Remembering after the war

This is the final in our series of Heavens XV and reserves.

Although World War One officially ended on Armistice Day, on November 11, 1918, sadly deaths were still occurring or being reported after that date.

By December, Ashburton High School’s magazine began the dreadful tally of casualties.

Of the 285 High School Old Boys who were known to have enlisted, 49 had died of wounds or illness. The magazine noted that as some Old Boys had enlisted near the end of hostilities so not all of that number had actually served overseas.

Approximately 250 Old Boys served overseas, meaning that more than 1 in 5 had paid the ultimate price.

With the end of the war, communities and groups began the task of raising money for numerous honours boards and war memorials. However remembering the fallen sometimes took on forms other than built monuments, halls and physical reminders. Some parents chose to commentate their sons in ways that would benefit other’s futures or education, such as two prizes awarded by grieving parents of fallen Ashburton High School Old Boys.

Lest We Forget.


Stanley Berryman

1. Stanley Berryman.png

Stanley was born in Waimate in 1890 to Henry and Mary. He was educated at Borough School and entered Ashburton High School in 1903 with a Governors scholarship. He left the following year having distinguished himself in all branches of athletics, particularly football and cricket. A farmer when he enlisted in August 1914 he served in Gallipoli where he was wounded twice and invalided to England. He was sent back to New Zealand for his commission as Officer and returned to action in 1917. He took part in the capture of Gaza, and after recovering from dysentery in an Egyptian hospital returned to Palestine, where he fell in action in March 1918. To commemorate his son, Henry established the Stanley Berryman Memorial Prize of one guinea to be awarded annually for an essay in the character or paraphrase of the statement: ‘tis only noble to be good, kind hearts are more than coronets and simple faith than Norman blood.’


John McPeake Bell

John was born in Timaru in 1895 to Mary and Robert, who later became proprietor of the Ashburton Guardian. John was enrolled in Borough School, then Ashburton High School in 1906 – 1907, where he showed good promise as a footballer. He left school to work in at the paper, becoming foreman of the compositing staff, before enlisting in March 1917. John had tried to enlist earlier but was considered ‘not suitable’ due to flat feet. His father then approached the Appeal Board on the grounds that workers in the industry were becoming hard to come by. His appeal was denied, and John was killed in France in August, 1918. In 1919, Robert established the John Bell Memorial Scholarship, awarding a two year scholarship to enable sons of small farmers, farm labourers or artisans to pursue studies in agricultural sciences. The funds were secured in £1000 of government bonds to the value, which were expected to gain interest of £45 per annum. Two scholarships were awarded every two years from 1920.


Stuart Gordon McCallum


Stuart was born in 1893 to Robert and Agnes. He attended Borough School and Ashburton High School from 1908 to 1909, where he was prominent in football and school games, and also a talented pianoforte player. Stuart worked at the auctioneers, Nicoll Brothers, before moving to Auckland to work at the Auckland Herald. He enlisted in September 1915. Wounded in July 1916 at Armentieres, he was invalided in England but contracted an infectious disease so had to receive special treatment. After a short stint in France he contracted tuberculosis and was sent home in January 1918. He spent some months in a sanatorium before returning home to Ashburton, where he died in May 1919. He was buried in the Ashburton cemetery with a full military funeral.


William Rowland Errol Hood


Born in 1897 to John and Margaret, at school he was Errol, but family and close friends called him Tom. He attended Mount Somers School, then Ashburton High School in 1912 – 1915. An all-rounder, he was captain of the 1st XV in 1912 and 1915, a prefect in 1914 and 1915, a tennis, gymnastics and senior athletics champion, and Cadet Corps sergeant. On leaving school Tom worked for the Lands and Survey Department in Christchurch, then returned to Ashburton as a cashier in the National Mortgage Agency. Surprisingly, when he enlisted in March 1917 the medical board decided he was only suitable for clerical or farm work due to his flat fleet. He served in France where he died on 7 November 1918, just 4 days before Armistice Day. To give an example of the agony of waiting endured by those at home, news that had been wounded arrived in Mount Somers on the November 21, and the telegram announcing his death came two days later.

By Kathleen Stringer



  1. Stanley Berryman.
  4. Ashburton High School Prefects 1914, Errol (Tom) Hood is back row, second from right.
  5. Ashburton High School Old Boys’ Football team, 1902. Stanley is in striped shirt leaning on ground at front left.
  6. Ashburton High School First XV., 1914 Errol (Tom) Hood is back row, far left.


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