Army Engineer Pays Respects to Tunnelers in Arras

LCPL Andrew Good visits the grave of Sapper Tobin - the first New Zealander killed on the Western Front in World War One.

LCPL Andrew Good visits the grave of Sapper Tobin - the first New Zealander killed on the Western Front in World War One.

19 April 2016

Lance Corporal (LCPL) Andrew Good’s career with the Corps of the Royal New Zealand Engineers has taken him from the Solomon Islands to Antarctica, and now to the First World War battlefields for the 2016 Anzac Day commemorations.

As a member of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) contingent, LCPL Good, aged 29, will complete ceremonial duties in in France and Belgium. He was selected for this year’s commemorations in recognition of being named the 2015 School of Military Engineering Instructor.

Originally from Christchurch, LCPL Good was part of a small group of engineers from the contingent that visited the grave of Sapper Michael Tobin on the centenary of his death on 15 April 1916. He was the first New Zealander to die on the Western Front. Sapper Tobin was a soldier of the New Zealand Tunnelling Company which carried out dangerous mining work, including the creation of the extensive tunnels under the town of Arras in northern France.

LCPL Good, a former Shirley Boys High School student, said it was humbling to represent New Zealand and follow in the footsteps of the New Zealand First World War soldiers. He knew his great-grandfather fought at Cassino in the Second World War but has only just been made aware of a family member who served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

“I researched First World War history when I found out I would be going, but discovering a direct connection in a place the contingent is visiting was a surprise”, said LCPL Good.

LCPL Good joined the New Zealand Army in 2010. He deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2013 and to Antarctica in 2014 in construction roles. He is currently a military carpentry instructor and his role also includes supervising construction tasks in the wider Palmerston North area.

“I’ve had an awesome career so far. I’m able to maintain my carpentry trade skills and have gained teaching and leadership skills.

“The support the NZDF gives to my family while I’m away is a massive bonus, especially when I’m deployed offshore”, LCPL Good said.

LCPL Good said the decision to join the NZ Army was a positive move for him at a time when he was looking to build on his carpentry trade skills.

“The NZDF provides me with a job in my preferred trade with job stability and variety as well as encouragement and time to fulfil my fitness and sporting ambitions,” LCPL Good said.


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This page was last reviewed on 18 April 2016.