17 January 1917 “ The Rodney and Otamatea Times” reported:-
“Much sympathy is expressed for the Llewell family”. Four sons volunteered for the War……The Minister for defence wired to Mr Llewell news of each report as received in New Zealand. Finally he wired – “Please accept my sincere sympathy in the loss which the Military authorities in England consider you and New Zealand have sustained.”
The losses experienced by this family were great, these are the stories behind the sacrifice.
John William Llewell
Born 3 December 1883 died of pneumonia in Auckland hospital on 30 September 1916 shortly after enlisting. His body was brought to Warkworth on board the Hauiti and he is buried here.
Albert George Llewell
Born 16 October 1885. When he enlisted he described himself as a self-employed bushman. He was seriously wounded in the Dardanelles in 1915 and invalided to England. He then returned to New Zealand where he was officially discharged in July 1916.
An article printed in “The Rodney and Otamatea Times” 14 June 1916 stated:-
“Private A.G. Llewell arrived at Warkworth by the boat on Monday. The few townspeople on the wharf greeted him heartily. He looks well but one leg is still partially paralysed. It is to be hoped that this will soon get right, and that he will be his old self again.”
Unfortunately, he lost the use of his leg permanently and was employed as a clerk at the time of his death. He died on 15 January 1940 and is buried next to his brother here in Warkworth.
As both parents died during the war Albert was the family member who received the death pennies of his two younger brothers.
Born 9 April 1888. When he enlisted in July 1915, he was employed at the Wilson’s Cement factory. He was known to be wounded in action 30 September 1916 in the Battles of the Somme. His body was never found and it was left to the Court of Enquiry to declare that he was believed to have been killed in action on that day. A field report recorded that he was believed to be “Buried south of Le Sars on Martinpuich Road about 100 yards north east of Martinpuich.”
There is a memorial to him at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.
Arthur Thomas Llewell
Born 26 March 1890 and employed by the Wilson’s Cement factory at the time of his enlistment. Initially reported missing in Ypres on October 12 1917 he was later declared killed in action. His body was subsequently recovered and he is buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.