Cedric Rolfe Sargood Random letters and notes
Random letters and notes:
Cedric Rolfe Sargood. Born: 1894
Died: 8th August. 1915
When Percy and Lucy Sargood’s son was reported killed in action, the date given was a time when in fact from his letters Rolfe was still alive and in hospital prior to going back to the Front. This gave uncertainty about his death and his body was never found and the family clung to the hope that maybe he was still alive, wounded and suffering from complete loss of memory. Hence part of the P.R’s Will which says,
“Whereas my son Cedric Rolfe Sargood a First Lieutenant in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force was first officially reported missing and was later reported by a Court of Enquiry as having been killed in action on the 8th day of August 1915 on which date he was Second in Command of the Tenth Company Otago Regiment New Zealand Infantry Brigade and was leading his men in the trenches on Chinook Bair Gallopoli [Chunuk Bair Gallipoli] during which action and at all times according to letters received from his senior officers and the men under him his soldierly qualities and coolness under fire and the humane interest shown by him to his men won him the respect of the former and the love of the latter. I DESIRE that my Trustees shall regard my said son as having died a heroes death serving his Country and doing his duty faithfully and well. AND I FURTHER DESIRE that should perchance my said son at any time prove to be alive he shall as far as possible be placed in such a position of ease and comfort as I should have provided for him under this my Will had I believed him to be alive and to this end I request my other children to assist my Trustees in every possible way to carry out my wishes in this respect.”
This is mentioned, for, as it is recorded Percy and Lucy Sargood purchased the building of the South Sea Exhibition, which had been built specifically for showing works of art at the Exhibition and gave it to the City in memory of their son Rolfe.
Letter to staff follows.
3rd September 1915
TO THE STAFFS.
Mrs Sargood, myself and daughters wish to thank you very sincerely for your expressions of sympathy with us in our current anxiety and sorrow, and in doing so may I say that although our son appears to have made the supreme sacrifice, there remains a ray of home to which we cling, for though he was reported in the official records at the front as having been killed in May, we learn from his most recent letters that he underwent a trying time in hospital and returned to the trenches to finish the work he had undertaken for the rights of Nations to live their own lives, to protect their Womanhood and the sanctity of home-life.
Should he have fallen, we must try and bow in resignation to the Will of the Supreme Power, and cherish the feeling of intense pride that we had a son who played a Man’s part in this great World Crisis and who was not content to stay at home in luxury and safety while his fellow comrades answered the call of the Empire for strong arms to defend our National Ideals.
I want to take this opportunity of expressing my very high appreciation of the splendid response the members of our various Staffs have made to the call, both by personal service and personal sacrifice of comforts.
I fear much more may be required of us all ere the "Scourge of Humanity" is beaten to the dust, and until then it is the bounden duty and privilege of every male to do or prepare to do a Man's part in this hour of the World's trial, inspired by the magnificent spirit displayed by the Women of the Empire.
May Victory soon crown the Allies’ efforts and a lasting Peace be declared is the earnest prayer of
(Signed) P. R. Sargood.
THIS BUILDING WAS SPECIALLY ERECTED
AS THE ART GALLERY IN CONNECTION WITH
THE NEW ZEALAND AND SOUTH SEAS EXHIBITION, 1925-26.
AT THE CLOSE OF THE EXHIBITION, IT WAS PURCHASED AND PRESENTED BY
MR AND MRS P. R. SARGOOD,
TO THE CITY OF DUNEDIN FOR USE AS A PUBLIC ART GALLERY
AND AS A MEMORIAL TO THE MEMORY OF THEIR SON,
LIEUT. CEDRIC ROLFE SARGOOD.
WHO WAS KILLED ON GALLIPOLI, DURING THE GREAT WAR, 1914-18.
THE BUILDING WAS OPENED BY
HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OF YORK,
ON 18TH., MARCH, 1927.