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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Dannevirke Rifles

Dannevirke Rifles.

The Dannevirke Rifle Volunteers, known as the Second Company of the 5th Battalion of the Wellington Rifle Volunteers, was formed in April, 1898, by Mr. F. J. Knight, who ably captained the corps for four years. Captain John Drummond was next in command, and he was succeeded in September, 1904, by Mr. F. A. Harrison. The corps has a strength of about fifty. The full dress uniform consists of blue cloth, with white facings, and the other dress is of khaki. Parades are frequently held, and the corps is well drilled. It has also some able marksmen, one of whom, Sergeant W. Drummond, has been twice selected as a member of the Bisley team. At Trentham, in 1906, the corps made a creditable effort at the contest for the Coleman Shield, and shot into first place, being robbed of the honours of the day only on the time limit. At the Ruahine Battalion match at Masterton, on New Year's Day, 1906, the corps scored third place, and at the Rangitikei Rifle Association's meeting on Good Friday, it won the teams' prize, and carried off over one-sixth of the prize money. In other contests the corps has also done capital shooting. The rifle range, which is the joint property of the local military bodies, is situated at Tamaki, nearly two miles from the town; and the drill hall is a wooden building measuring 110 feet by fifty-five feet, standing off High Street. It contains officers' rooms, orderly rooms, an armoury, and supper rooms, and has also a fine stage. The officers of the corps are: Captain F. A. Harrison, First Lieutenant J. C. Davidson, Second Lieutenant E. Adams, and Mr. R. W. J. Edwards is secretary.

Captain Frederick Alexander Harrison, of the Dannevirke Rifle Volunteers, joined the corps
Henderson, photo.Captain F. A. Harrison.

Henderson, photo.
Captain F. A. Harrison.

page 331 as second lieutenant in the year 1903, and on the appointment of Captain Drummond as Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the battalion, was elected captain. He was born in October, 1873, at Gorey, in the County of Wexford, Ireland, and is the eighth and youngest son of Mr. Thomas Eager Harrison, who was the seventh and youngest son of Mr. Harrison, of New York. He first attended the Hollyfort National School for a few years, and completed his education under Mr. Gordon Palmer, B.A., an ex-captain of the Royal Artillery. In 1897 he emigrated to New Zealand, and landed in Wellington. For about twelve months he farmed at Rakaia with his brothers, Mr. H. J. Harrison and Mr. William Harrison, proprietors of “Hollyfort” and “Summerlee” respectively; and in the following year removed to Napier, where he was employed for two years in the firm of Messrs J. Vigor Brown and Company. In 1900 he settled in Dannevirke, and took up his present post with Messrs Barrand and Abraham, seedsmen and general merchants. Mr. Harrison takes a keen interest in local affairs, and in April, 1906, was only narrowly defeated for a seat on the borough council. He is a trustee of the drill hall, an officer of the local lodge of Freemasons, a member of the Church of England choir, and a member of the local amateur dramatic society.

Lieutenant J. C. Davidson, the first subaltern of the Dannevirke Rifles, is an enthusiastic and popular officer, and takes a keen interest in the welfare of the corps. He is a good marksman, and has frequently represented the corps at shooting matches. Mr. Davidson is further referred to as a member of the Dannevirke Borough Council.

Lieutenant E. Adams joined the Dannevirke Rifles as second lieutenant in April, 1906. He was born in Wellington, on the 13th of March, 1873, received his education at Mount Cook School, Wellington, and afterwards lived for some years on the West Coast gold-fields, South Island. He then returned to the North Island, and commenced business for himself as a boot and shoe importer. Mr. Adams is a member of the Masonic Order, and takes a keen interest in musical matters. In June, 1896, he married the third daughter of Mr. T. Rodgers, a well-known and respected settler on the Rangitikei Line, Palmerston North.

Henderson. photo. Lieut. E. Adams.

Henderson. photo.
Lieut. E. Adams.

Sergeant Albert Nielson, of the Dannevirke Rifles, has been connected with military matters from his school days, when he was a member of a school cadet corps. At seventeen years of age he became a member of the Woodville Rifles, quickly passed through the various grades, and in March, 1905, was appointed sergeant in which rank he was transferred to the Dannevirke Rifles in March, 1906. Mr. Neilson takes a keen interest in the corps, and devotes most of his leisure time to matters connected with it. He is a capable marksman, holds the Government gold and silver medal as the second best shot in the North Island, has three times taken part in the Coleman match as a representative marksman, and holds many minor trophies. He was born at Woodville in September, 1885, and is the youngest son of Mr. C. Nielson, now (1906) of Hastings. He was educated at the Woodville public school, served as a pupil teacher for four years and a half, during which time he received special commendation, and in January, 1905, gained the D certificate. In June, 1905, Mr. Nielson was appointed second assistant master of the Dannevirke North School. He is captain of the No. 2 Company of the School Cadets.

Henderson, photo. Sergt. A. Nielson.

Henderson, photo.
Sergt. A. Nielson.