The Mouldey Brothers

George and John "Jack" Mouldey

The Mouldey Brothers were part of a large Manawatu family. Born to John Moses Mouldey and Alice Tanner, George and John Mouldey were two brothers in a family of six children who grew up attending the same schools in Woodville, later attending Central Normal School in Palmerston North. George, being the older of the two brothers, left school first, and went on to work for his uncle Robert Tanner in Longburn; Jack left a year later and worked for G W Stewart as a farm hand in Dannevirke.

By the time The Great War arrived in 1914, both brothers were old enough to enlist with the New Zealand Army. Soon after the start of hostilities George enlisted on 24 October 1914, joining the New Zealand Field Artillery’s 4th Battery as a Gunner. Embarking in December 1914, George soon arrived in Egypt as part of the ANZAC forces preparing to land at Gallipoli. After serving a few months at Gallipoli, George was sent back to Egypt for rest and refit with his unit. Early in 1916 he was admitted to hospital in Alexandria, being noted that he “spends a good part of the night out of bed and walking about the ward. He has certain delusions regarding the Kaiser…”. George was later repatriated to New Zealand in April 1916, being discharged not long after, having received the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service to King and Country. He moved to Carterton, where he lived until his death in 1955.

John’s war career was shorter and less fortunate. Signing up as a private with B Company, 1st Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Battalion, Jack (as he was also known) undertook 5 months of basic training before being sent to Egypt in October 1915. After his arrival in Alexandria, Jack became part of the newly formed New Zealand Division, which was then forwarded on to France. After a brief stint in hospital in May 1916, he rejoined his unit which took part in the Battle of The Somme. Jack was part of the main New Zealand Brigade thrust towards Fleurs-Courcelette on 15th September 1916. On this, the first day of the New Zealand spearheaded offensive, Jack became one of the 1500 Kiwi fatalities for the day.

Both mens’ brave sacrifices are forever remembered via the Cenotaph in The Square, Palmerston North, and other memorial boards and gates throughout the Manawatu.

Photographs of the Mouldey Family were donated to the My Family Story Project by a relative. Research completed by Heritage Assistant Evan Greensides.