The Kidd from Timaru - poem 1918.

perpetuating the memory of Jimmie Hagerty

Nationality: 		New Zealand 
Martial status:		Single
Rank: 			Trooper 
Body of Embarkation: 	Main Body
Regiment Unit: 		Canterbury Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F. 
Unit Text:	 	Main Body
Embarkation date:	16 October 1914, at Lyttelton
Destination:		Suez, Egypt 
Date of Death: 		27 August 1915 
Place of Death:		Gallipoli, Turkey
Cause of Death:		Killed in action
Age: 			27 years
Service No: 		7/64 
Enlistment address:	5 Hugh Street, Timaru
Additional information: S/o Mrs Eliza Hagerty of 14 Churchill St., Christchurch, formerly of Timaru 
						 260 Worcester- street, Christchurch
Casualty Type: 		Commonwealth War Dead 
The Kid from Timaru

The boys aboard the transport were busy talking fight.
We'd just begun our journey - said "Good Bye" to Farewell Light;
Some were skitin' awful, of things they meant to do.
We hoped we might see London, Berlin and Paris too
When the Kid he asked us all if we had been to Timaru.
Egypt, when we got there, to its endless sand and sun
Drilling - always drilling. A case of never done.
Sand, more sand, fierce burning sand, our red hot curses drew,
The Kid admitted Egypt had more sand than Timaru.
Then came the news that we would get our chance to win our spurs,
To play the game and show our breed was not the breed of curs.
We were ordered out of Egypt to face the German crew -
We yelled "New Zealand will be there; the Kid said "And Timaru".
The world knows how we played that game on enemy's bleak shores,
How ploughing through the gates of hell, the brunt of fire we bore.
Blood-stained sands proclaimed the doom of comrades, good and true
But bullets somehow seemed to miss the Kid from Timaru.
He'd carried in his Captain, almost dying, through the rack
Of smoke and fire and battle, but just as he got back
A German sniper shot him, the bullet went right through.
When he's well, we'll hear again from the Kid from Timaru.
Back across to Egypt where they put us into dock
We lay with many others, our eyes fixed on the clock
Wondering when the time would come, when we were well enough,
To do our bit for old New Zealand, the Kid "Some more for Timaru".
The other night the Head came in with a message from the King.
He thanked his gallant soldiers. We made the sickroom ring
With cheers, real rousing hearty cheers, the Kid said "Strike me Blue-
I hope to God he has not forgot to cable Timaru." 

by Barrie Marschel
From the oral rendition.
"We were spell bound as Alex B. recited this poem learnt as a child and recited at a Tawa School parent school gathering.  The poet is unknown and the words are as Alex recalls them after 55+ years." Submitted by Winsome Griffin Posted 14 Feb. 2000

Images online.
Grey River Argus
, 8 June 1918, Page 4

Sudan 2005

Sudan 2005

Grey River Argus, 18 June 1918, Page 4
The wonderfully popular picture "The Kid from Timaru" which has proved so tremendously successful at Auckland for 3 weeks in 5 theatres, at Wellington for 2 weeks in 4 theatres and similarly elsewhere and to which the Governor-General and Lady Liverpool have extended "patronage" will be shown at the Opera Mouse on tomorrow and (Wednesday) and Thursday evenings. The popular author-actor Barrie Marschel and his own New Zealand made motion picture "The Kid from Timaru." The combination of man and film always met with a splendid reception, for the picture is distinctly meritorious and the reciter is most convincing. Produced by special permission of Sir James Allen with the whole-hearted assistance or the Military Authorities and 5000 New Zealand soldiers. The film pictures the story of a New Zealand hero from his school days to the tremendous realistic landing and fight at Gallipoli. So popular as a poem did "The Kidd from Timaru" become that it has been republished all over the British Empire.

Grey River Argus, 17 June 1918, Page 4 "The Kid from Timaru" will be screened during the first half of the display.
On Wednesday evening three big super feature attractions will be presented by Pollard's Pictures in the. Opera House. Barrie Marschell's famous verse story in picture form tells of a New Zealand Timaru hero from his school' days to the tremendously realistic stirring story is told by the writer (Barrie Marschell) as the film unfolds. "The poem picturised" is the description given of the picture by critics. A Timaru boy enacts the role of the "Kid." whilst an exceedingly pretty New Zealand girl appears as the "Kid's" sweetheart, "the girl with the Irish eyes." This picture poem has the unique record of filling 5 theatres in Auckland, 4 theatres in Wellington, 2 theatres in Christchurch and 2 at Dunedin.

Grey River Argus, 19 June 1918, Page 4
The film and Barrie Marschel, the man who wrote the verses the picture illustrates so effectively and who recites the poem as the picture is being screened, have had one unbroken run of success wherever they have appeared. "The Kid from Timaru," the gallant youngster who fought like a tiger at Gallipoli has become quite a historic personage in New Zealand, and in other lands. It has been described as a poem picturised, screened to the accompaniment of the fine recitation of the verses by the author himself.

Timaru Herald, 14 September 1900, Page 2
Mr Barrie Marschel has, with commendable liberality, decided to play the well known Irish comedy " O'Callaghan " on Friday, September 28th, in aid of the Swimming Bath fund. There will also be tableaux by High School pupils and other attractions.

Another version of the poem appears in "Shanties by the Way: A selection of New Zealand popular songs and ballads," ed. Rona Bailey and Herbert Roth, Whitcombe and Tombs, Christchurch, 1967, 161 pages. A collection of 79 Songs and recitations, ranging from whaling, sealing and goldmining days to contemporary ballads, with some musical arrangements by Neil Colquhoun and brief supporting notes. i.e. 'A sunny-faced youngster from Timaru - he was always cracking up his little town - fought like a young tiger. He's in Hospital now, but will be heard of again.' Extract from a soldier's letter (1916)." poem  "This song was collected from Mr Rudall Hayward. Other versions exist and it is possible that the original title was 'The Kid from Timaru'. Barrie Marschel was one of the old-time entertainers, and later became general manager of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in New Zealand. According to Mr Hayward, this song became very popular in World War I, and a film was made of it. Barrie Marschel would recite the words during the screening."

Linda Gray   05-09-2006
The poem "Kid from Timaru" was written and recited by my ancestor Barrie Marschel. The family are most interested to know about the life of Barrie Marschel as we are related through his son Clissold Surrey who was born to Barrie and actress Ethel Ruby Parnwell-Smith. Ethel later married noted actor James Atholwood.

Evening Post, 30 May 1914, Page 15
Next Tuesday week will see the first professional contest of the season under the management of the Wellington Boxing Association. The match is between Jim Hagerty, the sturdy lad from Timaru, and Frank O'Grady, of Australia. Hagerty is well known, and is a very tough nut to crack.

Evening Post, 23 June 1915, Page 3
There was a large audience at His Majesty's Theatre last evening, when every item in the long and attractive programme was appreciatively received. An item which fairly brought down the house was a recitation by Mr. George Edwards, a capital elocutionist, entitled " Kidd from Timaru,"' written by Mr. Barrie Marschell, and founded on fact.

Evening Post, 17 July 1915, Page 11
The up-to-date mummer is lightning like in seizing on a good thing Mr. Barrie Marschel's recitation "Kidd From Timaru," recently done here at His Majesty's with much success, is now one of the hits of the Brennan-Fuller revue at Melbourne Bijou. "The Sunny faced boy from Timaru," founded on fact, has now become "Kidd of Wool'mooloo" to meet Australian requirements.

Evening Post, 12 October 1915, Page 4 MEMORIAL TO A BOXER
Timaru, 11th October. A preliminary meeting of admirers of good sport was held to-night to inaugurate a memorial movement to establish a memorial to the late Trooper James Hegarty (the boxer). The endowment of a cot in the hospital found favour among the suggestions offered. An appeal is to be made throughout the Dominion centres.

Auckland Weekly News 30 September 1915
HAGERTY, Trooper James Michael, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, killed in action, was a well known horseman and boxer. As a cross-country rider he was in good demand in the South Island. He was engaged extensively as a trainer and was acting in this capacity for Mr J. C. N. Grigg when he enlisted with the main expeditionary force. As a boxer he was in the front flight. Tpr Hagerty was the feather-weight and light-weight amateur championships of Australia and NZ and subsequently won the light-weight professional championship of NZ, holding it against all comers, both from NZ and Australia. Tpr Hagerty, with a fellow jockey named F Douglas, joined General Godley's staff as orderly. Tpr Hagerty was about 27 yrs of age.

Tribute 22 March 1916 Otago Witness pg50

Grey River Argus, 19 August 1916, Page 6
When Jimmie Hegarty defended the title of New Zealand lightweight champion against Peter Cook in the _lical ring some three years ago there was not one in the vast admiring audience who thought that the day was fast approaching when that clever boxer would be no more. Immediately upon the outbreak of the present war Hegarty volunteered and was accepted for service, and amongst those who sacrificed their lives Strange to say the proposed Hegarty memorial met with very poor support, and it rested with the local Association to give the lead to the rest of New Zealand in raising funds for the deserving purpose. The proceeds of the tourney which takes place at the Town Hall to-morrow night will be devoted towards this deserving cause. ...bumper house is assured, as all sports have expressed the intention of showing other parts what the Coast can do towards perpetuating the memory of Jimmie Hegarty.

Papers Past
Grey River Argus
22 March 1919 Page 3 BOXING
It will be remembered that Peter Cook has made two appearances here, once when he drew with Hegarty of Timaru, for the New Zealand championship, and on the occasion when he beat Jack Griffin.

2 June 2006 Timaru Herald

Timaru boxing fan Wes Jack is hoping someone can help solve a mystery. Wes is wondering whatever happened to an oval brass plaque commemorating sportsman Jimmy Haggerty's deeds, which used to hang in Ward 1 at Timaru hospital. Jimmy, known as the "Kid from Timaru" was a New Zealand and Australasian boxing title holder and a champion steeplechase jockey. He was killed in Gallipoli while helping a doctor in no man's land and the plaque was presented by the sportspeople of New Zealand. Wes, a prisoner of war during the Second World War, said he remembered about Jimmy and the plaque while flicking through some cuttings on Anzac Day. "It just came to me, I wondered what happened to that plaque in honour of Jimmy." As a young man Jimmy was trained by Wes's uncle Jack Fitzsimmons in Timaru's Horseshoe Boxing School. "They were a pretty good outfit back then -- with five national boxing champions and three of them were also Australasian champs." Wes said Uncle Jack was also middleweight champion of Canada. "Jimmy would have gone a long way too, he had hard hands from holding the reins over the steeples and was a wonderful sportsman. "Everywhere he went he was known as the Kid from Timaru." Wes said he would like anyone who may remember what happened to the 20cm plaque to contact him. "It's a real gem of New Zealand's sporting history -- I hope it hasn't disappeared." It appears the hospital administration has no idea what has happened to the acme but are also keen to locate it. South Canterbury District Health Board communications adviser Michelle Keggenhoff said the plaque did not appear on the hospital's artwork list.

NZ Truth 28 October 1916, Page 11
Unveiled at Timaru Tributes to a Dead Soldier- Boxer. "Jimmy" Hagerty, as his friends called him in life, or Private James Hagerty, as he will be found in the official records, is going to live for ever. At any rate the memory of a clean-living, gentlemanly little fellow, a boxer, and a champion, too, a footballer, and a soldier, who gave his life for his country, is to be kept green for the generations to come. On Tuesday afternoon of last week, at the Timaru Hospital, a marble memorial tablet was unveiled, which bore the following inscription:

Erected by his many friends throughout the Dominion in memory of the late Trooper J. Hagerty, who was killed at the Dardanelles on August 27, 1915. Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for King and Country. Timaru, 17th October, 1916.

The unveiling of the memorial took place before a large gathering, the Mayor of Timaru (Mr. E. R. Guinness), Mr. J. Craigie, member of Parliament for the district, and other representatives being present. All the members of the Hagerty family were present, with the exception of the widowed mother of Jimmy, and his sister, Mrs. Tilly, of Wellington. Their absence was due to the late arrival at Lyttelton of the vessel from Wellington, which prevented the mother and sister from connecting with the first train from Christchurch. Before relating what took place at the unveiling, "The Second" thinks it fitting to remark that it is just possible that Jimmy Hagerty's memory would not have been perpetuated, as it is to be, had it not been for the activity of a body of Timaru sports, the chairman of which was Mr. C. Sutherland, and the secretary, Mr. Walter A. Pearson. The latter gentleman worked very hard in further promoting the idea of a Hagerty Memorial Fund, and it is due to him to say that had Mr. Pearson not thrown his heart and soul into the movement it would not have proved successful. The success which attended the efforts of the committee must be very gratifying to all concerned. Furthermore, this paper has been asked to express the thanks of the committee to Mr. O. Wise, of Oamaru, the Greymouth Boxing Association, and the Jockey boys of New Zealand, and all who contributed to the Memorial Fund. Incidentally "The Second" also wishes to express the sympathy of the boxing community to Mr. Bennetts, of the Washdyke, Dunedin, on the loss of his son, Corporal Norman E. Bennetts, who fell fighting in France. As remarked in these columns last issue, Norman sent his "bit" along from Egypt for the Hagerty Fund. It was a crisp, new English 1 treasury note. Norman Bennetts and Jimmy Hagerty were mates. They were boxers, and members of the same football club, viz., the Zingari, which, by the way, has close on 100 of its members abroad on active service. In addition to the erection of a marble tablet, a cot. "The Hagerty Cot" has been placed in the hospital. There is a balance of 127 2s 1d. which has been handed to the South Canterbury Charitable Aid and Hospital Board, and this sum has been invested in war certificates. At the unveiling ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, Mr. C. Sutherland, chairman of the Hagerty Memorial Committee, before asking Miss N. Guinness to unveil the tablet, said that the feelings of all on this occasion were not pleasant. To many, Trooper Hagerty was a stranger, to many he was a personal friend, and those who knew him, admired him as a straightforward young man and a clean boxer and sport. He had boxed in the ring in Timaru and elsewhere in New Zealand, and fought for the amusement of many. Later he had fought for the protection of all, and had died doing I his duty. Such a memorial as a tablet and cot, would do much to perpetuate the memory of this popular young fellow. It was the wish of Trooper Hagerty's mother that the memorial should take the form of a tablet and cot which would be for the use of returned soldiers. He expressed the hope that the cot would be little used by the men who would return. Some people had expressed the opinion that some memorial should be erected to the memory of other men who had fallen at the Front, as well as Trooper Hagerty, At the present time it was impossible to do this, but when the war was over he earnestly hoped that a national memorial would be erected. Perhaps in the capital city in memory of New Zealand's brave soldiers who had fallen at the front. Mr. Sutherland then called on Miss N. Guinness, who unveiled the tablet which is erected over the cot.
    The Mayor expressed his pleasure at being invited to be present at the unveiling of the tablet. Though the occasion was tinged with sadness, still it was perhaps a source of pride to the relatives of the fallen soldier that such a monument had been erected to perpetuate his memory. He had known Trooper Hagerty, and had seen him in the boxing ring, and when those who know him well called him an honorable, clean-living man and soldier he could heartily endorse their remarks. He had been present at the farewell to the troops when Trooper Hagerty left for camp, and as a proof of the esteem in which the late soldier had been held the men carried him shoulder high along the platform.
    Mr. Craigie said he attended the function, not only as a member for the district, but as a representative of the Zingari Football Club, for which Trooper Hagerty had played. He had not known him, but always heard him spoken of  as a clean sport, an example of manliness and a gentleman, and his good example had had a beneficial influence on the youth of Timaru. He had learned that one of Trooper Hagerty's most ennobling qualities was that he revered his mother. In this great war the men were not the only ones who made great sacrifices. The mothers of the of the country had made a sacrifice equivalent to the supreme sacrifice by giving up their sons to fight for the preservation of the Empire. Many men had gone from Timaru and many had laid down their lives he hoped that the sacrifices would not be in vain. Speaking on the progress of the was Mr. Craigie said that the outlook was favorable, but no one could say when peace would come. Britain would accept no patched up peace, but peace on her own terms till then the the people must resolve to do their best to maintain truth and righteousness.
    Mr. F. R. Gillingham, chairman of the Hospital Board, said the cot had been formally handed over to the care of the South Canterbury Hospital and Charitable Aid Board. On behalf of the Board he said he appreciated the honor very much. He had not been acquainted with the late Trooper Hagerty. but considered that he was typical of the majority of young men who had. gone from Timaru, and who had made a splendid name for themselves. He had done his best and had died, nobly while doing his bit  for King and country. The balance of the subscriptions after paying for the cot amounted to 127 2s, and this had been handed unconditionally to the Hospital Board.
    Chaplain-Captain King said that when the war broke out the enemies Of Britain were under the mistaken impression that the manhood of the Empire had degenerated, as they appeared to be spending most of their time in pursuit of sport, and sport they thought was pleasure-seeking. They had now awakened to the fact that they were mistaken. They had become disillusioned that Great Britain and her dependencies were negligible quantities in the world. Their manhood had nobly responded to the call, and Britain was now the first military power in the world. One section of the community had done nobly, and that was those associated with sport and pastimes, Shakespeare had said, "The evil men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones." This might be true pathologically speaking. Men sent down through generations the evil they committed. The good wrought by men was also transmitted through generations, and thus in future years men would look at this tablet and ask who this man was, in whose memory it was erected, and what good he had done in the world. His example would prove beneficial to the present generation and unlike Shakespeare's words, would be handed down and not "Interred with his bones."
    Mr. W. A. Pearson, secretary of the Hagerty Memorial Committee, endorsed the remarks of former speakers, and said that all who had known the late Trooper Hagerty knew him to be a clean sport, honest liver, successful m the boxing ring, and a man who had taken the final "knock-out" blow on Galllpoli like a Britisher and a man. He expressed pleasure at the presence of such a large gathering, and particularly Trooper R. Munro, who had been with Trooper Hagerty to the last. He added that the memorial tablet had been erected by Mr. C. Groves, who also had served in the Galllpolli campaign with Trooper Hagerty, He thanked all who had assisted in any way to erect the memorial. The matron and staff of the Hospital afterwards served afternoon tea to all, and a hearty vote of thanks, proposed by Mr. W. Raymond (Deputy- Mayor), was passed to the Matron and staff.


The boys aboard the transport were busy talking 'fight'.
We'd just begun our journey - said "Goodbye" to Farewell light;
Some were skitin' awful, of the deeds they meant to do.
When he butted in promiskus with - 'I'm Kidd from Timaru.'

His years were twenty; wavin' hair above two steel-grey eyes.
A laughin' face - you know the sort - the smile that makes smiles rise;
At first we barely noticed him until again he drew
Attention, by repeatin' his - 'I'm Kidd from Timaru'.

Oh! Timaru - that tiny town - he'd got it on the brain -
We'd start to talk of many things but he stuck to one refrain;
We hoped we might see London, p'raps Berlin and Paris, too,
And then he calmly asked us if we'd been to Timaru.

And he'd a girl in Timaru - a girl with Irish eyes - 
'A genuine old paintin'; guess she'd tumbled from the skies;
He referred to her as 'scrumptious' - was satisfied he knew
That her eyes were fixed on Egypt, though she lived in Timaru.

Egypt! Well, we got there, to its endless sand and sun,
Then drilling, always drilling - a case of never done;
Sand and sand, fierce burning sand, our red hot curses drew,
And Kidd admitted Egypt had more sand than Timaru.

Then came the news that we could get our chance to win our spurs,
To play the game and show our breed was not a breed of curs.
We were ordered off to Gaba to face the Turkish crew,
We yelled 'New Zealand will be there!' - Kid said, 'And Timaru.'

A rousin' cheer, that split the sky, went boundin' through the air,
We vowed when we struck Gaba they'd know that we were there.
We swore for king and country our very best to do,
Kidd swore for king and country, but added - Timaru.

The world knows how we played the game on Gaba Tepe's shore,
How, ploughin' through the gates of Hell, the brunt of fire we bore,
Blood-painted sand proclaimed the doom of comrades, good and true;
But bullets somehow seemed to miss young Kidd from Timaru.

We faced 'Loose Hell', as scrunching o'er the sand we scaled the cliff,
While Turkish snipers' rifles mowed men down at every whiff;
No fellows stopped to count the cost as up the bank they flew,
And level, with the foremost ran young Kidd from Timaru.

Old Abdul under cover was as cunnin' as a rat;
As yet we'd done no shootin' - saw nothin' to shoot at,
Till a Turkey popped his head up; that head he ne'er withdrew,
For a rifle pinged, the Sergeant said, 'Turk's head for Timaru.'

And when the fight was over, and each had done his part,
And felt a man and soldier, with aching eye and heart,
I searched among the wounded for the fellows that I knew.
I turned one over on the sand - 'twas Kidd from Timaru.

He'd carried in his Captain, almost dying, through the wrack
Of smoke and fire and battle; but just as he'd got back,
A Turkish sniper 'pinked' him, but the bullet went clean through,
And when he's well, they'll hear again from Kidd of Timaru.

We both could do with patchin', so they popped us into dock,
Where we lie, with many others, with our eyes fixed on the clock
Wonderin' when the time will come, when we're well enough to do
Some more for old New Zealand - Kidd, some more for Timaru.

Last week a 'head' slipped in and read a cable from the King;
He thanked his 'gallant soldiers', we made the sick room ring
With cheers - real rousin' hearty cheers - then Kidd said 'Strike me blue,
I hope to God he's not forgot to cable Timaru!'

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