37/2701 2nd Lieutenant Victor Stephen Henry Abbott

He gave His life for King and Country



In 1860 Henry and Bridget Abbott established the family farm in Horokiwi Valley, this block later forming part of what is now the Battle Hill Forestry Farm.[i] Henry ran both dairy and sheep and slowly acquired more land expanding the holdings. When, in 1882, Henry died[ii] and the farm was inherited by his two youngest sons Nicolas and Roderick Abbott. 

Roderick would remain a bachelor but in 1891 Nicolas married Selina Barrow[iii] whose family also farmed in the Horokiwi Valley. Selina and Nicolas had two children, Ivy Elsia (1892[iv]) and Victor Stephen Henry Abbott (1893[v]).

Victor was well known in the tennis circuit and is reputed to have won the Manawatu championship prior to the outbreak of war.[vi]

Victor was reported in April 1916 to have privately travelled to England to enlist possibly in the Royal Navy as one newspaper item credits him with the naval rank of sub-lieutenant. In October / September 1916 Victor Abbott was commissioned as 37/2071 2nd Lieutenant Abbott, Royal Flying Corps (RFC) 7th Reserve Squadron and was completing flying training at Netheravon, Wiltshire, England.[vii]


abbot1 a


On 15th September 1916 while on a training flight the engine on 2nd Lieutenant Abbott’s aircraft failed and he was killed in the subsequent crash. 2nd Lieutenant was buried with full military honours in the Upavon Church Cemetery, Wiltshire. There are four New Zealanders buried in the cemetery all airmen two from WW1 and two from WW2.[viii] In September 1916 the 12th Squadron, RFC, was based in Netheravon[ix] the Squadron transferred to France that month and it is probable that 2nd Lieutenant Abbott was due to fly with this unit as his death was noted as ‘prior to leaving for France.’[x]

In Loving Memory
2nd Lieut Victor S H Abbott
of New Zealand
Who was killed in a flying accident
Sept 15th 1916, aged 23 years
He gave His life for King and Country
Upavon Church Cemetery, Wiltshire, England



Victor’s father Nicolas was a major force in the setting up of the Pauhatanui cenotaph.

In 1918 Victor’s sister would marry Eric Lynch, a Gallipoli veteran, after Nicolas’s death the couple would farm the Horokiwi property with Ivy’s uncle, Roderick.



The modern spelling of Pauatahanui is used unless quoting from papers of the time where Pahatanui is used.


2nd Lieut VHS Abbott: The War Graves Photographic Project (TWGPP)


Helen Reilly (2013): Pauatahanui – a local history: Helen Reilly

Archway Archives New Zealand – Military Records: Lt VHS Abbott Zealand

[i]  Abbott - Pauatahanui Families: Pauatahanui – a local history – Helen Reilly

[ii] Death – Henry Abbott: 1882/2523 BDM

[iii] Marriage – Barrow/Abbott: 1891/409 BDM

[iv] Birth – Ivy Elisa Abbott: 1892/6261  BDM

[v] Birth – Victor Stephen Henry Abbott: 1893/7177 BDM

[vi] Death of an Airman: New Zealand Herald 28 September 1916

[vii] Death of an Airman: New Zealand Herald 28 September 1916

[viii] Upavon Church Cemetery: NZ War Graves Project

[ix] 12th Squadron: Wikipedia.org/wiki/No2.squadron-RFC

[x] Memorial Unveiled – Ceremony at Pahautanui: Evening Post 18 January 1922.



Last Updated: 09/04/2015 12:58pm