Profile

FITZGERALD, William 
(Service number 47188)

Aliases William Alphonsus Peter
First Rank Sergeant Last Rank Rifleman

Birth

Date 27 June 1889 Place of Birth Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date 25 January 1917 Age 27 yrs 7 mths
Address at Enlistment Convent, Sacred Heart, Timaru
Occupation Gardener
Previous Military Experience Volunteers & 6th Rein N.Z.R.B. Two and half years Timaru Port Guards (had to resign, no time to attend).
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Mary Ann FITZGERALD (mother), 3 Wellington Street, Timaru
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 11 inches. Weight 182 lbs. Chest 37-39 inches. Complexion fresh/fair. Hair light brown. Eyes blue. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs all normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Teeth - fair, upper plate. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left arm). Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Mole on right side over upper part of haunch bone. Deemed Fit Class A.

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 25th Reinforcements New Zealand Field Artillery
Date 26 April 1917
Transport Turakina 
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns
Service Medals British War 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

Discharge

Date 21 July 1919 Reason Termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 10 July 1974 Age 86 yrs
Place of Death Timaru
Cause
Notices Timaru Herald, 11 & 12 July 1974
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 59, Plot 1533
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

This William FITZGERALD (Bill) was a son of William (Bill, deceased) and Mary Ann (nee MADDEN) FITZGERALD, of Timaru. Baptized Catholic (William Alphonse Peter) on 27 July 1889 at Ashburton. He was a brother of Patrick Gregory who was killed in action 1915, John Leo (wounded), Michael Joseph & Thomas Aloysius who all also served WWI. It appears that William first attested, was medically examined, and enlisted on the 17 April 1915 (No. 6/2617, as William Alphontis FITZGERALD). He was drawn by the first military service ballot for No. 10 (South Canterbury) recruiting district, in November 1916, when he was a gardener at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Timaru. At the time of enlistment in 1917, his mother was dependent on him. William returned to Port Chalmers, New Zealand by the Maunganui on 21st June 1919, after 2 years and 57 days of service in NZ and overseas. At least twice he changed ranks (lance corporal; temporary corporal; rifleman) during the course of his service at his own request. William appears to have come through the war relatively unscathed. William possibly played in the Celtic B Juniors football team in the Seven-a-Side Tournament on 24 May 1907. He was a member of the Hibernian Society and the last surviving foundation member of the Celtic Rugby Football Club. Both of these groups honoured him at his funeral. Bill married Norah Josephine who predeceased him. He was suvived by a son and two daughters, as well as grandchildren and great=grandchildren. His son, Bernie, served in WWII.

Sources

Cenotaph Database [30 June 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0040391) [17 April 2014]; TDC Headstone image Timaru Cemetery [06 August 2013]; Timaru Herald, 12 & 16 June 1919 (Papers Past) [20 September 2013]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism index V.1.2 (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Computer Resources) [27 April 2014]; Timaru Herald, 24 May 1907, 25 November 1916 (Papers Past) [06 May 2014; 16 September 2014]; Timaru Herald, 11, 12 & 13 July 1974 (Timaru District Library) [23 September 2014]

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