Albert Henry Kingsbury was the first child born of 6 sons and 6 daughters to Eliza Munton and Robert Kingsbury on the 21st June 1882, Cust, New Zealand.
He worked on the family property until his enlistment, and did not marry.
His call to duty in World War One saw him enlist in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles.
August 1914 The Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment (CMR) is formed from the three Territorial Force mounted rifles regiments of the Canterbury Military District and starts training for service overseas as part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force .Lieutenant-Colonel John Findlay is appointed to command the new regiment, which is assembled at the Addington Show Grounds from 12 August and reaches full strength on 16 August.The regiment’s horses come from two sources. A man can enlist with his own horses. Those who do not are allocated a horse (known as a ‘remount’) from the stock that the army purchases at the start of the war. This leads to skulduggery as men attempt to acquire a suitable mount.
- 23rd– The CMR leaves camp. Most of the regiment ride to Lyttleton.
- 25th– On arrival in Wellington, the men of the CMR disembark as the departure of the convoy carrying the Main Body of the NZEF has been delayed. 1st (Canterbury) goes into camp at Lyall Bay, while 8th (South Canterbury) and 10th (Nelson) enter camp at Trentham.
- 14th– The CMR re-embarks on its transports.
- 16th– The convoy carrying the Main Body of the NZEF leaves Wellington.
- 21st– The convoy arrives at Hobart, Tasmania.
- 22nd– The men of the Main Body undertake a route march through Hobart, then re-embark on their transports and the convoy leaves the harbour.
- 28th– The CMR and the rest of the Main Body arrive at Albany, Western Australia, and join the convoy carrying the main body of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
- 1st– The combined AIF/NZEF main body convoy leaves Albany for the Indian Ocean.
- 15th– The troop convoy arrives in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
- 17th– The troop convoy leaves Colombo.
- 30th– The convoy arrives at Suez, Egypt.
- 3rd– After passing through the Suez Canal, the CMR disembarks at Alexandria and travels by train to Zeitoun Camp, which is located near Cairo, the capital of Egypt.
The regiment soon settles into a routine of training interspersed with sightseeing and sport.
- 17th – The horses have acclimatised and mounted training begins.
1915 For the first four months of 1915, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment (CMR) continues training in Egypt. Hopes of action in defence of the Suez Canal and then in the invasion of the Dardanelles are dashed.
2nd– Rioting by Anzac soldiers in Cairo’s Wazzir brothel district is put down by mounted troops. All leave is stopped.
- 3rd– Orders are received for the Gallipoli invasion. The bulk of the NZMR (including the CMR) and the two Australian Light Horse brigades will remain in Egypt to continue training and to defend the Suez Canal against the Ottoman Turks.
Training focuses on long-distance treks and inter-brigade maneouvres. The CMR suffered heavy casualties on Gallipoli. 485 men landed at Anzac Cove on 12 May and another 192 arrived later as reinforcements. Of these 677 men, 113 have been killed in action, 12 died of sickness, 46 are missing and 466 have been evacuated wounded or sick. Just 28 men of the CMR travel to Lemnos.
February 1916 The CMR spends the month training, playing sport and swimming in the Suez Canal.
Over the next two years, the troopers saw action and camps at many places, including Serapeum, Moascar, Salhia,Kantara,Romani,Bir Etmaler, Debabis, Gaza, Tel El Fara, Bersheba, Bethlehem and Amman, to name a few.
In September 1918, the troops spent time in a valley which was infested with malaria.
The 27th Hospital was about 100 kilometres from Cairo on the road to Jerusalem. Early in October 1918 the Canterbury Mounted Rifles suffered greatly from an outbreak of malaria, with about 170 men evacuated to hospital.
Just 5 days before the Ottoman Turks signed an Armistice Treaty, Albert Henry Kingsbury died and was buried on the 25th October, 1918 .
He was 35.
He was my 1st cousin 3 times removed. His mother Eliza was the sister of Elizabeth Munton, my great great grandmother.