Herbert (Herbie) Bland

by Margaret Morgan

He was born in Dunedin on 2nd October 1891 in North East Valley where he won a Medal at school for shooting when he was 13 years of age. He was the youngest of ten children and had six sisters. When he was nine his mother died and he was "mothered" by them and a great favourite. After his sister Mabel married Sid Davys in 1907 and they went to Oamaru to live, where Sid had a practice, he went with them to work with Sid and learn to be a dental mechanic.

In 1912 his father died on the way back from a trip to see his family in Scotland and about the same time Mabel and Sid, their two small daughters and Herbie moved to Wellington, where Sid went into partnership with another dentist.

When World War One broke out Herbie enlisted in the Wellington Mounted Rifles, 6th Squadron (Manawatu) NZEF. He attained the rank of Lance Corporal and traveled to Turkey by troopship from Wellington, probably on the NZT Arawa with 59 officers, 1259 men from various regiments and 215 horses. The NZT Orari had left previously with other regiments of Wellington Mounted Rifles, 16 officers, 269 men and 728 horses. They were based in Turkey across the Dardenelles from Anzac Cove. He was killed in the Battle of Sari Bair, fought on 6-10 August 1915, on 9th August 1915 and his name is commemorated on the monument at Chunuk Bair. He was 23.

The family was told that he was in charge of the horses when a shell exploded amongst them. In the possession of the descendants there is a silver purse sent back from Turkey to his sister Mabel.

Herbie as a cadet.