World War One through place names. Mount Row, Arthur’s Pass National Park.
This feature, near the Cox River, is named after one of the over 100,000 New Zealanders who served overseas during the First World War.
Robert Amos Row was born in 1888. He attended West Christchurch and Christchurch Boys’ High Schools, before finding work as a commercial traveller. By virtue of his extensive service in the Territorial Forces, he was given the rank of Major at the outbreak of the War. He sailed with the Main Body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as commander of the 1st (Canterbury) Company of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion.
Row not only survived the conflict, but also served with great distinction. After undergoing extensive training, he led his unit during the ill-fated Dardanelles Campaign of 1915. There followed a period of reorganisation in Egypt, and further time spent training reinforcements in England. When the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade was formed during February 1917, Row was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and placed at the head of the 3rd Canterbury Battalion. He took part in the Battle of Passchendaele, before transferring to the 1st Canterbury Battalion at the start of 1918. For his bravery in battle he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
The name Mount Row was first assigned by the Honorary Geographic Board of New Zealand in 1932, and was officially confirmed by the New Zealand Geographic Board in 1948.
- Ferguson, Captain David, A History of the Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F., 1914-1919, Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1921.
- Honorary Geographic Board of New Zealand: Correspondence, vol. 9, pp. 55-57, 85.
- Honorary Geographic Board of New Zealand: Minutes, 1932 (16).
- New Zealand Geographic Board: Minutes, 1948 (42).
- New Zealand Geographic Board, ‘New Zealand Gazetteer’
- Press, 11 August 1915, p. 4.
- Reed, A.W., Place Names of New Zealand, Rosedale: Penguin, 2010.