Son of William Hart and Mary Ann Reid.
Served in Anglo-Boer War and both World Wars.
Commissioned with NZ Volunteers, 29 October 1907.
Went to South Africa with the 9th Contingent in 1902 but did not see any action before the war ended on 31 May 1902.
Hart married Minnie Alma Eleanor Renall, daughter of a local Carterton farmer, in Carterton, 8 April 1903. They had three daughters, one of whom died in infancy, and one son.
Qualified as a barrister & solicitor in 1907 and began practicing with Thomas Maunsell in Carterton.
Enlisted 1 NZEF, 5 August 1914, as a Major and 2i/c (second-in-command) of the Wellington Battalion.
After being wounded at Gallipoli, Hart spent several months in 1915 recovering in England before being promoted Lt Colonel and returning to Gallipoli as CO (Commanding Officer) of Wellington Regiment. Upon promotion to Lt Col, Hart wrote to his wife, saying it would increase the pension she would receive 'if I happen to go out'. (DNZB)
"In March 1917 he was made a temporary brigadier general and given command of the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade, which was being raised from reinforcements in England. Hart directed its training, and under his leadership it quickly developed into a highly efficient unit. The brigade performed particularly well during the New Zealand Division's successful attack on Gravenstafel Spur during the third battle of Ypres (Ieper) in October 1917. Hart was profoundly disappointed by the decision in January 1918 to disband his brigade as part of a reorganisation of the New Zealand Division." (DNZB)
CO (Commanding Officer) of 2 NZ Infantry Brigade, February 1918. A few days after the appointment, "he and virtually all his staff were badly gassed. In early April 1918 he took charge of the New Zealand reserves at Sling Camp in England. Well aware of the 'waste and destructiveness' of the bloody struggle in which he was engaged, he became cynical about the honours and awards received by senior officers. In June 1918, after being made a CMG, he wrote: 'It has been remarked that awards are now served out as rations; be it so no one likes being without his rations'." (DNZB)
CO of 3 NZ Rifle Brigade, France, July 1918.
After being discharged in May 1919, Hart established a new legal firm in Masterton and Carterton. "He was the first president of the Masterton Rotary Club and received the New Zealand Returned Soldiers' Association's highest honour, the Gold Badge, for his work on behalf of former soldiers." (DNZB)
CO of 2 NZ Infantry Brigade, NZ, June 1920 - May 1925.
Administrator of Western Samoa, 1931-35. Although not everyone regarded his service in Samoa as successful, in June 1935 Hart was made a KBE for his work in the islands.
NZ Representative and Deputy Controller, Imperial War Graves Commission, 1936-43. From his base in Jerusalem, he organised cemeteries and memorials in Egypt, Palestine, Salonika, Gallipoli, Iraq and Iran. Between 1940-42, he served as CSO (Chief Staff Officer) of GHQ (General Headquarters), Middle East Command and was responsible for managing the British Army's grave registration service in East Africa and the Middle East. AWMM