A ceremony was held at the Waipukurau War Memorial Hall and Cenotaph on Anzac Day eve to honour 21 CHB soldiers killed in 1918 during World War I.

Among those attending was Lynere Illsley (nee Bartosh), who laid a cross and read out the biography of her great-uncle, Lance-Corporal John "Jack" Laurence Bartosh, who was killed in France in August, 1918.

Jack was the second eldest of five boys. Illsley's grandfather Percy was the youngest, and all four older brothers enlisted for war.

"Three of them ended up going. Two were killed," she said.


Jack Bartosh was born on August 20, 1894, in Woodville, the son of Richard and Annie Bartosh. He enlisted on March 7, 1916, embarked on the transport Maunganui from Wellington on June 26, 1916, and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Auckland Infantry Regiment on October 1, 1916.

On June 5, 1917, the battalion was in near Messines when Jack was wounded in the arm. He returned to the battalion by August 30, 1918, when the battalion was deployed on the Somme east of Bapaume.

There was to be an attack on a wide front, but due to timing problems with a flanking unit, the battalion was held back.

It was heavily shelled by the Germans, and on advance was met by heavy machine gun fire. That day, Lance-Corporal J Bartosh was killed in action.

He is buried in Bancourt British Cemetery and was awarded the British War Medal (1914-19) and Victory Medal. His name appears on both cenotaphs at Hatuma and Waipukurau.