Descendants of two soldiers being sought

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Soldiering on .. New Zealand Remembrance Army members Peter Trevathan (left) and Lox Kellas are set to restore a grave shared by two soldiers in Dunedin's Southern Cemetery. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A search is on for descendants of two soldiers buried in a Dunedin cemetery.

New Zealand Remembrance Army member Lox Kellas said he and fellow member Peter Trevathan were set to refurbish a grave shared by two soldiers in the Southern Cemetery in Kensington.

Otago Mounted Constabulary Sergeant Edward John Garvey died in a snowstorm at Mount Ida Goldfield on September 25, 1863, aged 30.

Otago Armed Constabulary Force Sergeant James Grennan died in January 1866, aged 36.

“These people were pioneers back in the day,” Mr Kellas said.

Both men served in the Crimean War – a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance made up of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia.

Both men were awarded the Legion of Honour, the highest French order of merit for military and civil recipients, established in 1802 by French dictator and military genius Napoleon Bonaparte.

Both men were also awarded bravery medals.

The grave refurbishment was part of the national project by the New Zealand Remembrance Army to restore every service grave in New Zealand.

A search for descendants of both men had been launched so when the grave was restored, they could be invited to its unveiling, he said,

“We’ll clean them up as best we can. Mr Kellas said.

People wanting to volunteer for cleaning service graves could email nzradunedin@gmail.com.

Anyone with information on descendants of Sgts Garvey and Grennan could email Mr Trevathan at petebond058@hotmail.co.nz.