Topic: Harry Selby

Topic type:

From research done in 2008 by Wairarapa College Year 12 history assignment on Wairarapa soldiers who died in World War One.

Full name: Harry Selby

Date of Birth: 1882
Serial number: 2/345
Occupation before enlistment: 
First known rank: Driver
Embarkation date: 16 October 1914
Place of embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Body on embarkation: Main body
Embarkation unit: Field Artillery
Last unit served: New Zealand Field Artillery
Rank last held: Fitter
Place of death: Belgium
Date of Death: 5 October 1917
Cause of death: Died of wounds
Cemetery name: Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Biographical notes:

He received the Military Medal (MM) under the following circumstances: "At Wulverghem on 2nd June 1917. When hostile guns were heavily shelling the Battery position a shell landed on a dump of boxed ammunition causing the boxes to ignite. The fire obtained a good hold and a second explosion seemed imminent, when Fitter Selby and Gunner Belton accompanied by their officer rushed to the dump, and regardless of the fact that the heat was causing shells to explode on all sides, separated by burning boxes from those untouched. When water arrived they ably assisted their officer to extinguish the fire. A heavy explosion resulting in the loss of several lives and the almost certain discovery of the Battalion position was thus averted." London Gazette, 18 July 1917, p7291, Rec No 744


The Wairarapa Daily Times, 13 October 1917, Under the heading "Masterton Hero. Makes the extreme sacrifice. Gunner Harry Selby." : News has been received that Gunner Harry Selby, of Masterton, has died from wounds received in action on October 5th. The deceased was very popular locally, and his bravery and bouyant spirits made him a great favourite with his comrades at the front. He left with the Main Body and went all through the Gallipoli campaign. For assisting in putting out a fire amongst ammunition in France recently he was awarded the Military Medal.
The late Gunner Selby, when residing in Masterton, was a prominent member of the Fire Brigade, and his newsy letters of his experiences at the front, which were read at brigade meetings, were greatly appreciated. Deceased's last letter to the Brigade appeared in the columns of the Wairarapa Daily Times a short while ago. Deceased was a member of the Foresters' Lodge, of the Parliamentary Debating Society, and the Masterton Football Club, and was formerly secretary of the Carpenters Union. Deceased formerly worked at his trade in Masterton as a carpenter in the service of Mr C. E. Daniell, and later for the Messrs Coradine and Whittaker. The relatives will have the deep sympathy of the people of Masterton in connection with the death of this hero soldier." 

Student researcher: Sarah-Jayne Hullena




Harry Selby

First Names:Harry
Last Name:Selby