(Service number 17/56)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Private


Date 19 July 1891 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 21 October 1914 Age 23 yrs 2 mths
Address at Enlistment Carlton House, Masterton
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin William FITZGERALD (brother), Augustine St, Waimate, South Canterbury. Also advise Miss Mary FITZGERALD (aunt), Waimate, Sth Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 158 lbs. Chest measurement 35-38 inches.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 2nd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Veterinary Corps
Date 14 December 1914
Transport Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Otago Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Western Europe
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal.
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

January 1916, Cairo - acute conjunctivitis, admitted to N.Z. General Hospital, "Doing well"; February 1916 - corneal ulcer. 2 November 1916 admitted to 2nd Australia Casualty Clearing Station, then transferred to Base Depot. December 1916, Rouen - sick; discharged Ven Hospital.

Post-war Occupations


Date 12 October 1917 Age 26
Place of Death Belgium (in the Field)
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Memorial Reference N. Z. Apse, Panel 3.
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru? Waimate War Memorial   

Biographical Notes

James FITZGERALD was born in 1891, a son of Irish-born parents John and Johannah FITZGERALD of Waimate, Timaru, and baptized Catholic on 6 September 1891 at Waimate. It appears that both his parents died in the 1890s. He was a brother of William FITZGERALD who also enlisted for WWI (54343). James would appear to be one of the Territorials in Waimate who made an appearance in the Waimate Court on 15 April 1913, in his case for failing to render personal service; he was fined 10 shillings. At the time of enlisting James was living in Masterton and working at Pongaroa. He was one of the men to enlist early for service, embarking on 14 December 1914 and disembarking in Egypt on 3 February 1915. At the time of enlisting he was living in Masterton and working at Pongaroa. He had a several spells in hospital, each time recovering and rejoining his battalion. He also incurred several punishments - he forfeited 5 days pay and experienced 14 days Detention for breaking out of Battacks at Abbassia on 15 June 1915 and remaining absent until apprehended in Alexandria on board H M T B Australasia on 17 June; on 6 September 1915 he was confined to barracks for 1 week, for insolence to N.C.O.; on 19 March 1916 he suffered 14 days of Field Punishmnet and lost 14 days of full pay for being drunk in billets at 2pm; and on 7 May 1917 he was awarded 7 days of Field Punishment for absence from billet at 11.15pm. His medals, plaque and scroll were authorised to go to his brother William FITZGERALD, who had an address in Rotorua in January 1921 but back in Waimate later in the year. His brother William was advised, in response to his letter of 18 January 1920, that no Gratuity in respect of a deceased soldier would be paid as there appeared to be no relatives or dependants of his late brother who came within the provisions of the Act.


Cenotaph Database [31 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0040333) [01 August 2013]; CWGC [31 July 2013]; Timaru Herald, 16 April 1913, 2 November 1917 (Papers Past) [20 September 2013; 21 September 2014]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism index V.1.2 (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Computer Resources) [27 April 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [August 2013]; NZ Birth Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [April 2014]

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