Poppy Places - Elliot Crescent
Elliott Crescent is one of four adjoining streets in the Anderson Park suburb in Havelock North named, in 1961, after Victoria Cross winners.
Keith Elliott was born on 25 April 1916 at Apiti, in the Manawatu, the eighth of nine children of Thomas Frank Capper Elliott, a farmer, and his wife, Ethel Marie Knyvett.
After attending Feilding Agricultural College, Elliott was managing his father’s farm near Feilding. When World War II began he immediately joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
Since Victoria Cross holders were considered good for morale back home, Elliott, in spite of his protests, was returned to New Zealand. Keith Elliott married Margaret Markham, who he had met before the war, in 1944. They had five children together, Doug, Graeme, Peter, Mary and Elizabeth.
In 1947 was ordained a minister in the Anglican Church. He served as Vicar in a number of parishes including working for many years in the Māori Mission before moving to Wellington as the Assistant City Missioner and later as Welfare Officer for the Fire Service.
After a lifetime of committed service in both the military and the Church, Keith Elliott died in 1989, at Wellington, aged 73.
While the Council minutes do not show the discussion or reasons, there is a high degree of confidence that this street was named after Victoria Cross (VC) Winner Keith Elliott, who had ties to Hawke’s Bay and lived in Hastings.
Keith Elliott’s VC Citation
At dawn on 15 July 1942 the battalion to which Sergeant Elliot belonged was attacked on three flanks by tanks. Under heavy tank, machine-gun and shell fire, Sergeant Elliott led the platoon he was commanding to the cover of a ridge three hundred yards away, during which he sustained a chest wound.
Here he re-formed his men and led them to a dominating ridge a further five hundred yards away, where they came under heavy enemy machine-gun and mortar fire. He located enemy machine-gun posts to his front and right flank, and while one section attacked on the right flank, Sergeant Elliott led seven men in a bayonet charge across five hundred yards of open ground in the face of heavy fire and captured four enemy machine-gun posts and an anti-tank gun, killing a number of the enemy and taking fifty prisoners.
His section then came under fire from a machine-gun post on the left flank. He immediately charged this post single-handed and succeeded in capturing it, killing several of the enemy and taking fifteen prisoners. During these two assaults he sustained three more wounds in the back and legs. Although badly wounded in four places, Sergeant Elliott refused to leave his men until he had reformed them, handed over his prisoners, which were now increased to one hundred and thirty, and arranged for his men to rejoin the battalion.
Owing to Sergeant Elliott's quick grasp of the situation, great personal courage and leadership, nineteen men, who were the only survivors of B Company of his battalion, captured and destroyed five machine-guns, one anti-tank gun, killed a great number of the enemy and captured one hundred and thirty prisoners. Sergeant Elliott sustained only one casualty amongst his men, and brought him back to the nearest advanced dressing station.