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National marks the passing of a great soldier

Bill English Leader of the Opposition

10 October 2001

National marks the passing of a great soldier

New Zealand has lost one of its most distinguished soldiers with the passing yesterday of World War One veteran Lieutenant (ret) Lawrence Morris "Curly" Blyth, Opposition Leader Bill English said today.

"At the age of 104 Curly Blyth became one of the oldest recipients of the New Years Honours when he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2001.

"The honour was to recognise his work for World War One veterans and service to the community, particularly his work on New Zealand-French relations. What made his achievement all the more remarkable is that much of his contribution was made after he was 95.

"This was a exceptional achievement for an exceptional New Zealander," Mr English said.

"It is a sombre day when we commemorate the veteran of a war almost a century ago and half a world away at a time when New Zealand troops are to be deployed again.

"I extend my condolences and those of the National Party to the family and friends of Curly Blyth," said Bill English.

Ends

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