Topic: George Wyse Smith

Topic type:

George Wyse Smith (Service No. 7/560) was a First World War soldier with links to Sumner

George Wyse SmithGeorge was born on Wednesday 3rd August 1892 in Christchurch New Zealand. He was the 9th child of William Wyse Smith a builder from Scotland and Nicholas (nee McKenzie) also of Scotland who married in Renfrew Scotland 18th November 1870. He had eight siblings Jane (Scotland) 1871, William Smith (Scotland) 1873, George Wyse 1879 -1880, George 1881- 1891, Nicholina 1883, Catherine Ross 1887, David 1885, Florence Nightingale 1890.

George’s mother died on 22nd October 1893 when he was one and his father remarried in 1896 to Martha Belinda Hunter a dressmaker from England now living in New Zealand. The family made their home at Estuary Road Redcliffs Sumner. George was educated at Christchurch Boys High School and also attended Glasgow College Scotland for a short period. When His father died in March 1910 his step-mother became his next of kin.

George, was a single 22year old man who had been christened in the Anglican Church.  He stood 5’ 9 ¾” tall weighed 150lb (10.7 stone) with a moderately fair complexion, Dark Brown hair and grey eyes.  At the time of his enlistment on the 11th September 1914 he was working as a farmer for R J Harrison Amberley Christchurch.

George was assigned to Canterbury Mounted Rifles who travelled from Lyttelton on the HMNZT 4 TAHITI and the HMNZT 11 ATHENIC  joining the Main Body convoy in Wellington.  The convoy left Wellington at 6am on 16th October 1914.  On 28 October they arrived at Albany, Australia, and anchored waiting to be joined by the Australian contingent. The combined convoy sailed on 1 November and reached Colombo on 15 November. Two days later it sailed into the Red Sea, and the Suez Canal. The regiment disembarked at Alexandria on 3 December 1914.

George was hospitalized in Egypt for six – seven weeks after fall from a horse.

He was killed in action at Bauchop's Hill between on either 6th or 7th August 1915 and buried in the 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey II. B. 5.  Waldron’s Point Cemetery Gallipoli Grave 1.

Georges Medals, the 1914-15 Star and the British War Medal, were posthumously awarded and delivered to his mother Martha Smith Estuary Road Redcliffs Sumner on 4th October 1921. He is remembered on the Sumner war memorial which was on the corner of Wakefield Avenue and Nayland Street until the building was badly damaged during the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. The building was subsequently demolished. However the plaque was salvaged and in 2017 was installed in Sumner's new library, community centre and museum -  Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.

Related Sources

Cenotaph - Online Cenotaph - Auckland War Memorial Museum

Archives New Zealand George Wyse Smith (Service No. 7/560) military personnel file in Archives New Zealand

Ancestry Library Edition

 Papers Past Sun, Volume II, Issue 485, 30 August 1915

New Zealand Graves Project

Department of Internal Affairs - Births Deaths & Marriages

Torpedo Bay Navy Museum

Sumner War memorial

Christchurch Boys High School memorial

New Zealand History


The New Zealanders at Gallipoli /Fred Waite Victoria University of Wellington NZETC  

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion

George Wyse Smith

First Names:George Wyse
Last Name:Smith
Place of Birth:Christchurch New Zealand