Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Emma Kynaston of the New Zealand Cadet Forces holding her great-great-uncle’s cap badge, which she is taking to France with her this month.
8 September 2016
Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Emma Kynaston of the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF) is part of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contingent who will attend the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme commemorations in Longueval, France this month.
WO2 Kynaston is in her final year at Nelson College for Girls and will recite a poem as part of the Sunset Ceremony on 15 September.
“I am extremely honoured and exceptionally proud to have a role in the centenary commemoration,” she says.
WO2 Kynaston has a link to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force: her great-great-uncle, Alfred Kynaston, was in the Otago Regiment main body which left New Zealand for Europe in 1914. Happily he survived and returned to New Zealand.
“I have his cap badge. It is one of my greatest treasures and I am extremely proud of it and the special significance it holds. I am taking it with me to France.
“To pay my respects to my great-great-uncle and all those brave servicemen and women is a true honour,” she says.
The Battle of the Somme was New Zealand’s first major engagement on the Western Front. It took a huge toll on the 15,000 members of the New Zealand Division who were involved. The New Zealand Division sustained 8000 casualties and 2111 soldiers were killed in action between 1 July-18 November 1916. The New Zealand Memorial to the Missing in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery lists 1205 names.
- WW100 is a programme established by the New Zealand Government to mark the First World War centenary through a range of activities from 2014 to 2019, in New Zealand and overseas. For more information about WW100, New Zealand’s First World War programme, visit WW100.govt.nz