Only to receive a telegram months later that one son wont be coming home tonight.
Farms lay idle "while the boys were away", the girls had to do a "man`s job" or the scrub soon replaced what was once grass. And then the boys that returned had a double battle of recovering from the fighting, and restoring the farm.
The small boy sitting is my Great Uncle Claude. He was killed on Saturday 30th March 1918 in Aaman and didn't get to return to Kaitieke.
One of the wars ironies was that every boy that was killed in action, the families had to pay "Death Duty" on any land the son had owned. So ⅓ of the bush farm that Great Uncle Claude had cut from the bush before joining the Wellington Mounted Rifles became property of the NZ Tax Office. Then in 1950s, my Great Grandmother Racheal (on the right) was required to pay a further £1000 in 1950s to cover a Claude`s death as Claude`s farm was worth more then originally assessed at the time of his death.
It seems that War can be very profitable for Wellington... even when your favourite sons are being killed.
To this day I dont get how a government can levy a tax on someone killed while serving their country. The world has changed soo much in 100 years. Today a widow would not be required to sell ⅓ of her home to pay "Death Duty" after her sweat heart was killed in Afghanistan.