(Service number 52595)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Private


Date 4 October 1878 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 12 October 1917 Age 38 years 3 months
Address at Enlistment Orari, Clandeboye
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Jack FITZGERALD (brother), Rangitata, Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Reinforcements G Company (part)
Date 12 June 1917
Transport Maunganui or Tahiti
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Otago Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion

Military Awards

Service Medals Yes
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

Post-war Occupations


Date 6 December 1917 Age 39 yrs
Place of Death Belgium
Cause Died of wounds
Memorial or Cemetery Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Memorial Reference XXVII. D. 1.
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Basilica of the Sacred Heart; Geraldine War Memorial?; Orari District War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Son of William FITZGERALD & Mrs Maria FITZGERALD, of Orari, Canterbury. Robert was born 4 October 1878 or 6 March 1878. He was baptized Catholic on 1 November 1878 at Temuka. Robert was drawn in the Third Ballot under the Military Service Act for the South Canterbury district, in January 1917. He first appealed his call-up for service (27 February 1917), stating that he had one married brother; that he had about 300 acres and managed his mother's farm of 3000 acres; and that he could not secure a man to take his place. His appeal was dismissed but he was allowed till the end of March. In 1917 three persons absolutely dependent on Robert. On 27 February 1917 Robert appealed his call-up for service, saying that he had one married brother; that he had about 200 acres and managed his mother's farm of 3000 acres; and he could not secure a man to take his place. Appears to be an error in enlistment date as Robert embarked earlier and probably left Timaru for the Front on 11 April 1917.


Cenotaph Database [31 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0040376) [26 Jul 2013]; CWGC [26 July 2013]; Timaru Herald, 28 February 1917, 10 April 1917 (Papers Past) [10 October 2013, 20 September 2013]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism index V.1.2 (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Computer Resources) [27 April 2014]; Timaru Herald, 13 January 1917, 28 February 1917 (Papers Past) [16 & 20 September 2014]

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