When Charles Southey's daughter asked her father why he was awarded his Military Medal for bravery at Passchendaele, he modestly replied that he 'wrote a good report'. Only years later did she learn the extent of his bravery.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on 1 November 1918 south of Valenciennes. He was ordered to reconnoitre with a patrol beyond the final objective. Finding this impracticable owing to the proximity of the enemy he at once joined in with the infantry who were few and hard pressed, and helped them through the day especially in repelling a counter-attack. At the close of the day he sent in a clear report on the events in his area." Citation for Military Cross, 2nd Lieutenant Charles Carrington Southey, MM, New Zealand Cyclist Battalion.
For Bravery in the Field explored the life and experiences of 2nd Lieutenant Charles Southey, New Zealand Cycle Corps, during the First World War and acknowledged Southey as one of the fortunate ones who returned to Tauranga after the war. He went on to make a significant contribution to his home town, including becoming the headmaster of Tauranga District High School in 1942.
"Mr Charles Southey died in Tauranga this week aged 86. Mr Southey was known throughout the Tauranga district for his activities in education, interest in history of early New Zealand and military service… During the war he received the Military Medal and Military Cross. After the war he taught at Northcote, Ormond, Hunterville and Whakatane before returning to Tauranga in 1942 as headmaster of the Tauranga District High School." 'Tauranga Identity Dies', The Bay of Plenty Times, June 1976.