SEYB, Wilhelm
(Service number 24/1808)

Aliases William
First Rank Rifleman Last Rank


Date 16 September 1895 Place of Birth Timaru, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 16 September 1895 Age 20
Address at Enlistment Box 20, Albury,South Canterbury
Occupation School teacher
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Son of Michael and Sylvia Louise Seyb nee Morgan
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information No serious illness

Military Service

Served with NZ Rifle Brigade Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation NZ Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 3rd Reinforcements, 2nd battalion, F Company
Date 8 January 1916
Transport HMNZT 38, 39
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion

Military Awards

Service Medals BWM, VM
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

Post-war Occupations


Date 21 Sept 1916 Age 20
Place of Death Somme, France
Cause Killed in action. Court of Inquiry. Cpl O'Connor (24/1773)IW (2nd Coy) states: on the night of 21st Sept 1916, Pte Seyb was carrying bombs & joined us at assembly post just before the attack. I saw him start to advance with Pte Black (also missing) & since then I have not seen him. I helped to search for him after the attack. I am of opinion he advanced too far. Pte Simpson (6/4140) SS (2nd coy) states: Pte Syb was with Pte Black and advanced with him on 21 Sept. I helped to search for him but could find no trace of him and have not seen him since. 31/3/17 Finding of the court: The court finds that above mentioned soldier missing since 21/9/16 has been killed in action. Pte R S Black 9/2048 also included in same enquiry and recorded as missing.
Notices Timaru Herald, Volume CVI, Issue 16345, 21 September 1917, Page 4
Memorial or Cemetery Caterpillar Valley Memorial, Caterpillar Valey Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France. Also recorded on parent's grave, Timaru cemetery Row 6 Plot 251
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Albury War Memorial; Gleniti War Memorial; Timaru Boys High School War Memorial (Library); Albury Football Club Roll of Honour; Fairlie War Memorial

Biographical Notes

A son of Michael and Sylvia Louise Seyb nee Morgan, Michael Seyb was born in 1850 in Kindeheim, Rheinland Pflaz, Germany. He emigrated to New Zealand with brother Johann Georg Seyb and farmed in Washdyke. He married Syliva Louise Morgan on 29 November 1883 in Timaru.

William had attended Boys High and was mentioned in the Timaruvian with a photograph of the first fifteen in 1912 along with his brother Bernhardt. Several of William’s siblings enlisted or were on reserve rolls, including Henry Michael (b.1889), John Peter (b.1890) who served in the Army, Charles Edward (b.1893), Bernhardt (b.1895) who served in the Army (no. 24/1481).

During the war a Court of Enquiry was held on 27 Nov 1916 and the outcome was that William Seyb was first reported missing, and then reported as killed in action on 21 Sept 1916. Two soldiers gave evidence that they had seen William carrying bombs at the assembly point and then went off with Private Black. Corporal O'Connor said that the two never returned and believed they had advanced too far. Private Simpson said he had searched for them but could find no sign. Interestingly Robert Stanley Black (of Arrowtown)had been a first five-eight representing New Zealand in 1914. During the war he served in the Otago Mounted Rifles and the Pioneer Corps of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment before being killed in action during the Battle of the Somme. The other witnesses included, Corporal Isaac William O'Connor oft Otipua, Timaru, and Corporal Sydney Sinclair Simpson of Hunter.


Auckland Cenotaph, CWGC, Historical BMD, PapersPast, NZ Archives War record, Liz Shea has photo of William Seyb

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Liz Shea (SC branch NZSG)

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

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