John McLaren Lett

First Name: 
John
Middle Name: 
McLaren
Last Name: 
Lett
Date of Birth: 
Sunday, January 28, 1877
Mother's Name: 
Sarah (nee Watson)
Father's Name: 
Charles Lett
Date Enlisted: 
Monday, July 24, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
29th Battalion
Company: 
D Company
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Wednesday, September 26, 1917
Place of Death: 
Belgium
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

John Lett was a 35 year old carpenter when he enlisted.

He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and had spent 2 years in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and served in the Boer War.  On 26th May 1902 he married Kathleen Akenson and they had 2 daughters.  After the marriage broke down, John moved to Australia to work with his brother at Austinmer, NSW.  It was while living in Austinmer that John enlisted.

He embarked on SS Port Napier with 22nd Reinforcements, 14th Battalion on 17th November 1916.  After training in England he was posted to 13 Platoon, D Company, 29th Battalion, and saw service on the Western Front from 15th April 1917.

John was fighting in the battle for Polygon Wood when, at about 7am on 26th September 1917, he was hit by a shell and killed instantly.  He was buried near Polygon Wood but the grave was lost and he has no known grave.

John's medals were sent to his eldest daughter who was living with his brother at Austinmer.   John's service & sacrifice is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, Belgium, as well as in the New Zealand on the Roll of Honour at both Palmerston North and the Cenotaph in Queen Elizabeth Park, Masterton.

 John's sacrifice is also commemorated on the Austinmer War Memorial.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, LETT JOHN MCLAREN

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