From London to Leeston

Bert Gill put the War behind him when he came back to New Zealand.

Courtesy of Helen MacArthur. All Rights Reserved

After receiving an injury to his buttock while serving in France in 1917, Albert (Bert) Gill left the Western Front and was reassigned as a clerk to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force Division Headquarters in London.

He returned to New Zealand in 1920 and settled in Leeston, Canterbury, where a friend of his was a farmhand. Through the farm’s owners, Margaretta and David Lochhead, Bert met Maud McLachlan, Margaretta’s sister. Bert and Maud fell in love and married in 1923.

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Bert and Maud had their wedding photograph taken at the studio of Standish and Preece in Christchurch

Courtesy of Helen McArthur

Maud McLachlan

Courtesy of Helen McArthur. All Rights Reserved

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Bert Gill's Victory Medal (1914–19)

Courtesy of Helen McArthur

Bert Gill's British War Medal (1914–20)

Courtesy of Helen McArthur

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Bert kept his unassembled British War Medal 1914–20 (left) and Victory Medal 1914–19 (right) in the original envelopes and boxes he received them in and packed them away in a trunk along with his other war items.