Sergeant Sydney John Vine - Groom at Weddington Hall, 1911. An ANZAC with a difference.
An interesting reminder that these servants had fascinating lives of their own can be demonstrated in the case of one Sydney John Vine.
Born in 1887, Sydney is listed as being, by 2nd April 1911, "Groom in household of Henry Cunliffe SHAWE including a son Charles SHAWE, Rifle Brigade Captain b. 1874."
However, by 1912 he had followed Captain Shawe to New Zealand, working at Government House there. Records show that he sailed out from Southampton with Captain Shawe from Weddington Castle, on 13th November 1912.
They arrived in Auckland just over a month later. The Evening Post, 17 December 1912 records: "Auckland, This Day. Passengers by the Makura included Captain Shaw (sic), A.D.C. who joins the Governor here; also the members of the Australian football team, which recently toured America."
Vine was obviously still in New Zealand in two years later as the Shipping Departures section of the Evening Post of 15 Jan 1914 record "January 14 - Wahine, s.s. (8 pm) foe Lyttelton. Passengers: Saloon" includes Captain Shaw (sic), Vine." Sergeant Vine was at this time listed as Captain Shawe's "chauffeur and manservant", although he enlisted in the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force during this year.
He went on to see extensive action in World War I and was awarded the Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his actions. He died in Wellington in 1922, leaving behind 6 children. More on his life here (courtesy of Sydney's grandson, Bob Vine).