Posted 19 June 2009 - 06:53 pm
From Men of Faith and Courage - The Official History of New Zealand's Army Chaplains. By J. Bryant Haigh -
MULLINEAUX, M (MC) (Ch. C1. 1V) C of E.
No1 NZ Field Ambulance
No 2 NZ General Hospital
2Bn Entrenching Group
pgs 76, 77, 79
"The 2nd New Zealand Entrenching Battalion was thrown separately into the line in a vain attempt to halt the German thrust in May 1918 and fought apart from other New Zealand units and not under New Zealand Division's control. On the first day, the RAP was struck by German fire and the Battalion's medical officer - Capt J.K. Venables MC - was mortally wounded and most of his staff killed. The RAP, under enemy fire for the rest of the Battalion's heroic two day fight, was run by Chaplain Matthew Mullineaux, who later received an MC for his gallantry and devotion to duty. Mullineaux was an Englishman, born in 1870, who had worked his passage to New Zealand aboard the SS Moana. Although an ordained Anglican clergyman (MA of St John's College, Cambridge) he was better known on the playing fields of England as a top rugby footballer of the Blackheath Club. He played halfback in the 1896 British team that toured South Africa, the team that lost only one of the twentyone games played. In 1899 he played halfback and was also manager of the British team that toured Australia, winning 18 of the twentyone games played. His ability on the rugby field so impressed the Australians that 'Banjo' Paterson, the Australian balladier, wrote a poem about him:
"THE REVEREND MR MULLINEAUX
I'd reckon his weight as eight-stun-eight,
And his height at five-foot-two,
With a face as plain as an eight-day clock
Game as a bantam too,
Hard and wiry and full of steam,
That's the boss of the English team,
Makes no row when the game gets rough -
None of your 'Strike me blue!'
'Youse wants smacking across the snout!'
Plays like a gentleman out and out
Same as he ought to do,
'Kindly remove from off my face!'
That's the way he states his case,
Kick! He can kick like an Army mule -
Run like a kangaroo!
Hard to get by as a lawyer-plant,
Tackles his man like a bulldog ant -
Fetches him over too!
Didn't the public cheer and shout
Watchin' him chuckin' big blokes about,
Scrimmage was packed on his prostrate form,
Somehow the ball got through -
Who was it tackled our big halfback,
Flinging him down like and empty sack,
Right on our goal-line too?
Who but the man that we thought was dead,
Down with a score of 'em on his head,
"Mullineaux had served for a time as a Royal Naval Chaplain before coming to New Zealand. He went to France with the 23rd Reinforcements in April 1917 and before joining the entrenching battalions had served for a time with 1 New Zealand Ambulance and 2 New Zealand General Hospital. He took his discharge from the New Zealand Army in England in September 1919. The citation to his MC read: 'During two days hard fighting, when the Medical Officer had become a casualty early on the morning of the first day, Rev Mullineaux took charge of the Regimental Aid Post, dressed the wounded and supervised their evacuation. The RAP was subject to very heavy high explosive and gas shellfire for twelve hours, and but for his skill and excellent dispositions, serious congestion would have occurred. Hs untiring energy and cheerful service in providing comforts for the troops under most adverse circumstances were of the greatest value to all ranks of the battalion."