Profile

McGREGOR, Philip Donald
(Service number 6/1656)

Aliases
First Rank Private Last Rank Private

Birth

Date 23 October 1894 Place of Birth Burkes Pass, Mackenzie Country, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 20 December 1914 Age 20 years
Address at Enlistment 7 Cashel Street, Christchurch
Occupation Sheep station hand
Previous Military Experience Territorial.
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin John McGREGOR (father), Fairlie, South Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 134 lbs. Chest measurement 33-36 inches. Complexion medium. Eyes hazel. Hair brown. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of joints. 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 defects. Mole in angle of right jaw. Fit.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 3rd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 14 February 1915
Transport Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Gallipoli; Balkans, Egyption
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory 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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

7 August 1915 wounded at the Dardanelles - gunshot wounds to the neck. 8 August 1915 admitted to Hospital Ship "Delta". 11 August 1915 admitted to N.Z. Gen. Hosp, Cairo. 19 August 1915 dangerously ill of typhoid in the New Zealand General Hospital, Cairo, before he died there on 20 August 1915.

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 29 August 1915 Age 20 years
Place of Death New Zealand General Hospital, Cairo
Cause Died of gunshot wounds in the neck and endocarditis complicating typhoid.
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Memorial Reference M. 63.
New Zealand Memorials Memorial wall, Timaru; Fairlie War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Philip Donald McGREGOR was the youngest son of John and Sarah Josephine (née STENT) McGREGOR, of Fairlie. He was born on 23 October 1894 at Burkes Pass and baptised on 25 November 1894 at the Timaru Catholic Church. With his brothers and sisters he attended Burkes Pass School.

Philip’s father, John McGregor had arrived in New Zealand from Banffshire, Scotland in 1863. Almost immediately he became associated with the Mackenzie district, bringing the first sheep down from Christchurch for the Grampians run. He bought the Glenmore run in 1874, and 16 years later he acquired a large property near Burke’s Pass. In 1878 at St Joseph’s in Dunedin he married Australian-born Sarah Josephine Stent. John was very much involved in local public affairs. The famous Lake Alexandrina trout were released into the lake in 1881 by John Mc Gregor and narby Lake McGregor is named after this family. The family of John and Sarah had a significant war record. Both Andrew and Philip were wounded at the landing at Suvla Bay, Philip died as a result and Andrew was later badly wounded at the Somme; Alexander was severely wounded in France; Allan went later and appears to have suffered on his return; and a fifth son must have volunteered twice and been turned down twice. Mrs McGregor provided old linen and material for pillow cases to the Fairlie Ladies’ Patriotic Society.

Philip [junior] was only 20 years old, not old enough to vote, and was already serving in the Territorial force when he enlisted. At the time he was residing at his brother Lake’s Christchurch address and, in family tradition, working as a sheep station hand for this brother. He left New Zealand on 14 February 1915, two months after enlisting, and disembarked at Suez on 28 March. He was one of a “heaving mass” of men who volunteered in early 1915, Philip joining the 3rd Reinforcements of the Canterbury Infantry. He had been inoculated for typhoid on 24 January 1915 and for measles on 3 March. He wounded on 7 August 1915 at the Dardanelles, Philip was admitted to the Hospital Ship "Delta" the following day, with gunshot wounds to the neck. On 11 August 1915 he was transferred to the New Zealand General Hospital at Cairo, where, on 19 August, he was reported to be dangerously ill with typhoid. Ten days later, on 29 August 1915, he died there of gunshot wounds in the neck and malignant endocarditis complicating typhoid, and he was buried in the Cairo Cemetery. On 6 September 1915 Philip’s father received advice and expressions of sympathy from the Minister of Defence, Mr Allen, from Mr Massey, and from the Governor’s secretary. Philip was described as "a bright intelligent lad". At a sitting of the Magistrate’s Court at Fairlie on 14 September 1915, a letter of condolence was presented to his father (John McGregor was a JP) on behalf of the Justices of Fairlie district: - “Dear Sir, - We the undersigned Justices of the Peace . . . [extend to you] and to Mrs McGregor our sincere sympathy with you both in the loss of your son who died in action at the Dardanelles. We feel that it will be some consolation to you to realise that he died a glorious death in fighting for the Empire.” This was signed by all the Justices. Mr McGregor feelingly thanked them. Back at the front, on 4 November, John Duncan McLeod (originally also from Fairlie in the Mackenzie, but serving with Austrlaian forces) wrote in his diary on Gallipoli that he too had recieved a letter from his mother (Sept 10th) telling him of the death of Philip in hospital.

Philip’s medals (1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal), plaque and scroll were all sent to his oldest brother Francis Lake McGREGOR in 1921. His next-of-kin had been his father John, but both parents had died in 1918. Philip was a brother of Andrew Ewan McGREGOR who died of wounds inflicted while on active service in 1920 in Christchurch, New Zealand, and of Alexander Joseph McGREGOR and James Allan McGREGOR who also served in WWI. Two older brothers, Francis Lake McGREGOR and John Gladstone McGREGOR, were listed in the Reserves. Brother Francis Lake had a son named Philip Donald who served in WWII and brother John Gladstone had a son named Philip Donald who died in infancy. Philip Donald McGregor is honoured on the Timaru War Memorial Wall and on the Fairlie War Memorial.

Sources

Cenotaph Database [18 November 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0073593) [20 November 2013]; CWGC [21 November 2013]; Timaru Herald, 13 February 1915, 18 August 1915, 25 August 1915 [x 2], 7 September 1915 [x 2], 9 September 1915, 6 July 1918, Sun, 13 February 1915, Press, 07 & 08 September 1915, 15 September 1915, Auckland Star, 18 August 1915, New Zealand Herald, 7 September 1915, North Otago Times, 9 September 1915 (Papers Past) [18 & 25 November 2013; 12 & 13 May 2015]; School Admission Records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [15 May 2015]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [22 November 2013]; Baptism records (Catholic Diocese of Christchurch CD, held by S C Branch NZSG) [17 May 2015]; SCRoll web submission from M Konings, 29 October, 2015; McLeod, J D (Sergeant), fl 1915-1917. McLeod, John Duncan, 1887-1938 : First World War diary. Ref: MS-Papers-1382. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22847648; Alexander Turnbull Library blog - http://natlib.govt.nz/blog/posts/a-queer-mixture-of-men

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