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Rupert


What happened to him?

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Rupert


What happened to him?

 

Without a Trace:

This is the story of a young soldier who disappeared in Flanders. All that remains of him is his photograph, a letter he sent his mother and an embroidered gift. Find out what happened and lay a virtual poppy for this lost soldier of the Great War.

Rupert Sydney Taucher was born in 1895, in Carterton in the North Island of New Zealand. Taucher enlisted in the Territorials in the 16th Waikato Regiment and completed two years of service. When the war began, he was working as a labourer in Te Kuiti.

What do you think happened to Private Taucher? Lay a poppy for him on his online cenotaph page here: http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/…/online-cenota…/record/C15478

 
 
The gift and postcard Rupert sent his family, all that remains of him.

The gift and postcard Rupert sent his family, all that remains of him.

To war:

In September of 1916, he became 33476 Private Rupert Taucher of the Wellington Infantry Regiment and set sail for England and the Great War aboard the troopship, Ulimaroa. After training on the Salisbury plain he was sent to France.

Rupert was attached to the 17th Ruahine Company and survived a gunshot wound in France. After his convalescence, it was time for Taucher to return to the lines; this time Flanders. Rupert was posted to Ieper (Ypres) near Passchendaele.


Flanders:

During his time in Flanders, Taucher was sent out on a cable laying missions with his unit. On one such mission on the 24th of November 1917, Taucher vanished. The rest of his unit reported in after the mission was finished--without Rupert. What happened to Private Taucher remains a mystery. An official inquiry saw witnesses testifying to his presence in the party, appearing well and able. The ruling was that Taucher was, “Reasonable to suppose dead in the field on 24 November 1917."

Taucher's body was never found. He is commemorated in the New Zealand grounds of Buttes New British Cemetery, at Polygon Wood in Zonnebeke.

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The Mud Sea:

One possible explanation is that he fell into a flooded shell crater and drowned in the mud.