To those who knew him so well, 'Puk' passed away 7 July 1976.
To one who shared many of his ups and downs over the past eighteen years I feel that I have lost a brother and at this point fail to see how I can do justice to this man on paper
Born in Wanganui in 1914, schooling at the small Brunswick School, farm worker, labourer, carrying his swag in the great depression, fossicking for gold, all went to make up this man's early life. World war 2 and in 1940 he was serving his country in the South Pacific with the New Zealand Army, afterwards doing carpentry training to become a builder and eventually secretary of the Carpenters Union for twenty two years, and Apprentice Committee for seventeen years and many others
His one great love however, was to be the Legion of Frontiersmen of which he became a dedicated member. Joining the Wanganui "G" Squadron he was, within six months, made Adjutant, from there some five years Squadron Leader, a position in which the true Frontiersman showed up. A leader of men always in the midst of where the work was, be it parking cars, traffic control or a national disaster such as the Tangiwai train disaster where many hours were spent patrolling the river banks, always too ready to give someone else the credit for what he had done
On the New Zealand Headquarters of the Legion as Chief Staff Officer under Colonel Congreve, Pnr, always ready to help and advise as required, his patience and understanding seemed endless
He became Commandant to the New Zealand Command in 1967 a position he held until his passing.
Just how do you describe this man, I would say simply "A Frontiersman"
On seeing the sixty uniformed Frontiersmen who formed the honour guard, some of whom had travelled many miles to pay their respects to their Commandant was surely proof of the esteem and high regard in which he was held by all.
To his son and daughters we extend our deepest sympathy at this time.
From all Frontiersmen I would say we will miss you, God Guard Thee
Major GR Dowman R/O
'Edited from the NZ Command Journal of July 1976'
Behobeho East Africa 1915 - 1917 Nyangao Kilimanjaro Great War 1917 Belgium 1914 -18