Topic: George Chaney

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George Chaney (Service no. 34631) was a First World War soldier with links to Hornby, Belfast and Upper Riccarton

George was born at Belfast on 31 October 1886, the third son of  Randolph Theodore and Sarah Ann Chaney, of 38 Watts Rd, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch.  

The family were pioneer settlers as Randolph Theodore Chaney was born on 10th September, 1850 at Bay of Biscay aboard the “Randolph” on its way to Lyttelton. The “Randolph” being the second ship to arrive on 16th December, 1850.

George was educated at Hornby School and later at West Christchurch District High School. He had previously been rejected for service on account of his crooked toe. At the time of enlistment he was aged 29 years and 7 months and was 5ft 8in tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and black hair.

George enlisted on 23 August 1916 and was assigned to the 20th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company with the rank of Private.  He embarked with his unit for Plymouth, England on board the Port Lyttelton on 7 December 1916 and arrived at Sling Camp on 18 February 1917. After training at Codford Camp he left for the front in France on 28 May 1917 with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Company. Early in November 1917 he was detached to the School of Instruction, returning to his unit on 20th November.

He was killed in action during fighting at Polygon Wood, Ypres just nine days later on 29th November.

His body was not recovered and he is remembered on the Buttes New British Cemetery (NZ) Memorial, Polygon Wood, Belgium.

George’s brother, Charles Theodore, also served during the war and was wounded. 

George and Charles are listed on the Hornby War Memorial, and George is also on the Belfast War Memorial.


Related resources

  • Online cenotaph record for George Chaney.  Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • George Chaney's military personnel file. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
  • Entry for George Chaney on From Papanui to Passchendaele
  • The first four ships, Publisher:Christchurch [N.Z.] : The Press, [2006], Page 14. See also


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George Chaney

First Names:George
Last Name:Chaney
Place of Birth:Belfast, Christchurch, New Zealand