25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) enquiry

To : Jan
From: Bruce
Subject: 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen)

I rang a short time ago stating my emails wouldn't go through from your website. Anyhow, here goes.

This is not a Family History request.

I am researching the history of the 25th (Service) Battalion) Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen). They served during WW1 in British East Africa. Mainly formed by members of the Legion of Frontiersmen which was a British Empire wide body. (They still exist after a fashion today but are only a few hundred world wide.)

While going through some old journals written in 1948 I came across an item by O. Pedersen from Waipawa. In the next issue the initials had been changed to P.E. Pedersen. Possibly the first article was in error and corrected in the following issue. The name could also have been spelt as Peterson - just a possibility.

I note that Jan mentions she had several generations in Waipawa. Perhaps the name means something to her or her family?

There were only five New Zealanders serving in this particular campaign. Four were killed (it is understood) but Pedersen made it.

I was wondering if the name rang a bell or if there were any local records which might contain some information.

Thanks you for your time.

To : Bruce
From: Jan
Subject: 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen)

Hi Bruce,

Sorry you've had so many problems trying to get through to me with your enquiry... I've flicked an email off to my son in Auckland who will sort out the emailing problem (he's my technical computer/website administrator - as I know very little about how to maintain a website. I just write stuff and scan photos etc and he does the rest)
To tell you the truth I hadn't been aware of it so it was really kind of you to ring and let me know... Its probably been the reason I haven't had any emails through the website for a little while.

Anyway I haven't any information on the history of the 25th (Service) Battalion) Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen).... And the research I had been doing on Pedersen/Peterson's in Waipawa became very confusing because of the way names were recorded sometimes incorrectly in Waipawa's early history... and nobody was quite sure whether the name we were following was correct or not.

But having said that, there are a few avenues we explore with him having been a soldier. I'm not sure which lines you have followed already... but I will try our local Museum (they have a few old photos at least of some of soldiers from various wars - I'm not sure about that Battalion though.)

Anyway I'll get back to you with anything I find out... and the Museum may email you directly if they find something.

Fingers crossed we'll find something


To : Jan
From: Bruce
Subject: 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen)

Hi Jan,
Thank you for your kind reply. The 25th had nothing to do with the NZ Army. It was purely set up by the British. It was the only Battalion sanctioned by the War Office to be sent to a fighting zone without first being trained! It was considered that as they had mainly fought in other wars around the world they would be okay. They suffered heavy losses. Won't go on about that now.

My own tracing tells me there is the odd Pedersen on WW1 War Census. Burial records (those that have been recorded) is like searching in a haystack! If I could get his first name it would be a big help.

The ages for men going into the 25th were given as 25 to 48 years. However it is known that men as old as 61 managed to attached themselves as well! Having said that I would think Pedersen was in the 25 to 48 group.

I have many of the old Legion Journals and it is possible I will come across his death eventually. Thousands of pages to scan over!

You can find out more about the Official Legion by looking at our history website http://www.frontiersmenhistorian.info/index.htm You will note that I am the Hon. NZ Historian and have already produced a book on a "wayward" Frontiersman of past years!

Anyway thanks again.


To : CHB Settlers Museum
From: Jan
Subject: 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen)

Hi Rosheen,
I had this email the other day and wondered if you had any info about the 25th Battalion, or about Pedersen/Peterson's in Waipawa?
I know there are a lot of old soldier photos down there I'm just ot sure whether the 25th (being British not NZ) was among them.
Let me know what you find out if anything.
I really appreciate your help

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