Topic: Douglas James Guiney

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Douglas James Guiney (Service no. 50173) was a First World War soldier with links to the Halswell area.

Douglas James Guiney, known as James, was born on 27 December 1888 in New Zealand to Samuel Patterson Guiney and Margaret Anne (nee Clark). His parents had emigrated from Ireland and England. Douglas had four brothers, Alan Henry, Wilfred Patterson, Charles Edward and L.W.(?), and one sister Dorothy.

He attended Halswell School, and Christ's College, Christchurch.

At the time of war James was a news reporter for the Lyttelton Times and he belonged to the Defence Rifle Club. His residential address before he enlisted was the School House in Halswell, where his father was schoolmaster. His brothers, Alan Henry and Wilfred Patterson, also enlisted for the war but served with the Australian Army.

James enlisted when he was 28, in March 1917 with a preference for the artillery. He was described as having a 'fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair, length 5 feet 10 ¼'. On 11 April 1917, James was posted with the 28th NZFA Regiment. On 9 May 1917 he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to the 31st NCO's. A month later he was promoted to Corporal.

According to his medical certificate on 28 June 1917, James was healthy apart from an old history of gonorrhoea.

Cover of "The Link" magazine edited by James Guiney from Auckland War Memorial MuseumJames married Bessie Catherine Barnard in February 1918, at the Wellington Registry Office. 

On 3 May 1918, James left for Etaples, France in 34th NZFA Regiment. While en route to France aboard H.M.N.Z.T. Ulimaroa he edited a magazine for his regiment, entitled The Link. In his short time in France James got in a bit of trouble. His conduct sheet has a note on 13th June 1918 he was 'absent from billet (soldiers lodge) after 9.30pm not being in possession of a pass'.  His punishment was '2 days Field Punishment number 2' which was carried out in August that year.

On 2nd October 1919 he sailed from London and arrived in Auckland on 15 November 1919. As he was injured in service, his planned date of discharge was changed from 14 December 1919 to 5 January 1920. His total service was 1 year' 282 days.

He and Bessie had five children, John Samuel, Douglas James, Iris, Peter Barnard, and Leicester Clifford. He continued with his career of journalism all his life.

James died of sickness on 23 May 1943 in Wellington.


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Douglas James Guiney


First Names:Douglas James
Last Name:Guiney
Place of Birth:New Zealand