2nd Lt Alfred John Shout VC and Sgt Frank Barber MM

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Southern (left) pylon

Second Lieutenant Alfred John Shout VC, probably in Egypt.

On the back of the photograph is written the single word "Whisper", a reference to Shout's nickname. Shout served with a New Zealand unit in the Boer War before settling in Australia. He became a carpenter and joiner in Sydney and served as an officer in the local militia. Embarked with F Company, 1st Battalion from Sydney aboard HMAT Afric on 18 October 1914. He took part in the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and was awarded the Military Cross and was Mentioned in Despatches for his actions during the next few weeks. Shout was promoted to captain in July 1915.

During the attack on Lone Pine (6-9 August), Captain Shout took part in the initial assault and defended captured positions. On 9 August, he charged down an enemy trench killing eight Turks and wounding others. Later in the day a bomb he had lit exploded prematurely causing him massive injuries.

Capt Shout died of his wounds on the hospital ship HS Neuralia on 11 August 1915 and was buried at sea. His Victoria Cross was gazetted two months later.

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

Northern (right) pylon

Sergeant Frank Barber MM, the New Zealand Army Medical Corps sailed from Wellington as a member of the Ambulance section in October 1914 and returned to New Zealand in May 1917. Barber saw active service at Gallipoli before going to the Western Front in 1916.

Front-line service in the Medical Corps was one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army. Stretcher-bearers in particular won the admiration of fighting troops, especially when they went out into 'no-man's land' to rescue wounded soldiers and bring them in for treatment.

Frank won his medal for his gallantry during the battle of Chunuk Bair on Gallipoli on 7 and 8 August 1915, for bringing wounded men in under heavy enemy fire. He returned to Wellington on a ship carrying 517 other sick and wounded soldiers, but his homecoming was not a happy one. In his absence, his wife had an affair with another man and a child had been born to them. Divorce proceedings began, and a Court hearing in June 1918 of Barber's petition for the marriage to be dissolved on the grounds of his wife's misconduct was granted, and the other man was ordered to pay him 25 pounds' damages.

We know that he visited the Berry studio some time in April 1918 as the date 'April 18' is inscribed on the negative. Worry about the impending Court hearing may account for the rather preoccupied look on his face, but he was to marry again, to Dorothy Eveline Chant, in September. He and Dorothy lived in Island Bay, Wellington, and later in Inglewood, Taranaki. Frank died on 10 May 1968, and Evelyn on 3 Feb 1984. They are buried together in the Services section of Te Henui cemetery, New Plymouth, New Zealand.

Courtesy of Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tongarewa.


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