Arthur George Flutey was born 7 November 1894 in Kaiapoi, the son of Charles and Amelia Flutey, née Crane, and a mokopuna of John (Jean) Fluerty and Merehana Pūhaa of Okains Bay and James Crane and Kooee Peti Palmer.
Arthur lived in Woodend, north of Christchurch. He was a labourer working at Andrews Twine Company, Waikuku, when he enlisted for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) on 3 October 1916. Although his NZEF attestation form shows he had previously ‘been rejected as unfit for the Military or Naval Forces of the Crown’ on account of his ‘bad leg’, the medical examiner at the time declared him fit for service with ‘limbs well formed’ and ‘joints full and perfect’.
Arthur left Wellington aboard the Waitemata on 19 January 1917 with the 13th Māori Reinforcements and disembarked in Plymouth two months later, on 27 August 1917. He served for two years and 214 days with two years and 81 of those days spent on the Western Front.
Arthur was in out of hospitals, particularly in Flanders, Etaples and Rouen, often suffering from Myalgia, a form of muscle spasm. In August 1917, a slightly embarrassed Arthur slipped in a trench while carrying an ‘A frame’ and suffered accidental injuries, once again, ending up in hospital.
Arthur Flutey's Casualty form.
Arthur returned home to Aotearoa, New Zealand in May 1919. He settled in Woodend before moving to the Māori reserve in Tuahiwi.
In 1930 Arthur married Ria Te Wera Tregerthen, the daughter of John Driver Tregerthen and Tini Arapata Horau. They had three children, Mataara Hampton, Arthur George Flutey Jr. and Te Karere Piriwiritua Lilly. Ria also gave birth to Rangimarie Brodie, née Tregerthen from a previous relationship and together with Arthur, they raised Tukotahi Crofts, the son of Raiha Joan Korako and Frederick Napier Hutana.
Arthur Flutey’s son, also named Arthur, says that his father never used to talk about the war.
We used to ask him questions about his illness – Dad said it was from the war. He was gassed overseas and it affected him, his breathing. He was on the Western front; in and out of hospital with myalgia, affecting his muscles and heart.
Young Arthur Flutey remembers his father working most of the time.
"We had a good life with dad. He would bike to Eyrewell Forest from Woodend, stayed there all week, and biked home on Friday for the weekend. Having Dad at home was precious. Mum took good care of us when dad was away, we kids would help out, my main job was to cut the wood."
Private Arthur George Flutey died in 1960.
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