Paul Meredith Steeds was a pupil at Oakham School between 1908 and 1911. He was the son of Edwin Playster Steeds and Marian Steeds, of 2, Marina Court, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. He emigrated to New Zealand where the records show he was a labourer before enlisting. He left New Zealand on 1 April 1916 from Wellington, serving with the 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Paul was killed in action during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) on 12 October 1917, aged 23. The New Zealanders were making another attempt to move up the Passchendaele Ridge in the most appalling conditions. They had to cross the swollen Ravebeek stream but were held up by uncut enemy wire and concentrated machine gun fire from German pillboxes. Paul's battalion tried to work round the flanks of the pillboxes at Bellevue on the Gravenstafel-Mosselmarkt road. The Brigadier later wrote: "The bravery and determination of these men were magnifcent." But it was to no avail and New Zealand attack was a costly failure. Paul Steeds' body was never recovered and today he is remembered on Panel 3 of the New Zealand Memorial Apse at Tyne Cot Cemetery. He is also remembered in the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
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