(Service number )

First Rank Lieutenant Last Rank Lieutenant


Date 7 October 1886 Place of Birth Wellington, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 20 January 1909 Age 23
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Medical Student
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Son of John Sinclair and Annie Thomson nee Gould
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces (?) Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 21st Prince Albert Victor's Own Cavalry (FF) (Daly's Horse)
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 16th Cavalry
Embarked From Bombay, India Destination Persian Gulf
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With 16th Cavalry

Military Awards

Campaigns Persian Gulf
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

Post-war Occupations


Date 3 March 1915 Age 28
Place of Death Basra, Persian Gulf
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Basra War Cemetery
Memorial Reference III.C. 17
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Geraldine Church Memorial; Geraldine War Memorial; Woodbury War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Kenneth Thompson was the son of Mr John Sinclair and Mrs Annie Thomson nee Gould of The Crossing, Geraldine, New Zealand. They were married in 1885 and Mr Thomson was a manager for the National Bank.

“[Kenneth] Was born in Wellington on 7 October 1886. He entered Wanganui Collegiate School in 1900, and remained here for five years, being a Prefect during his last year. From Wanganui Kenneth went for about a year to the Otago Medical School, and thence to St. Johns College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he obtained a commission in the Kings Colonials and became so much interested in military matters that he decided to give up his medical career and go into the army. After taking his B.A. degree with honours in 1909, he obtained a commission in the Indian Army, leaving in February to join the 21st Cavalry, Frontier Force in the Persian Gulf. He was on leave in New Zealand for six months in 1913, and visited Wanganui. He was a good all round sportsman and enthusiastic polo player. Shortly after his leave he had some New Zealand ponies and a charger sent out to him to Poona. His death in action occurred in the neighbourhood of Basra, in the Persian Gulf, on March 3rd, 1915, he having been attached for service to the 16th Cavalry, and put in command of a machine-gun section. He can have only been a very short time at the front before he fell." (In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School]).

Kenneth had two younger brothers also serving. Lieutenant Colin Sinclair Thomson, Royal Navy, served aboard the HMS Ambuscade and survived the war. His youngest brother, Captain George Alastair Thomson, served in the Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders and died of wounds 21 July 1916 aged 24.

Kenneth was possible the first New Zealander to be killed in action according to Barry O'Sullivan, a researcher for the 2012 War Graves Project.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database (October 2014); Commonwealth War Graves Commission website ( ; Births, Death, & Marriages Online ( ; PapersPast (www. ;Poverty Bay Herald 15 Mar 1915 page 6; Ancestry,

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Liz Shea (SC branch NZSG); Ted Hansen (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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