Topic: William James Lorgelly

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William James Lorgelly (Service no. 20179) was a First World War soldier with links to Burwood.

William James Lorgelly was born in Arundell, New Zealand in the months between April and June 1895 and his birth was registered in Geraldine, South Canterbury. His parents, James and Kate were the first couple married at St. Stephen's Anglican Church, Peel Forest, South Canterbury in 1894.

William was 5 foot 5 and 1/2 inches tall, approximately 94lbs (?) and had fair skin, blue eyes and auburn hair. He was 21 years old when he enlisted with the New Zealand Army. His job is listed as trainer and he was unmarried and had no recorded siblings. He resided in Havelock North prior to enlisting, while his parents given address was Frosts Road in Burwood, Christchurch.

William embarked on the 19th of August 1916 from Wellington, on the HMNZ T61. He was recorded as serving in the 16th Reinforcements, the NZ Machine Gun Battalion and the NZ Expeditionary Force. He was written up for breaking out of an isolation camp in Grantham on the 20th of December 1916, and was docked 3 days' pay as his punishment.

He was awarded the Military Medal for acts of gallantry in the field on the 31st of October 1917. He was temporarily promoted to Sergeant on the 20th of April 1918, to replace the former soldier who was evacuated sick. This position was relinquished on the 5th of May 1918 but he was permanently promoted to Sergeant on the 25th of May 1918, three months before his death on the 25th of August 1918.

He was killed in action during one of the final pushes by the NZ Division across France in August and September 1918. He was initially buried 21/4 miles N.W. of Bapaume and N.E. of Loupart Wood. He is laid to rest in the ADANAC Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France (Grave I.D IV.C.20).

He was survived by his parents James and Kate who continued to live in Christchurch and are buried together at Bromley Cemetery.

William is remembered on the Burwood, Timaru and Geraldine War Memorials.

He was post-humously awarded The British War Medal on the 31st of October 1921 and the Victory Medal in September 1922.


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William James Lorgelly

First Names:William James
Last Name:Lorgelly
Place of Birth:Arundell, New Zealand