LEE, William Addy
(Service number 12/3384)
|First Rank||Lance Corporal||Last Rank||Sergeant|
|Date||15 January 1882||Place of Birth||Methley, Leeds, Yorkshire, England|
|Date||24 August 1915||Age||33 years 7 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Y.M.C.A., Auckland|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Marital Status||Single on enlistment. Married Gertrude Marguerite SCHMIDTon 4 November 1915 in Wellington, New Zealand.|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Gertrude M. LEE (wife), Trafalgar Street, Maori Hill, Timaru. Initially: John LEE (father), Methley, Leeds, England|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 10 inches. Weight 11 stone 4 lbs. Chest measurement 32-36 inches. Complexion medium. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Sight, hearing and colour vision all normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No previous fits. No previous illness. Malaria (not recently). Appendicitis (12 months since operation). Tattoo dragon right arm.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||8th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Auckland Infantry Battalion|
|Date||13 November 1915|
|Transport||Willochra or Tofua|
|Embarked From||Wellington, N.Z.||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Auckland Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion|
|Campaigns||Egyptian; Western European|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
25 August 1915, Trentham Camp - admitted to hospital with influenza. 29 February 1916 admitted to New Zealand General Hospital at Cairo - influenza; progress satisfactory. 10 August 1916 admitted to No. 32 Stationary Hospital - malaria. Wounded 15 September 1916.
|Date||18 September 1916||Age||34 years|
|Place of Death||France|
|Cause||Died of wounds|
|Notices||Timaru Herald, 14 October 1916|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-l'Abbe, Somme, France|
|Memorial Reference||II. H. 43.|
|New Zealand Memorials||On Memorial wall, Timaru; Memorial plaque, St Mary's Church, Timaru; Roll of Honour: Auckland Provincial War Memoraial Museum (W. A. LEE)|
William Addy Lee was the son of John and Fanny (née Ogley) Lee, and the husband of Gertrude Marguerite Schmidt whom he had married shortly before embarkation in 1915. William was born on 15 January 1882 at Methley, Yorkshire, England, and baptised on 12 February 1882 at St Oswald’s Anglican Church at Methley.
In 1891 William was a scholar living at home at Methley with his parents and siblings. In 1901 he was still at home, now a clerk. William, a clerk, came out to Melbourne, Australia in early 1911, by the “Afric”. From there he went to Samoa, where he had charge of a large trading station. After a trip to England he went again to Australia in 1914, this time to Sydney. He left Samoa for Auckland, in order to enlist.
William enlisted on 24 August 1915 in Auckland and joined the Eighth Reinforcements. He was then residing at the Y.M.C.A. in Auckland and working as an accountant for Burns Philp and Company. Initially William’s next-of-kin was given as his father, John Lee, at Methley, Yorkshire. This changed to Mrs G. M. Lee, wife, of Trafalgar Street, Maori Hill, Timaru. On 4 November 1915 in a quiet wedding at St Peter’s Church, Wellington, William Addy Lee married Gertrude Marguerite SCHMIDT (Daisy). Daisy was of Timaru but had moved to Wellington in 1914.
William Lee was hospitalised with influenza while at Trentham in August 1915. At Tauherenikau Camp, in October 1915, he was appointed a lance-corporal, and the day before embarkation he was promoted to corporal. Then on 13 November, just nine days after his marriage, he left with the Auckland Infantry Battalion, for Egypt.
Leap day 1916 was not a lucky day for William. He was admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital at Cairo, suffering from influenza, His progress, however, was satisfactory. On 8 April 1916 he embarked at Alexandria for France. He was promoted again, this time in May 1916 at Armentières, to the rank of sergeant. On 10 August 1916 he was admitted to the No. 32 Stationary Hospital, with malaria. After convalescence at Boulogne and a brief attachment at Etaples, he rejoined his unit – two weeks before his death.
In October 1916 reports reached the newspapers that Sergeant W. A. Lee had been wounded. In effect he had been wounded on 15 September in action in the field and had died of his wounds three days later, on 18 September 1916, at the Somme, France, aged 34 years. He was buried in the Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt L’Abbe, Somme, France. The burials in this cemetery were carried out under extreme pressure. Consequently many of the graves are too close together to be marked individually or they contain multiple burials. W. A. Lee is buried with 18 year old T. E. Coventry, of the Duke of Cornwall’s.
His medals – 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal – were sent to his widow at her parents’ address at Timaru. And later the plaque and scroll were sent. In 1929 Gertrude married Archibald Robert Brooker. She died in 1961 at Tauranga.
William Abby Lee is remembered in New Zealand on the Timaru War Memorial Wall, St Mary’s Anglican Church Timaru Memorial, and the Auckland Provincial War Memorial Museum Roll of Honour.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [07 May 2014]; NZ Defence Force Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0067356) [04 November 2015]; CWGC [07 May 2014]; Evening Post, 22 October 1915, Star, 13 November 1915, 2 October 1916, North Otago Times, 5 October 1916, Timaru Herald, 14 October 1916 [x 3], Otago Daily Times, 14 October 1916, Press, 16 October 1916, New Zealand Herald, 27 June 1931 (Papers Past) [09 August 2014; 05 October 2014; 31 March 2016; 01 April 2016]; Yorkshire Baptism record (ancestry.com.au) [09 August 2014]; Yorkshire Marriage record for parents (ancestry.com.au) [31 March 2016]; 1891, 1901 census records (ancestry.com.au) [09 August 2014 & 04 November 2015]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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