HARNETT, William
(Service number 21832)

First Rank Corporal Last Rank Trooper


Date Unknown Place of Birth Fairlie

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married.
Next of Kin Mrs W. HARNETT (wife), Kimbell, Fairlie
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 8th Reinforcements 3rs Battalion, G Company
Date 23 September 1916
Transport Pakeha
Embarked From Wellington Destination Devonport, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

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

June 1917 reported wounded (casualty list No. 606)

Post-war Occupations

Railway employee. Union official


Date 2 August 1966 Age 77 yrs
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery Te Aroha Cemetery
Memorial Reference Block RSA; Row 03; Plot 054
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru

Biographical Notes

William was born on 23 March 1889 at Fairlie, the younger son of Timothy and Elizabeth (nee KAIN) HARNETT, of Fairlie. He would have been only a month- old infant when his mother died. William attended Fairlie School, then in 1902 went to Nelson Junior School. at Fairlie he was named in the school prize list in 1899 and again in 1901. He married Myrtle Mary HARRIS in 1913. His older brother John HARNETT also served in WWI. Prior to enlistment he worked as a farm labourer in the Fairlie-Kimbell district. William left Timaru by the express for Trentham on 3 May 1916, after being entertained in the Stafford Tea Rooms by the Timaru Ladies Patriotic committee, then falling in and being addressed at the Drill Shed. He was welcomed home at a very enjoyable social in the Fairlie public hall in April 1918. And he was welcomed home at Kimbell at a social held in the big wool shed belonging to Mr J. Annan, where the night was given over to dancing and singing. Each returned man was presented with a handsome gold medal, and a bounteous supper was enjoyed. Some time in the 1920s William and Mytle made their way to the North Island where they remained for the rest of their lives and where they brought up their family. William was a railway employee, which work may have taken them north. Later he was a union official, engaged as an organising secretary. In retirement he lived in Matamata where he died on 31 July 1966 at the age of 77. He is buried in the Te Aroha Cemetery. His step-brother William WADE, who was killed in action in 1917, was awarded the Military Medal and D.C.M.; another step-brother, Edward WADE, was awarded the Military Medal; and a third step=brother, Hugh Joseph WADE also served in WWI. Thus Timothy and Winifred (formerly WADE) HARNETT between them had five sons serving. .  


Cenotaph Database [06 November 2013]; Timaru Herald, 18 December 1899, 16 December 1901, 2 May 1916, 29 June 1917, 8 April 1918, 5 August 1919 (Papers Past) [06 November 2013; 06 May 2014]; NZ BDM indexes (NZ Department of Internal Affairs historical records) [04 May 2014]; School Admission Records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG transcriptions); Burial Records - Te Aroha Cemetery, Morrinsville Area Burials (Morrinsville Branch NZSG); Monumental Inscription - Te Aroha Cemetery (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [20 June 2014]

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