Topic: William Wellings

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William Wellings (Service no. 11751) was a First World War soldier with links to Woolston.

William Wellings was born on 22nd May 1887 in Warrington, England. He married Jane Ingham and their first daughter May was born on 6th May 1910. The family emigrated to New Zealand and a second daughter, Edith, was born in Christchurch on 8th July 1913. They lived at 13 Henley Street in Woolston. William worked as a labourer for NZ Railways and was a member of the Salvation Army.

William enlisted in the army at Trentham in January 1916, at the age of 28. His medical record indicated he was 5ft 4in in height and weighed 140lbs, with brown hair, blue eyes and a "fresh" complexion.

William was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment, 1st Company of the NZ Expeditionary Force as a private. He left Wellington on 1st May 1916 on the Ulimaroa and arrived at Suez in Egypt on 9th June 2016. Seven weeks later on 26th July, he embarked from Alexandria and arrived at Southampton on 7th August. He was based for a short time at the NZEF's Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain and then left for France on 20th August. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment in the field on 4th September. On 17th October he was attached to the Royal Engineers and four months later rejoined the Battalion on 18th February 2017.

William Wellings was killed in action in the Battle of Passchendaele near Ypres, Belgium on 12th October 1917 aged 30 years. This was later called New Zealand's 'blackest day' as it was the country's worst loss of life in a single day. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal which were sent to his widow.

William Wellings is listed on the Memorial at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at Ferrymead for Addington Workshops Members of Staff and on the Woolston War Memorial in Christchurch.


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William Wellings

First Names:William
Last Name:Wellings