Profile

PULLENGER, James
(Service number 6/1381)

Aliases Also spelt PULLINGER. Jim
First Rank Private Last Rank Private

Birth

Date 12 May 1878 Place of Birth Tinwald, Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date 20 October 1914 Age 36 years
Address at Enlistment St Andrews, South Canterbury
Occupation Labourer; farming
Previous Military Experience South African campaign - South Island Battalion of the Ninth Contingent
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs C. T. OTT (sister), Saint Andrews, Canterbury. Later Robert PULLENGER (brother), Hunterville.
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 10 inches. Weight 151 lbs. Chest measurement 35-38 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing good. Colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 2nd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 14 December 1914
Transport Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Embarked From Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Balkans (Gallipoli)
Service Medals 1914-1915 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

Wounded in the landing at Anzac Cove; recovered sufficiently to return to the firing line. Wounded 28 April 1915 at Dardanelles; admitted to Hospital at Alexandria, 30 April 1915; now fit for duty, sent to the front from the base at Alexandria - May/June 1915. Wounded a second time - more severely, & invalided to England where he died.

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 11 September 1915 Age 37 years
Place of Death Devonport Hospital, England (United Kingdom, ex-Gallipoli)
Cause Died of disease - enteric
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Plymouth (Western Mill) Cemetery, Devon, England
Memorial Reference Con. C. 3723.
New Zealand Memorials Timaru War Memorial Wall (Pullenger J.); St Andrews War Memorial (J. Pullinger); Kuriheka Station, North Otago, War Memorial (James Pullinger); Maheno War Memorial (Pullenger James); Maheno war memorial grove (Pullenger J.)

Biographical Notes

James Pullenger (Jim) was born on 12 May 1878 at Tinwald, the third son of Robert and Charlotte (née Ede) Pullenger, later of Maheno, Otago, New Zealand. His service records and CWGC record have the spelling Pullenger, other records have Pullinger. It is not apparent how James came to be born at Tinwald (the birth was registered at Ashburton), as Robert and family were in the Waitaki district by 1880 and older brother Stephen's birth was registered at Oamaru. Robert and Charlotte married in 1865 at Reigate, Surrey, England, where five children were born. Robert and Charlotte and family were living at Reigate in 1871. They emigrated with their five children by the “Gareloch” to New Zealand, arriving on 12 February 1875, one of the children having died on the voyage. Another six children were born in New Zealand, one of them dying at 13 months. When James died in 1915, three sons and three daughters were still living. The family moved to Maheno, where his mother was buried following her death at the Oamaru Hospital in 1896, and his father in 1917. James attended Maheno School, where he received honours mention in Standard IV in 1889. Perhaps too, he took part in the long programme of songs, recitations and dialogues.

It is recorded that James made a donation to the Incurables' Home in North Otago in 1897. Throughout the war period his brothers contributed to war welfare projects, e.g. Red Cross funds, Christmas parcels. After leaving school Jim worked as a farm labourer at Maheno, then at St Andrews where he was residing when he enlisted. James served throughout the South African campaign. He had gone to South Africa at the age of 23 early in 1902 with the South Island Battalion of the Ninth Contingent. The Ninth Contingent returned to Port Chalmers at the beginning of August 1902 by the troopship “Orient”. On this occasion Jim was one of three men pleased that they were home at Maheno, and that the war was over. Jim settled back into life on the land. In February 1905 he purchased a bay maiden filly for 17 guineas.

It was 20 October 1914, when James Pullenger again enlisted at Timatu, having volunteered at the outbreak of war. He was 36 years old, single, Presbyterian, and was employed as a farm labourer residing in the St Andrews district. He was a well build man, standing at 5 feet 10 inches, weighing 151 pounds, and with a chest measurement of 35-38 inches. His complexion was fair, his eyes blue and his hair brown. He was in all respects in good physical and mental health, and had been vaccinated. He named as his next-of-kin his sister, Mrs C. T. Ott (sister), Saint Andrews, Canterbury. He embarked for Suez, Egypt with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion of the Second Reinforcements on 14 December 1914. At the same time his brother George William Pullinger (William) was proceeding to Trentham.

The first indication that all was not well came in May 1915. Private J. Pullenger, 6/1381, of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion, had been wounded. James suffered a gunshot wound to his scalp on 28 April 1915 in the landing at Anzac Cove and was admitted to hospital at Alexandria two days later, but he recovered sufficiently to return to the firing line. After a time at the Convalescent Camp he embarked again for the Dardanelles on 1 June. In July 1915 his brother William was admitted to the Egyptian Army Hospital, he too serving at the Dardanelles. James’ second wound was more serious, necessitating his being invalided to England where he died of disease (enteric) in the Devonport Hospital on 11 September 1915. He had been admitted to the Field Ambulance on 17 August and immediately embarked for England. He was buried in the Western Mill Cemetery at Plymouth, England. With his early death, James Pullenger had seen service at Gallipoli only. In December 1915 Mrs S. Cague of St Andrews, received a letter from her third son, acting Corporal W. Cague, dated Mudros, October 3, where he was in hospital, after four and a half months on Gallipoli. He writes: “In the second landing which took place about two months ago nearly all the non-commissioned officers were put out of action, . . . . . George Dix and Jim Pullinger are still in the hospital. . . . . . . The Canterbury Battalion took a ridge from the Turks just at daybreak and we drove the Turks off the ridge and started to entrench, when they opened on us with machine-gun and rifle and gave it to us hot, and. until we dug down deep enough we lost a lot of men, but nothing in comparison to what the Turks lost both in men and ground the night before. . . . . . . The Turkish snipers are a great trouble to us, as sometimes you cannot locate them as they are so well concealed and use a silencer on their rifle. . . . . . . You have already heard of Quinn's Post. Not long after the landing two battalions of ours were sent to garrison it. I was in one of the battalions and had a good experience of trench work for two months. The Turks gave us hot time of it until we made our trenches bomb proof. In one place trenches were only ten yards distant from the Turkish trenches, and we used to give the Turks a rough time of it with hand grenades. . . . . . .” Perhaps this was the experience of Jim Pullenger. Little did Corporal Cague know that Jim had already died in hospital in England.

James's plaque and scroll were forwarded to his oldest brother Robert Pullenger at Hunterville, as his father had died in 1917, and his next-of-kin, his sister Eliza Annie Ott, died in 1918. His medals – 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal - were sent to Mrs J. D. Anderson at Kaukapakapa, Auckland, in 1923, who may be his niece Elizabeth Ott who married James Dryburgh Anderson in 1922. An additional name was written in to J. Pullenger’s personnel file as next-of-kin at a later date – Mrs A. Humphrey, 5 South Rd, Reigate, Surrey. His 35 year old sister Alice Amelia Pullinger had sailed from Wellington for Calfornia in 1916, her contact being Mr Pullinger, Maheno, South Canterbury. A nephew of James, Charles George Ott, died of wounds in 1918 in France. George William Pullinger (known as William), a brother of Jim, also served in World War I, and was at the Dardanelles when James died. William went to the Front from North Otago firstly in April 1915. He was admitted to the Egyptian Army Hospital, with sickness, and was invalided home in October 1915, when he was welcomed back at Maheno. He took up the position of ranger until he left again for service in mid 1917, after being farewelled at Maheno. This time he was given a money-belt, which may have been useful when he married Grace Louise Stace in 1918 in England. At about the same time he was again ill but not a severe case. It was mid 1919 when William returned to New Zealand. The following year, on account of ill health, he had to resign from his ranger's position, regretfully. Jim's brother, Stephen Henry Pullinger, a shearer and farmer, was drawn in the ballot and called up in 1916. He appealed on the ground that he was the sole support of his aged father (now 76 years old) but the appeal was dismissed. Stephen appears not to have enlisted and he himself died in 1918 at Maheno. And another nephew, Walter James Parfoot, also served in World War I, making for a fine family contribution to the war effort.

Jim's estate was administered by the Public Trust Office in Wellington, on the authority of the beneficiaries. He had drawn up a short form of soldier's will in his paybook, dated 25 May 1915. He left 100 pounds to his sister, Mrs C. J. Ott; and he left to Miss Lizzie Ott and his brother Stephen the remainder to be divided equally between the two. James was a quiet, unassuming man, popular with all with whom he came in contact, “a fine stamp of New Zealand manhood”. James is remembered not only on the Timaru Memorial Wall and the St Andrews War Memorial, but also on the War Memorial at Maheno, where he grew up, and the Kuriheka Station Memorial. The Maheno memorial is a very imposing traditional cenotaph constructed in Oamaru stone, with the inscription “Our Glorious Dead – Their Name Liveth For Ever More”. The Kuriheka memorial - a brass tablet - was erected by Colonel Nichols, the proprietor of the Kuriheka Estate near Maheno. Inscribed on it are the names of fifty-five men who at various times had worked on the station and had responded to the call to arms, several having already laid down their lives by 1916. Among the names are those of James Pullinger and William Pullinger. The Maheno war memorial grove is dedicated to those who paid the supreme sacrifice in the Great War 1914-18. There, among the names of 37 service persons recorded on a plaque, is that of J. Pullenger. It is part of a network of North Otago memorial oak groves. Portraits of James Pullenger are preserved in the “South Canterbury Caledonian Roll of Honour”" published by the South Canterbury Caledonian Society, 1916 [held by South Canterbury Museum ref# 17/15]; in “Onward: Portraits of the NZEF”, Vol. 2 [held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG]; and in “Otago Witness”. 6 October 1915 [refer Papers Past].

Sources

Cenotaph Database [03 December 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5550 0095057) [03 April 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5515 0004576) [14 January 2015]; CWGC [03 December 2013]; North Otago Times, 24 December 1889, 18 March 1896, 19 June 1897, 3 June 1915, 10 January 1917, 4 September 1917, 21 November 1918, Oamaru Mail, 24 December 1889, 7 February 1902, 7 August 1902, 13 September 1902, 10 August 1914, 14 & 15 December 1914, 6 May 1915, 13 November 1915, 24 June 1916, 9 January 1917, 24 July 1917, 28 August 1917, 7 October 1918, 21 November 1918, 4 December 1920, Otago Witness, 12 February 1902, 19 March 1902, 6 October 1915, Otago Daily Times, 6 August 1902, 24 February 1905, 3 June 1915, 25 November 1916, 8 September 1917, 28 June 1919, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 7 May 1915, Press, 3 June 1915, 14 July 1915, 28 September 1915, 28 December 1916, Evening Post, 20 September 1915, 28 December 1918, 8 February 1939, 11 August 1939, Timaru Herald, 21, 22 & 27 September 1915, 10 December 1915, 26 December 1916, Ashburton Guardian, 10 December 1915, Grey River Argus, 26 January 1916 (Papers Past) [06 December 2013, 03 December 2013; 05, 07 & 13 August 2014; 15 January 2015; 28 April 2019]; NZ BDM indexes (DIA historical records) [12 August 2014]; Birth & Marriage registrations (FreeBDM England) [14 January 2015]; 1871 census Reigate, Surrey, England (ancestry.com.au) [14 January 2015]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [2014]; Kuriheka War Memorial, Maheno War Memorial (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche; Dunedin Family History Group newsletters - Issue 27 March 2010, Issue 85 January 2015) [2010; 12 January 2015]; Memorial images & descriptions (NZ History) [April 2019]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

TS

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