Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WWI Volunteer Couple

The second WWI couple to come to my attention this week is Mr and Mrs F.L. Donkin. They had bought a farm called Pheldy in 1909. They are the only couple, and Mrs Donkin is the only woman that we know of, from Otautau to have joined the war.

Frederick Donkin apparently had an interest in flying as there was mention of some exploits in a glider in Otautau though I can't find anything further on it in the Otautau Standard on PapersPast.

So, in 1915, this couple left Otautau for King and Country. Six months later, an article stated that Mrs Donkin was working in a munitions factory in England while Mr Donkins had been made Captain at the Front in France. He later was promoted to Major.

In 1921, while living in Geraldine, Frederick received the Order of Companion of the Distinguished Service Order from Governor-General Lord Jellicoe.

Sadly, in 1925, Frederick died in a motor lorry accident near Picton, aged 43 or 45. It was reported that his wife and 11-year old son were in England at the time. 

If you know anything about this couple or have a photo, please drop us a line.

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