When Raymond Bonner joined up in May 1915, he had just turned 20. He had been working in New Zealand with his brother Hedley, as a timber worker. He added two years to his age to avoid the need for parental consent. He joined the New Zealand Rifle Brigade and arrived in France in April 1916.
He was killed in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, at the Somme, some five months later, aged 21. Raymond was buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery in the Somme Region.
His effects were returned to Ross, to his mother Harriet at Wetmore. Ross Councillors voted to send his parents a letter of sympathy.
On the first anniversary of his death, his mother placed a notice in the newspaper in memory of her son, which read in part: ‘Deeply mourned but duty nobly done‘.
Raymond’s story is part of our exhibition: Our Grateful Thanks and Loving Remembrance, a moving and deeply personal exhibition remembering the soldiers whose names are immortalised on the Ross War Memorial.