganui

 

Schools: Huntley School, Marton

              Wanganui Collegiate

 

Military Service: See Cenotaph record here.

 

Married: Joyce K. McKelvie

Date: 1919

Place: ‘Pukemarama’, RD, Palmerston North

 

Mother:  Mary  Hamilton, born Scotland

Father: Robert Russell, born Scotland, builder and draughtsman/architect

Siblings: Janet ( Etta), married O. Ferens, of Wanganui

 

Moved down to Parewanui (Bulls, Rangitikei) in around 1928 to farm.

Played polo for Rangitikei and keen supporter of the racing club

 

Died:  1962

James left behind 2 photo albums of his time in the Middle East but there seems to be no written records.  No letters or diaries, just a tourist map showing his route and some captions along the way.  However the photos in the two albums are arranged in such a way as to relate to his "adventure". The first  album relates to his training in Featherston Camp and at Papawai Camp. It then show his departure with the 21st Reinforcements, pictures of the trip, arrival at Sydney, Colombo, Bombay and Suez. It then records time spent in and around Ismalia and Moscar as part of the training required prior to departure for the front and the NZMR Brigade. The next series of pictures show Khan Yunis and the trek towards Asluj and the destruction of the bridge there and then on towards Tel es Saba.

The Second album begins with Tel es Saba and from there onwards to Jaffa, Jerusalem and on towards Amman and concludes with the return trip back towards Cairo.

Some pictures have dates and captions most do not. Some pictures seem to be out of sequence and some are in a very poor state although many are in good condition. There are 39 pages in the first album consisting of 307 photos glued to the pages and 26 photos and postcards.

The second album consists of  44 pages and 207 photos, most of which are glued to the pages also..

These photos represent a pictorial diary of the events of the 21st Reinforcements of the NZMR

I hope to bring you these photos on this website in the sequence of the events as they occurred. Here the first page shows James and some other members of his family, in August, September and November. The first photo shows James as though he is contemplating his future and what lies ahead for him. The next page shows life at the training camps during November.


 

James while in Scotland

prior to the War

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