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Russell, Frederick Murray

Many old Guy’s men, and some of the members of the /junior Staff, will remember Frederick Murray Russell, Better known as “George”. We learn with regret that he was killed in action at Rhenoster Kop, Reinfontein, South Africa, while serving as a member of the Third New Zealand Contingent. Russell was a very popular man in his time, having the reputation of being a genial, straight-going sportsman. We tender our sympathies to his friends, and beg to assure them that his memory will be honoured by his fellow Guy’s men. Guy’s Hospital Gazette 22 June 1901


" …. Sergt. Frederick Russell, of Nukumaru, who was killed, was a son of Mr. W. F. Russell, for many years manager of the Wanganui branch of the Bank of New Zealand and Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, and was 36 years of age. He was sent to England to be educated at Clifton College, Bristol, and afterwards studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, London. He and a younger brother were on board the St. Leonards when she was run down in the English Channel, and the London newspapers reported that “the bravery of two young New Zealand lads, in refusing to get into the boats until all the women and children were provided for, was not the least noticeable feature of the disaster." Young Russell had to abandon his medical studies owing to bad health, arising from an injury received at football. On returning to New Zealand, nine years ago, he spent a few terms at Lincoln College, and then took possession of his property at Nukumaru, which he farmed up to the time of his leaving for South Africa as a member of the Third Contingent. It was Sergt. Russell who, when driving Dr. Godfrey's Cape cart, fell into the hands of the Boers and was sent to Nooitgedacht. Previous to this he had been in hospital from enteric fever, and on his liberation he was still suffering from its effects. On liberation he was given the opportunity of being invalided back to New Zealand, but wanted to stay and see the war out.” Evening Post, Volume LX, Issue 138, 8 December 1900




First name(s)Frederick Murray
Family details

Eldest son of William and Gertrude Russell of Christchurch N.Z.

CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1883-
Military unit3rd New Zealand Mounted Rifles, 6 Company
War / conflictSecond Boer War (1899-1902)
Decorations / medalsQueen's South Africa Medal (Diamond Hill, Cape Colony, Orange Free State Clasps)
Date of death29 Novermber 1900
Age at death36
Rank at deathCaptain
Place of deathRhenoster Kop
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeDiamond Hill Garden of Remembrance
Commemoration(s)Guy’ s Hospital memorial; New Zealand War Graves Project

Guy’s records show that he was a Captain but New Zealand sources give his rank as Sergeant the confusion probably arose because his father was a Captain.  When he registered at Guy’s in October 1883 he gave his guardian’s name as F. Larkworthy, 35 Belsize Avenue, Hampstead. 

SourcesGuy’ s Hospital Medical School Records, King’ s College London Archives; Dennis Kerins, Trustee & Researcher, New Zealand War Graves Project; Wellington Evening Post

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