Topic: Duncan Thomas Gillespie

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Duncan Thomas Gillespie (Service no. 6/2630) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton

Duncan Thomas Gillespie Duncan Thomas Gillespie was the eldest son of  William and Annie Gillespie of 209 Breezes Road, New Brighton. He was born in Timaru in 1889, and christened in the Timaru Presbyterian Church before moving to North Canterbury with his family.

In North Canterbury, as a child, he attended the Upper Waiau School. Later when the family moved to New Brighton, Christchurch, Duncan attended  New Brighton School. As a boy and young man Duncan had a fair complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair.

Before enlisting with the New Zealand Army, at the age of 23, Duncan was working as a manager at the Ben McLeod sheep run, Peel Forest, Rangitata Gorge.

He left New Zealand with the New Zealand Army 6th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, on 14th August, 1915. He was often in hospital, with  various ailments: mumps, a strained neck, scabies, influenza, and septic sores .

Records show that Duncan was killed in action on 7th June, 1917 when he was 26 years old. Although he died during a battle, it is unclear whether he fell in Belgium or France.

Corporal Duncan Thomas Gillespie’s name is remembered both on the Roll Of Honour at New Brighton School and engraved upon the Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial in Belgium.

He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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Duncan Thomas Gillespie


First Names:Duncan
Last Name:Gillespie
Place of Birth:Timaru, South Canterbury, New Zealand