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Frederick Arthur Cubitt

Nominal Roll Vol 1, Page: 166 - No known copyright restrictions

Nominal Roll Vol 1, Page: 166 - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Frederick Arthur AWMM
  • Surname
    Cubitt AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWI 9/368 AWMM
    • WWI 4/368 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Coupar Street, Kaikorai, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Mary Cubitt (mother), Mount Street, Kaikorai, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 16 October 1914 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWI 9/368 AWMM
    • WWI 4/368 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 Trooper AWMM
    OtagoNew Zealand AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Serial Number appears as 9/368 in Nominal Rolls, as 4/368 in Archives New Zealand.

    Information from Paul Cubitt
    Account of Diaries, letters, and other documents held by family .

    Diary 1: Egypt/Gallipoli diary. 1915.

    * Largely undamaged
    * Clear, easy to read, stream of consciousness style with very interesting, detailed notes.
    * Ends after arrival France to join the NZ Division in early April 1916.

    Diary 2 : with supplement documentation. Western front from March 1916 to 1919.

    * Damaged, congested, very small lettering, often faint, very hard-to-read, detailed streaming writing stye. Detailed through 1916 - 1917 but not 1918 - 1919.
    * In diary pocket is a calendar with some continuous dated entries. It is Not complete.
    * Documentation such as leave passes and transport tickets
    * Correspondence and minutes relating to Saddler Fred Cubitt, Secretary and Treasurer of 4th Battery (Howitzer) Field Artillery NZ Division Football (Rugby) Club

    * Numerous letters from Fred to his mother whilst overseas. Very friendly loving letters with careful attention to making light of the situation but still offering a light level of information within the limits of heavy censorship boundaries.
    * Telegram from brother? Bob advising Mum died peaceably September 1917?
    * A few letters to sister Polly and to brothers x2
    * 1x letter from officer (as friend)

    * Numerous letters from Fred to May Thomson 1921-1924. Fred wrote while on extensive trips to remote areas of North and South Island whilst working as a Chain-man for Surveying teams. Recounted time in cities also especially Wellington (hated) Auckland, Whakatane, New Plymouth etc. Lots of discussion on future plans together eg possible job New Plymouth (turned down -low pay) and possible buying leasehold land from her parents.
    * 1x letter from Alex to Mary 1947 over sale of family land (leasehold?)
    * 1x letter from Mary to Mum 1947 over sale of family land
    * Other miscellaneous letters.

    * Army discharge certificate (I am framing)

    Overall, even in relation to other service staff, Fred had an incredible record of achievement and service throughout his time. Unbelievably there is no apparent official record of wounds despite his front-line duty, first as a Trooper in Gallipoli ,and then in an artillery unit at the Western Front. He came out of the , high casualty, trench warfare at Gallipoli, and the August 1915 Battle of Chanuk Bair, unscathed including confronting and overcoming Turkish soldiers in a bayonet attack. He was in no-doubt in both battles of the Somme 1916/1917 and the mobile advances of 1918. He writes of constant counter- battery fire from the German artillery, day and night, plus bombing from the air.

    Although he was on leave in Southern France and Monte Carlo at the armistice (11 November 1918) he was on duty throughout the war unless he was taking short/long term leave or sick leave. His longest leave seems to occur from the end of August to November in the Gallipoli Campaign when he was evacuated to Malta 2 stone underweight (10 stone) and sick with Jaundice. He says he had a bad splinter infection in his big toe 1916? which he alleviated by cutting a toe hole in his boots but eventually he required field hospital treatment. His discharge recorded ill-health (bronchitus). The offical archives show he was almost constantly on sick leave through late August though to November 1915 and again through June/ July 1918.

    Fred started war as a “Trooper” of the Otago Mounted rifles. He was promoted to “Saddler’ in Cairo January 1915. He remained at this rank until discharge although the official record also shows he was a “Gunner”. He was very pleased to receive the extra bob (per week?). It seems the Saddler’s duty was to maintain and repair the leather work involved with horses.

    Fred rejoined the Otago Mounted Rifles at Lemnos after recovery from sickness late November 1915. This was the time the unit was broken up and dispersed through the Pioneers and Artillery units of the NZ Division in the Western Front and perhaps, as horsemen, to Palestine. Fred was allocated to the 4th Battery Howitzers of the NZ Field Artillery. The Howitzers are high projectile field pieces. In WW1 Howitzers were moved by horses, Fred’s specialty.

    Fred was very proud of the fact that he left with the first, “main” body of troops to the war in 1914. He tended to seek our his pals and associates from that main contingent throughout, and after, the war. A lot of his notes recorded the death or wounding of his associates. The records are constant and heart -breaking including his constant recording of horse deaths. He constantly advises his Mum that he is willing to stay in service until the war’s end and references not shirking on his duty of service.

    His correspondence notes his mother encouraged him to make contact with her, and Robert’s, relatives which he did so when on extended leave in Britain. He did meet Robert’s brother. Fred also made particular note the Norfolk Regiment had many Cubitts of which a high number where killed in the British’s disastrous attack at Cape Helles, Gallipoli. He had no idea ,when writing, whether they were close relatives or not.

    The letter’s often refer to lost mail, delayed mail, getting a backlog of mail and using letters to cover possible former lost mail to her and to others. He was particularly careful not to tell bad news that may precede the official notification of death, missing etc. He wrote very carefully to alleviate his mother’s concern for his safety but did reference his closeness to death and the high casualty rate with his Mum.

    After the war Fred was unable to get a job in Dunedin and noted there was nothing available for Saddlers throughout New Zealand (lack of horses no doubt). He was forced to get low paid work as a Surveyor’s “Chain-man” which took him to remote areas throughout NZ. His letters to May from 21/24 are his correspondence to her from these places. They are easy to read and highlight where he is, what he, and the weather, is doing, what football (rugby) he gets to watch and how much he misses her and when perhaps he is heading back. He wrote often.

    The collection mainly ends when Fred is reunited long term with May but there is some other correspondence as noted above. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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