I've been a bit busy of late, but I do not think anyone has posted this at all?http://www.stuff.co....6710a11,00.html
The last World War 1 veteran in New Zealand will be laid to rest on the West Coast today.
It has been almost 90 years since teenager Victor (Bob) Rudd lied about his age to enlist with the British Army's 9th Lancers regiment.
Today, the contribution of the English-born cavalryman will be recognised by the Returned Services Association at his funeral in Greymouth. The last New Zealand-born survivor of the Great War, rifleman Bright Williams, died in Hastings in 2003.
Rudd died in Greymouth on Sunday, aged 104.
Despite never having ridden a horse, Private Rudd joined the cavalry and was en route to the front when the armistice was announced on November 11, 1918. Rudd's regiment carried on across France and Belgium to serve 15 months as part of the occupying forces in Germany, digging graves and cleaning up after retreating soldiers.
Rudd's daughter, Valda Rudd, 77, said she was proud of her father, and enjoyed hearing stories of his early days.
"He was a great storyteller. He really held the floor. As he's got older, he hasn't stopped going back to the days of the First World War."
Rudd said her father spoke of how dirty France was, how clean Germany was, and how when he fell off his horse he was made to chase it to get back on.
"He just did as he was told," she said. "That was a short, sharp lesson, and he would say the horses were better fed than the men."
Born in East Dulwich, London, in April 1901, Rudd came to New Zealand after the war and settled in Greymouth, where he worked on the waterfront. For several years, he had a shoe-repair shop with his son and worked as a labourer for the Railways Department, helping dig the Otira tunnel.
Rudd kept good health throughout his life and lived independently until a few days short of his 100th birthday, when he moved into residential care.
A noted draughts and chess player, Rudd was runner-up in the New Zealand national draughts championships on two occasions.
He also enjoyed cards and was a keen indoor bowler.
AdvertisementAdvertisementRudd, who outlived his wife and son, died at Granger House in Greymouth.
Valda Rudd is his only remaining child.