Topic: Maurice Francis Duggan

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Maurice Francis Duggan (Service no. 26/168) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton.

 Maurice Francis Duggan was born on 19 March 1890 in Christchurch. He was the second Maurice Duggan, Canterbury Times, 2nd July, 1915eldest son of John and Ellen Duggan of Linwood. Maurice had two sisters and two brothers (his younger brother John, also known as Jack, served with the Cyclist Corps in France). Maurice was educated at the New Brighton and St Mary’s schools in Christchurch. Prior to enlisting with the army he was employed by Mr T McIntee as a gardener.

Maurice registered his name at the Christchurch area office on 8 June 1915. He was 5 feet 5 ½ inches tall and 135 pounds. His medical records initially showed that he was temporarily unfit for service.

However on the 11 October 1915 he enlisted at Trentham Army Camp and joined the 4th Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade C Company. His initial training began at Maymorn, six miles north of Trentham where a tented camp was set up and general military training began. At the beginning of December his battalion was moved to the site of the Old Rifle Brigade camp at Rangiotu which was much better equipped for training.

He was granted final leave on December 19 for two weeks. When training resumed it was with renewed vigour, with training in attack and defence, outpost work and bivouacking which was carried out above the sandhills in Himatangi followed by musket training in Wanganui.

After a march through the pouring rain, Maurice and the 4th Battalion C Company left from Auckland on the 5 February 1916, aboard the Navua (Transport No. 44) along with the 3rd Field Ambulance and the Maori Reinforcements.

Maurice disembarked at Suez on the 15 March 1916 and was transported by rail to Ismailia, where he marched with his battalion to the brigade camp across the canal at  Ferry Post. On 20 March 1916 his battalion was moved from  Ferry Post to Moascar Camp. 7th of April 1916 saw the 3rd and 4th Battalions and the M G Company depart from Moascar to Alexandria aboard the Alaunia. They disembarked in Marseilles, France on 14 April. It took about three days by train to reach the battle zone and Maurice’s 4th battalion was billeted to the neighbouring villages of Tannay and Thiennes.

His medical records show that he was shot and wounded in the lower back, east of Armentieres on the Western Front on the 7 July 1916. He was evacuated to Calais, staying at the No 35 General Hospital. On 11 July Maurice was reported on the dangerously ill list, but was removed from that list a couple of days later. He was transferred aboard the HS Haven to the 2nd London General Hospital in Chelsea, where he had two operations for the removal of a foreign object.

On 4 August 1916 he was transferred to the No.2 NZ General Hospital in Walton, England for more treatment. He stayed for 3 months before embarking for NZ aboard the HS Maheno on the 3 November 1916. However, due to sickness, Maurice disembarked in Port Said in Egypt and was transferred to the 27th General Hospital in Abbassia, Egypt, where he was diagnosed with scarlet fever.

On 5 January 1917 he was transferred to Aotea Convalescent Home in Heliopolis, Egypt. A couple of weeks later he boarded the HS Euripides for New Zealand via Australia. He arrived back in New Zealand on 27 February 1917.

On the 24 April 1917 after serving one year and 195 days of active overseas service Maurice was discharged from the war and no longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds received in action.

Maurice never fully recovered from his wounds and spent a lot of time in Christchurch Hospital. He later died of his wounds at Christchurch Hospital on 31 October 1918 aged 28 years old.

Maurice was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal and is buried with his younger brother Jack in the Linwood Cemetery (Block 46, Plot 25).

Maurice Duggan is remembered on the New Brighton School Roll of Honour board.


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Maurice Francis Duggan

First Names:Maurice Francis
Last Name:Duggan
Place of Birth:Christchurch