Bert Eatwell

Herbert John (Bert) Eatwell

Born: 26 Apr 1897 Bert Eatwell
Married:  19 Apr 1920, Wellington
Died: 30 Sep 1962 ( aged 67)
Crem. Penrith AU
Bur. Stanley Brook, cemetery, Motueka Valley, New Zealand.


Bert's father John Eatwell was born in England, and the family travelled to New Zealand on the ship Mataura on an assisted emigration programme in 1875.

The family settled farming in the Motueka Valley. Many of the family are buried in the Stanley Brook cemetery.

Bert was born in 1897 and went on to serve in the NZEF in WWI as a Private, and saw action in France in the trenches. Like many of his fellow soldiers he suffered from that experience. We have included below extracts from his war diaries that were transcribed by grandson Gray Eatwell assisted by his children.

Bert married Lilian Wilson 19 April 1920, and had four daughters and one son.

Bert and Lilian separated in the 1950's and Bert left NZ to live in Australia where he died in 1962. In his time there, Bert had a lot to do with the Penrith RSL League, obviously finding support with the other diggers.

He was cremated and his ashes buried at Stanley Brook.


Bert's Tree

Click on the image to see it in full view.

Berts Tree



The following is a record of Bert's time in the war, originally posted by Tara McGill on Facebook. Click on the image to see it in full view.

Betrs War Record



The War Documents

Bert's War Diary Bert's Official War Record
Download Download
These extracts cover the period Jan 1917, in the
midst of action, until April 1918 when Bert was injured.
This is Bert's Official War Record as published by the
NZ National Archives.



The History of the Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 1914 - 1919

Chapter XIII. — The German Offensive of 1918

Check out page 234 of this article, as it describes the engagement when Bert was badly injured (the second time). Bert's last entry in his diary was 4th April, and this article describs in more details the events of that time.

Bert was apparently left for dead, but a "Mr Fawcett" saw him moving, and dragged him back to be saved.

Ernest James Fawcett

Just who this Mr Fawcett is, is not exactly known, but may well be this chap. His name is Ernest James Fawcett of the 12th (Nelson) Regiment. He died in 1961. He enlisted in Tadmor, Nelson, just down the road from the Eatwell family farm in Stanley Brook, so quite likely they were in the same company.

There is also a picture of the Officers of the Canterbury Regiment at:



Or it could have been this man. Ivy Thorn recounts the rescue, and however does mention that the "Mr Fawcett" was not from their local "mission". So we may never know.


Passenger List from the Mataura 1875

The family consisted of John Eatwell (40yrs), his wife Ann (40), and children Ann (17), John (15), Ellen (12), Emily (10), Jane (8), Rose (4), and Kate (1). We believe that one child (Charles) died on board the ship.



Bert's Way


Click on the picture for a full view.

Bert's Way Bert's Way Map







Raumati South

Two kilometres further south is Raumati South, which has a population of 3,200. In 1912, Herbert and William Eatwell had named the place Kawatiri, but the name was changed to the current one in 1934 because of another place with the same name in the Tasman Region.

To the south of this town, between it and the town of Paekakariki, is the Queen Elizabeth Park, a 12 km² regional park used during the filming of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, where it represented Pelennor Fields. Raumati South is known for its alternative lifestyle, and is very arty. The main primary education provider is Raumati South Primary School. There is also a Steiner school called 'Te Ra' located on Poplar Avenue.


Tennis courts were built by Bert Eatwell in Raumati South (then Kawatiri) in about 1930.


Raumati South - Kawatiri

This article is "Some Early Memories" by Maurice Perry, a family friend of Jack Eatwell.



Sydney Morning Herald 1953



Those who laid wreaths were: The State president of the R.S.L., Mr. W. Yeo, the leader of the New Zealand Ex-Servicemen's delegation, Mr. Bert Eatwell; Mr. H. Nixon, on behalf of the N.S.W. R.S.L. Club; the Transport Commissioner, Mr A. A. Shoebridge, for Dame Mary Hughes; and Colonel Karabclen, for the seven visiting Turkish officers.





Bert's Obituary


Bert's House in Penrith

(Ref: Shelly Tansey)



Penrith RSL Garden

This Garden at the old Penrith RSL was supposedly dedicated to Bert Eatwell. (Ref: Shelly Tansey)


Bert's Trip to Australia in 1947



This may well have been a precursor to the trip recorded in the Sydney Sunday Herald (26th April 1953).