chapter  2
18 Pages

A Pioneer of the Proletariat: Herbert Milnes and the Games Cult in New Zealand

On 4 October 1917 during the battle of Passchendaele Ridge, 'N Company of the 3rd Auckland Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Expeditionary Force were ordered to attack a position known as Abraham Heights. During the attack a German shell exploded at the feet of the Company commander who was killed instantly, oddly without any visible sign of injury. He thus became another statistic in the long roll of New Zealand's fallen of the Great War. As such he might have remained yet one more forgotten figure among so many. This would have been unfortunate. Herbert Albert Edwin Milnes, originally from Beeston Hill in Yorkshire prior to the Great War, arguably, was one of New Zealand's foremost educationalists. His career merits examination. It links two influential period ideologies - athleticism and imperialism with elementary education in metropolis and empire; an association as yet barely explored, yet well worth exploration.