GILLESPIE, Edgar Burns
(Service number 50831)

First Rank Bombardier Last Rank Gunner


Date 11 October 1881 Place of Birth Palmerston North

Enlistment Information

Date 28 March 1917 Age 38 yrs
Address at Enlistment C/o Dominion Hotel, Timaru
Occupation Accountant
Previous Military Experience Volunteers Time Served
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin John GILLESPIE (father), Gillespie's Line, Palmerston, Otago
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 9 inches. Weight 156 lbs. Chest measurement 35-39 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes grey. Hair fair. Eyes both 6/9. Hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs all normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Had varicocele. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 37th Reinforcements New Zealand Field Artillery
Date 9 May 1918
Transport Maunganui 
Embarked From Wellington Destination Liverpool, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Field Artillery

Military Awards

Service Medals
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

Wounded in action in September 1918, & supposed to be progressing favourably, so news of his death came as a shock to his friends. He had suffered a gun shot wound to his arm (and fracture?) and was admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital at Walton on 1 October 1918. On 25 November 1918 he was dangerously ill with pneumonia in the War Hospital in Dundee; admitted to the hospital on 23 November.

Post-war Occupations


Date 27 November 1918 Age 37 yrs
Place of Death War Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
Cause Died of sickness - influenza & double pneumonia
Memorial or Cemetery Western Necropolis, Dundee (Balgay) Cemetery
Memorial Reference DD. 4. 113.
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Temuka RSA Roll of Honour; Temuka War Memorial; St Joseph's Church, Temuka

Biographical Notes

Edgar Burns GILLESPIE was a son of John and Ellen Elizabeth (nee CLEARY) GILLESPIE. He was a brother of Roland Douglas GILLESPIE, John Edward GILLESPIE and Joseph Francis GILLESPIE who all also served in WWI. Edgar was an accountant for J. Meehan & Sons in Timaru prior to enlistment. He had made a Will which was in the custody of solicitors in Timaru. He had already been on leave from Camp in 1917 to undergo medical treatment. Edgar died of illness only six months after he embarked in New Zealand. During this time he held various ranks - gunner, corporal, bombadier. In October 1918 he had suffered a gun shot wound to the arm; On 23 November 1918 he was admitted to the Dundee War Hospital, dangerously ill with influenza and double pneumonia; he died there four days later. News of his death was a great shock to his friends as he had been recovering well from his wounds. His medals, plaque and scroll were all sent to his father in Palmerston North. Edgar saw considerable service in France. A notice calling for claims against Edgar's estate appeared in the Timaru Herald on 15 March 1919. His father was named as executor of his estate.


Cenotaph Database [13 August 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0044826) [01 July 2014]; CWGC [09 October 2013]; CWGC [13 August 2013]; Timaru Herald, 3 December 1918, 5 December 1918, 15 March 1919, Press, 5 December 1918 (Papers Past) [15 October 2013, 13 August 2013; 20 October 2013]; Probate (Archives BZ & FamilySearch) [15 June 2014]

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