ANZAC: The Ted d’Auvergne (Bottle of Beer) Story

Private Ted d’Auvergne was a farm lad from my home town of Waimate. Well to be exact he came from a little settlement just through the Waimate Gorge called Waihao Forks. I have known of his story since I was a very young and I was lucky enough to find myself in Crete, Greece for the 60th anniversary of the German airborne invasion.

During this time the New Zealand Division fought hard to repel the attack from a huge airborne German force which dropped from the sky but along with other allied troops were forced to withdraw from the Island.

You can read the finer details of Ted’s story here (link). In summary;

  • Before catching the train to war Ted stopped in for a beer at the Waihao Forks Hotel (as you do!).
  • He left one bottle behind the bar with the publican with the intention of drinking it on his way home (from the war).
  • He was killed in action during the fighting on Crete and was buried there.
  • The bottle has been handed on as the pub has changed hands and is now in a small protected case which sits in the corner of the bar.
  • Each ANZAC day a small local service takes place and a poppie is put into the case.
Having attended one of these services at the Hotel and given the local connection I was determined to find his resting place in the huge Suda Bay cemetary. It took a while to find and to be honest it was quite a moving moment to stand there with him and read his headstone. He lies amongst other young New Zealanders, a very long way from home  and I had someone snap this picture of his headstone.
Thanks for doing your bit Ted. Sorry you didn’t make it home to drink that bottle of beer.
Lest we forget.

4 Replies to “ANZAC: The Ted d’Auvergne (Bottle of Beer) Story”

  1. when at Gallipoli there were graves of lads 14 years old. of course at the time no one realized.That is one big cemetry in Suda bay. I was there for the 45th anniversary. we travelled with the RSA group (as serving soldiers they welcomed us aboard their bus) to several sites (& missed Malame due to some ahem drinking)& they each told stories but the only time I seen them get upset was at Sphakia (the evacuation beach) when we stopped at glassed in memorial of 13 skulls. A greek with us read the inscription, 4 americans, some norwegians. then they realized that that was the red cross team, girls & all I believe.suppose you & I will have to have a beer for Ted At the RSA this Sunday then Kendall.

  2. I shall be visiting the place in a few weeks'time with friends from Timaru and shall try to have a beer 🙂 (sometime on the 18th or 19th of October)as I have had an interest in that story for some time . In western France where I live, we have something very unique too about a New Zealander who asked in the nineteen nineties to have his ashes scattered where he was found in 1944 by a king french farmer one morning, nearly dying as his mosquito had been shot down. Very moving every time I take there some kiwi friends. I did a translation that you can find under the following link:>>>>>> Herbreteau from Western France

  3. i lived in the forks hotel it was a nice place with a great story and memory and keeping that bottle there untouched is a great way to honour the brave solders that lost there lives and came home to us for protecting are way of life.

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