LOPER, William Joseph
(Service number 6/1609)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||17 April 1885||Place of Birth||Waimate, New Zealand|
|Date||12 December 1914||Age||29|
|Address at Enlistment||Coronation Street, Waimate, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mr John Loper (father), Coronation Street, Waimate|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||5 foot 8 1/4 inches tall, weight 146 lbs, chest 34 inches, dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, good teeth|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||3rd Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Date||14 February 1915|
|Transport||Manganui, Tahiti or Aparima|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Campaigns||Egyptian, Gallipoli, & Western Europe|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal|
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 April 1917||Reason||Medically unfit|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
28 Sep 1916, Somme: multiple shrapnel wounds to legs, left arm and head; December 1916 admitted to NZ General Hospital Brocklehurst, England
|Date||12 April 1957||Age||71|
|Place of Death||Waimate, New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Waimate Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Plot 322, Block 17|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Born at Waimate on 17 April 1885, William was the second son of John & Annie (nee Butler) Loper, of Coronation Street, Waimate.
At the outbreak of war, he was employed as a labourer by Mr H. Ruddenklau, Waimate. Enlisting at Timaru on 12 December 1914, he was described as single, aged 29, 5 foot 8¼ inches tall, weighing 146 lbs, chest 34 inches, of dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, good teeth and Anglican. His last address was given as the same as his father's, Mr John Loper of Coronation Street, Waimate, who he also gave as his next of kin. Trained with 2nd Company, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, he embarked from Wellington with the 3rd Reinforcements for Suez, Egypt, on 14 February 1915, on either the SS Maunganui, Tahiti or Aparima, arriving 26 March. After Egyptian service, he landed on the Dardanelles on 9 May 1915.
Surviving Gallipoli, he returned to Egypt where he embarked on 6 April 1916, from Port Said, for France. On 28 September 1916, during the battle of the Somme, he received multiple shrapnel wounds to the legs, left arm and head. After evacuation for treatment at the NZ General Hospital, Brocklehurst, England, he was returned to New Zealand on 8 March 1917, and discharged as unfit for further military service on 5 April 1917. William was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service. William's brother, John Wesley Loper (no. 2/3571), also served with the NZ Field Artillery in France.
In 1919, William married Winifred Joyce. They lived the remainder of their lives in Waimate, where he worked as a labourer and freezing worker. William died on 12 April 1957, and is buried in the Waimate Lawn Cemetery.
Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015); ancestry.com.au; Archives NZ (Personnel Record); NZBDM Historical Records; NZSG Index V5; Waimate District Council cemeteries database
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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