LOACH, Thomas Victor
(Service number 7/742)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||15 October 1914||Place of Birth||Orari, New Zealand|
|Date||19 October 1914||Age||32|
|Address at Enlistment||Washdyke, Timaru, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience||South Canterury Mounted Rifles|
|Next of Kin||Mr Joseph Loach (father), Orari|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||5 foot 5 inches tall, weight 148 lbs, chest 32 1/2 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, good teeth|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||2nd Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Date||14 December 1914|
|Transport||Verdala, Willochra or Knight of the Garter|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||5 May 1915 (in Egypt)||Reason||Misconduct & being an undesireable|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
VD Hospital Cairo (twice)
|Date||18 February 1960||Age||77|
|Place of Death||Hawea Flat, New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Hawea Flat, Central Otago|
|Memorial Reference||Block 4, Plot 41|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Thomas was born at Orari, on 15 October 1883, to Joseph and Harriet Loach.
Prior to enlistment Thomas was employed as a horse breaker by Mr C.H. Ensor of Washdyke and did not have an enviable record with the law. Enlisting at Timaru on 19 October 1914, he was described as being aged 32, 5 foot 5 inches tall, weighing 148 lbs, chest measuring 32½ inches, of fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, good teeth, single and an Anglican. His records also stated he had served for nine months with the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles. After a rocky start to military life, he left Wellington on 14 December for Suez, Egypt, with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 2nd Reinforcements, aboard the SS Verdala, Willochra or Knight of the Garter. He was admitted to the isolation hospital aboard the transport a few days after leaving Wellington, suffering from VD. After reaching Hobart, he absented himself without leave and again deserted from the transport at Colombo. Finally, after reaching Egypt on 5 February 1915, he was admitted to the VD Hospital after which he promptly went AWOL, absented himself again at Zeitoun on 21 March, gave further trouble on 27 March and after further hospital treatment, again went absent. In Egypt on 5 May 1915, he was discharged from the army for misconduct, his services no longer required and returned to New Zealand on SS Tahiti.
On 29 November 1916 at Dunedin, he married Elsie Christobel McLennan. The following year he was working for Mr F. Stocker at Washdyke, when he was reballoted for war service. Medically boarded at Timaru on 3 May 1917, he entered camp on 28 May for training with the 30th Reinforcements. Again he absented himself without leave when it suited him, and was continually being put back from embarking, finally being part of the 40th reinforcements. On 10 October 1918 he was court-martialled for desertion and losing his equipment, sentenced to 112 days detention and demobbed on 13 January 1919. After the war he wrote to the “Truth“ newspaper complaining about not being awarded his war medals, but the reply from the Defence Department was not very complementary.
Thomas died at Hawea Flat on 18 February 1960, aged 77 years.
Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015); Archives NZ (Personal File); Queenstown Lakes District Council cemeteries database; NZSG Index V5
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Ted Hansen (SC branch NZSG)
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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