Topic: George Stringfellow

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George Stringfellow (Service no. 41169) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

George Stringfellow, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Online CenotaphGeorge Stringfellow was born on 26 August 1895 at Church Stoke, Mongomeryshire, in Wales UK. His father was James Stringfellow (1833-1907) and his mother was Ann Jacks (1833-1925). George was a twin with his twin brother also being named George. Twins ran in the family as George also had older twin sisters. There were 9 siblings, however one infant fatality left a total of 8 siblings. It was only the last sibling, John, that was born in New Zealand in Lyttleton.

The family emigrated to New Zealand from Wales when George was 8 years old  aboard the Eastern Monarch, a vessel of 1706 tons, boarding at Plymouth and docking in Lyttleton. The voyage began on May 7 1874 and made the run in 71 days and 19 hours. This was one of the fastest passages ever recorded from Plymouth to Lyttelton.

Once arriving in Lyttleton the family moved to Port Levy where they leased a dairy farm and milked 50 cows plus 15 of the families own cows to make cheese. At aged 15 the family moved from Port Levy due to the low price of cheese. They moved to Chertsey in Ashburton where the family rented farm from the crown. Within 3 years the family bought the land and bred sheep very successfully. They were a very well respected family and won many farming awards and competitions. George became a farmer and worked on his father’s land as did his brothers.

George Stringfellow joined up to the army in 1914 aged 19. At this time he was 5 ft 10 inches, and weighed 12 stone. He had a fair complexion with grey eyes and brown hair. George was given the honour of a certificate for crossing the equator for the first time aboard the RMS Corinthic on May 19th, 1917. It read-

“ Behold ye, mariners, sea gods, mermaids and dwellers within my dominions, that G Stringfellow has satisfied my kingship, spouse, high judge, doctor, barber and all my other subjects within this my equatorial sea, as to his fitness to enter and dwell within my dominions, therefore I now in virtue of my divine right of kingship of the high seas, grant him the freedom of the sea. Given under my seal this 19th May in the year 1917.”

The last ranking George Stringfellow held was Pvte Wellington Infantry Regiment 3rd battalion in the NZ Expeditionary Force.

He died of wounds on the field in Belgium on 7 October 1917.

George is remembered on the Sumner War Memorial Plaque.

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George Stringfellow


First Names:George
Last Name:Stringfellow
Place of Birth:Montgomeryshhire, Wales, UK