The Cambridge Home Guard
by Dave Homewood

Cambridge Home Guard


Mini-Biography -
Edward James Fletcher Kennedy

Edward Kennedy, known to his friends as 'Ken', had a distinguished service career long before his appointment to his position in the Home Guard. At the age of 18, he volunteered for service in World War One and left New Zealand with the Main Body in 1914, attached to the New Zealand Army Service Corps. After serving in Egypt, he took part in the Gallipoli landings.
He later served in France, where he earned the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in 1917, and was mentioned in dispatches in 1918. He returned to New Zealand at the end of the war with the rank of Staff Sergeant-Major, W.O. 1. He continued to serve after the war in the New Zealand Army Service Corps Territorials, where he received a commission.
Meanwhile between the wars he'd become an accountant and in 1932 he shifted from Auckland to Cambridge to accept the position of Secretary in charge of the Cambridge Dairy Company. By World War Two he was on the Reserve of Officers, with the rank of Captain.
Kennedy was elected leader of the Cambridge Auxiliary Reserve Company in 1940, and then Company Commander of the Home Guard. On 28 January 1941 he was appointed as the Commander for the Cambridge-Waikato Battalion of No 4 Military Area. Despite a later rather abrupt parting from the Home Guard, after a dispute which made national news at the time, Kennedy continued to be a respected member of the community and the RSA. He died on the 18th of January 1970.



Alfred James Swayne

Alf 'Cocky' Swayne served with the Waikato Mounted Rifles for four years prior to World War One. He enlisted on the 10th of August 1914, and proceeded overseas in the main body with the Auckland Mounted Rifles.

He fought at Gallipoli, spending 13 weeks there before being wounded on the 8th of August 1915. After recovering he was sent to France with the 1st Battalion Canterbury Infantry Regiment.

He was again wounded, at Messines in June 1917. He received a commission in the field, and was transferred to the 1st Battalion Auckland Infantry Regiment, again receiving wounds twice with this battalion.

Alf served with the Auckland Infantry Regiment until his discharge on the 11th of June 1919. He was a fully qualified Vickers Gunner and Lewis Gunner, and instructor in the use of both these guns and in throwing hand grenades. These old skills were revisited when he became an officer in the Home Guard.




Francis Hudson Green

Frank Green had a distinguished military career before his appointment of Home Guard Company Commander. In 1907 he had commenced training with the Eden Naval Cadets. From 1909 to 1914 he had served with the New Zealand Engineers.

At the beginning of World War One he was appointed as a staff instructor. In 1915 he was involved with developing a Home Defence unit in Cambridge. At the end of 1916 he joined the 25th Specialist Company, with the rank of Sergeant-Major. However in order to serve overseas, he decided to reduce himself to the ranks and enlist in the 2nd Auckland Regiment (6th Hauraki Company).

He joined the snipers and observers, and was soon promoted back up to Sergeant. After the war ended he stayed on in the army of occupation in Germany, as Company Quartermaster Sergeant. By World War Two Frank was the Cambridge Traffic Inspector, but he also threw himself fully into Home Guard, EPS, WWSA and VAD duties, among many other activities for the war effort. He also commanded the Legion of Frontiersmen and was a volunteer fireman.




Howard Rishworth

Howard Rishworth had an excellent record of previous military service, and was well suited to the post of Second-in-Command. He had served with the College Rifles Volunteers from 1907 till 1914. At the beginning of World War One he was attached to Divisional Signal Company and left with the main body. At this time he held the rank of Sergeant. He served in Egypt, Gallipoli and France, and received a commission in the Royal Engineers.

In 1918 he was awarded the Military Cross. After the Armistice he was posted to the British Army of the Rhine for 12 months, before his discharge from service on the 16th of July 1920. He retained the rank of Lieutenant in the Reserve of Officers.



Reuben Entwistle

Reuben Entwistle was born in India, and as a young man was a member of the cadet corps attached to the Bombay Volunteer Rifle Regiment. In June 1914 he joined the 5th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) as a Second Lieutenant.

From February 1915 until September 1917 he served in France. Whilst there, he acted as assistant Provost Marshall and Town Major. He was invalided out of the army with the rank of Lieutenant.


Arthur Richardson

Arthur Richardson's military service and his long association with the carrying business made him the perfect fit for the position of Transport Officer. He had joined the 3 rd Dragoon Guards as a Trooper in June 1916. He received a commission on the Curragh and was posted to the Yorkshire Dragoons. He served in France until the end of the Great War, and was discharged in 1919 with the rank of Lieutenant. Richardson had appointed Dick Newcombe as his Transport Sergeant.


Alfred Bluck

Alfred Bluck had been too young to see service in the Great War, but he had served in the Territorials. His exceptional keenness and ability in scouting, observing and map reading were factors in him receiving the appointment to Intelligence Officer. His sergeant was to be Charlie Vennell.


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