Topic: Edward Day

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Edward Day (Service Number 6/780) enlisted for the First World War with a Peterborough Street address.

Edward was born in August 1881 to John and Mary Day in Cheshire, England. He married Lillian Whalley in Liverpool in 1906 and the young couple left for New Zealand in time to have a daughter Gladys born in Christchurch 1907 and a son Edward Leslie (Les) in Kaikoura 1909. They had another son John born after the war who later served in the New Zealand Navy.

Dark haired, brown eyed and 5ft 8 inches Edward was working as a cook at Mr Moon's Coker's Hotel on Manchester Street when he enlisted with the Canterbury Infantry. His enlistment address was 146 Peterborough Street.

Edward left for the Dardanelles/ Gallipoli in April 1915. Posted to Divisional Headquarters in July, he was then temporarily promoted to Sergeant while acting as cook in the Officer's Mess. Edward next transferred to the Australia and New Zealand Army Corp Headquarters as a batman or solder-servant to a commissioned officer. Edward returned to New Zealand at the end of 1915.

He was back in England by June 1916 and was sent to the Command Depot at Codford Camp to receive further training for active service. Edward must have impressed as he was promoted first to Corporal, and then to Sergeant. In March 1917 Edward was transferred from Sling Camp to act as caterer in the Canterbury Infantry Regiment's Sergeant's Mess. He undertook a course at the Army School of Cookery in January 1918 which qualified him to manage a regular unit's catering.

After almost 5 years' service Edward returned to New Zealand on the Hororata, leaving London on the 1st of February 1919.
The Hororata berthed in Wellington on the 15th of March and soldiers bound for Canterbury transferred to the steamer Mararoa. The Mararoa arrived in Lyttelton on the morning of the 17th to huge crowds of waiting relatives. Likewise Christchurch railway station was crowded with families and well-wishers. A welcoming committee met the returning men and bands from the 1StMounted Rifles, The St Michael's Boys' Scouts and the Christchurch Senior Cadets played "stirring tunes". The next day Hororata soldiers and their relatives were treated to afternoon tea at the Colosseum, a huge events hall that used to stand on the site of New Regent Street.

Edward was awarded the 1914/1915 Star, Victory Medal and British War Medal for his service.

With the advent of the Second World War Edward volunteered for Temporary Service in New Zealand. Latterly he had been employed as a motor vehicle trimmer or upholsterer but now he became a storeman in the Army's Central Clothing Store in Christchurch. He served from September 1939 through to discharge in April 1947. He received the War Medal and New Zealand War Service Medal.

Edward and Lillian lived for many years at 580 Worcester Street, Linwood. Lillian died in 1955 and Edward in 1961.


Related resources

  • Military personnel file for Edward Day. Archives New Zealand (Archway).
  • Online Cenotaph record for Edward Day. Auckland War Memorial Museum

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Edward Day

First Names:Edward
Last Name:Day
Place of Birth:Cheshire, England