Topic: William Frederick Irving

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William Frederick Irving (Service no. 80167) was a First World War soldier with links to Halswell

William Frederick Irving was born on May 30th 1898 to Christchurch based parents John William Irving and Grace Emily Blowers. Prior to the war, William lived in Halswell and worked as a labourer on a dairy farm, an occupation his father also held for most of his life. At the age of 19, fair-haired-blue-eyed William enlisted himself to serve, embarking on the SS Tofua as part of the 42nd Reinforcements, A Company Unit heading to London.

William left for London a healthy young man, and served for just over one year before he experienced a knock to his health catching measles and being hospitalised for a week towards the end of his service.

William returned to Christchurch after the war in 1919. From 1919 to 1928, there was very little recorded on William, but by the year of 1928 he had returned to being a farm labourer which was recorded in the electoral roll.

On June 13th 1930, William was found unconscious and ‘severely injured’ lying next to a damaged bike on Lincoln Road, and died later than night. At the time he had returned to living in Halswell and was employed by Christchurch City Council. On 8th of July, an adjourned inquest into William’s death was resumed where the Coroner Mr E. D. Mosley stated that William had died from a fractured skull, laceration of the brain tissue and haemorrhage received as a result of being struck on the back of the head while cycling home. Evidence given by witnesses in the area hadn’t noticed anything suspicious at that time of night, leading the coroner to rule an open verdict due to insufficient evidence.

Along with William, John and Grace, had 8 other children, raising a strong Christchurch family who both lived and died in Christchurch. One of William's brothers, Lloyd George Irving, also served as a private in the second World War, dying in North Africa and was buried in the war cemetery in El Alamein, Egypt.

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William Frederick Irving


First Names:William Frederick
Last Name:Irving
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand