Topic: David Napier

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David Napier (Service no. 23/1906) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton

David George Napier was born at Hororata on 23rd September 1891. His parents were James and Mary Napier. James, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was a farmer in Hororata, with a strong involvement in the local Racing Club. Then he was a store-keeper at Belfast, then he retired to 148 Ollivier’s Rd, Linwood.

David had 3 brothers and one sister. He went to Belfast School, and then Christchurch Boys’ High School. After leaving school, he worked for the Customs Dept. in New Plymouth, Christchurch, and then Wellington. While in the Customs, he studied law, and had only one exam left to pass when he left for war.
While living in Christchurch, he was a member of the New Brighton Surf  Bathing and Life-saving Club, Linwood Cricket Club, and the Old Boys’ Football Club, and was an officer in the Canterbury Infantry Territorials.
He was of average height, with blue eyes, and dark brown hair.

David enlisted in Wellington with the 10th Reinforcements on 12th October, 1915. He left NZ on the 4th March, 1916.
In France, he was posted to the NZ Rifle Brigade as 2nd Lieutenant. He was later promoted to first Lieutenant, and acted as Quartermaster to the 4th Battalion of the Brigade for some time. Then, on 29th July 1917, he was promoted to temporary Captain, and re-joined his company in the trenches.
He had 2 weeks leave in the UK early September. Two days after he re-joined his unit, he was killed in action.

He died on 16 September, 1917, at Ypres, Belgium, aged 25 and is buried in The Huts Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

His name appears on the New Brighton Surf Bathing and Life-Saving Club Memorial Window,  the Belfast School Roll of Honour and the Belfast War Memorial. He is on the Christchurch Boys’ High School list of the old boys who died in the First World War.

Two of his brothers also fought in the war, and survived.


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David Napier

First Names:David George
Last Name:Napier
Place of Birth:Hororata, New Zealand