Topic: Wilfred Morgan

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Wilfred Morgan (Service no. 41598) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton

Wilfred Joshua Morgan (‘Wif’) was  the  second son of Andrew and Helena Maria Morgan. Andrew was in the police force, and the family lived in different places. Wilfred was educated at Kaikoura and Rangiora High Schools. By 1911, his parents were living in Waimate, where his father was a police sergeant, and Wilfred was living with his brother, William, in Christchurch. When his father died, his mother joined them and they lived at Old New Brighton Rd.

Wilfred passed his civil service exam in January 1904, and started off as a clerk for the Christchurch office of the New Zealand Express Company, rising to be assistant manager of the company’s Wellington branch before he left for war. His Wellington address was 20 Aitken St. “His business ability marked him out for rapid promotion”.

He was a prominent footballer…. ‘a tower of strength in the forward division of the Christchurch Football Club’s senior fifteen’, and represented Canterbury 15 times from 1910-1912. He was a member of the club’s management committee, as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Canterbury Rugby Union, and one of the founder members of the Red and Black Association. He was also a member of the New Brighton and Miramar Golf Clubs, and the Canterbury Rowing Club. He was a very popular young man, and belonged to the Ascot baching fraternity, a group of young people who would come down to the baches in New Brighton at the weekend to have a good time.

He enlisted in Wellington, and left with the 23rd Reinforcements, eventually transferring to the Canterbury Regiment in France. He left New Zealand on the 14th March, 1917, arriving in England about nine weeks later, then heading over to France six weeks after that, and into the field. He would have fought in the trenches in the Third Battle of Ypres.

On 1st October, 1917, he was wounded and gassed, and spent about three months in hospitals in France and England, and then at the convalescent camps of Hornchurch and Codford in England. When he had recovered, he joined the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps, and returned to France in June, 1918.  He was fighting at Rossignol Wood, and involved in the 2nd battle of Bapaume, and the Allied advance. He was killed on 6th September, 1918 at Havrincourt, France, aged 31. He was buried at Neuville-Bourjonval British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France.

He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

His eldest brother, Sapper Grosvenor Andrew Morgan, served in the war as well, and survived. His youngest brother, Engineer Lieutenant G. Morgan, served in the Royal Navy.

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Wilfred Morgan

First Names:Wilfred Joshua
Last Name:Morgan