SummaryONE KIWI FAMILY'S WW1 SACRIFICE. Remembered by local Tauranga man Pete Morris. This story was picked up by the New Zealand Listener Magazine in the 2014 (August 16-22) edition. Main Body
The story of the O'Gorman family's huge sacrifice during WWI tells of the terrible toll and devastation wrought upon individual families in New Zealand during and after the war. All four brothers, Thomas , Cornelius , John and Timothy were killed in France and Belgium between 1917 and 1918. They were my Grandmother Delia's ( Delia Morris nee O'Gorman ) brothers and the sons of Thomas and Bridget O'Gorman of Wellington. It's impossible for me to process the unimaginable grief experienced by their parents Thomas and Bridget and their sisters Delia and Betty as the terrible news of those deaths arrived on their doorstep by couriered telegram a little over a year apart.
Thomas O'Gorman 30396 3rd Bn., Wellington Regiment NZEF died 4th October, 1917 John O'Gorman 24274 1st. Bn. Otago Regiment NZEF died 12th October, 1917 Cornelius O'Gorman 62706 4th Bn. 3rd NZ Rifle Brigade died 28th August, 1918 Timothy O'Gorman 24273 1st Bn. Otago Regiment died 23rd October, 1918 less than a month before war's end.
Thomas and John were never found but their memorial is at Tyne Cot Cemetery on the Ypres salient in Belgium. Cornelius was buried at the Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt in France. Timothy was buried at Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension in France.
Without wanting to diminish their sacrifice in any way a story with compelling parallels was told in Steven Speilberg's graphic WWII film 'Saving Private Ryan' where a troop was sent to extract the last surviving brother of four from the warzone for the sake of his parents and family. In the O'Gorman family's real on-going wartime tragedy none of the brothers survived.