Alan D. Stitt
Alan Dunca Stitt (1913-1914)
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ALAN D. STITT
The death of Lieutenant-Colonel Alan D. Stitt, D.S.O., M.C., one of the best known and most popular N.Z. Army officers of the 1914-18 war, and an outstanding athlete, is reported from Kenya. He was 56.
Alan Stitt was born at Ashburton. He was the son of the late Mr Matthew Stitt. He received his early education at the Ashburton Borough School, where he played all games and took a special interest in rifle shooting. In 1908 he was the South Island primary schools' champion rifle shot, and with two North Island cadets was selected to represent N.Z. at the Canadian championships. He was compelled to de cline the offer because of his studies.
In 1909 he entered Christ's College, where he played in the first fifteen at Rugby, and in the first eleven at cricket, besides being a member of the rifle shooting eight. Alan Stitt was a good player in the position of half-back f or the College. In 1913 he entered Canterbury Agricultural College, Lincoln, where he was captain of the first Rugby fifteen.
After the call for volunteers for service overseas in the First World War, he was one of the first to enlist in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. As a second lieutenant he was appointed to the 13th West Coast Regiment, and left for overseas with the Main Body. After service in Egypt, he took part in the landing at Gallipoli, and although wounded three times, he returned and was at the evacuation near the end of 1915. By this time he had risen to the rank of captain, and was adjutant of the battalion.
With the first of the New Zealand Forces to arrive in France, Alan Stitt took part in the major battles fought there, and after the Somme, in 1916, was raised to the rank of major. At the age of 22 he was in charge of the First Canterbury Battalion in the Battles of Messines. He later became a lieutenant-colonel, after winning a D.S.O. and M.C.
After the Armistice in 1918, Lieutenant-Colonel Stitt was for a period in charge of the disembarkation of troops at Sling Camp, and returned to New Zealand as officer commanding troops in the last transport to leave England. He returned to England, where he married Miss Mary Harris, of Shaftesbury. After visiting friends in New Zealand, he went to Kenya, where he took up farming.
In the Second World War, Lieutenant-Colonel Stitt served with the South African forces, and later was in charge of a German prisoners' camp.
Lieutenant-Colonel Stitt's brother is Mr D. M. Stitt, of Christchurch. Lieutenant-Colonel Stitt had two sons and one daughter. The elder son, Mr Brian Stitt, was killed in action when serving with the South African forces in Burma. (Obituary, 1951 Canterbury Agricultural College Magazine (No. 76 October 1951), P55)Date of Birth11th June 1894Date of Death16 October 1950PersonAlan D. StittMilitary Serial Number6/849Military RankLieutenant ColonelExternal LinkCenotaph DatabaseArchway - Military personnel fileNZETCRelated DocumentMILITARY HONORS,Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume LXXVII, Issue 0, 2 January 1918LIEUTENANT A. D. STITT.,Press, Volume LI, Issue 15281, 18 May 1915CHRISTCHURCH v. EXPEDITIONARIES AT LANCASTER PARK ON SATURDAY.,Sun, Volume I, Issue 170, 24 August 1914MAJOR A, D, STITT.,Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 9249, 20 March 1918NEW YEAR HONOURS,North Otago Times, Volume CVI, Issue 14014, 4 January 1918