SCHAUMANN, David Thomson
(Service number 23/1173 (WWI); 822275 (WWII))

First Rank Rifleman (WWI); Sergeant (WWII) Last Rank Rifleman (WWI); Staff Sergeant (WWII)


Date 6 May 1895 Place of Birth Alexandra, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 29 May 1915 (WWI); 5 March 1940 (WWII) Age 20 (WWI); 44 (WWII)
Address at Enlistment Telegraph Office, Timaru (WWI); Hawkesbury Road, Waikouaiti (WWII)
Occupation Telegraphist Cadet (WWI); Farmer (WWII)
Previous Military Experience P&T Corps
Marital Status Single (WWI); Married (WWII)
Next of Kin Mrs Mary A. Schaumann (mother), Alexandra South, Otago (WWI); Mrs Mary Schaumann (wife), Hawkesbury Road, Waikouaiti (WWII)
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 5 foot 5 3/4 inches, weight 122 lbs, chest 32 1/2 - 35 3/4 inches, fresh complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair, teeth fair, small pigmented mole on front of left army pit

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 1st NZRB (WWI)
Unit, Squadron, or Ship D Company 1st Battalion, NZRB
Date 10 October 1915
Transport HMNZT30 SS Manganui
Embarked From Wellington New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With Otago Company NZ Rifle Brigade, Command NZ Base Post Office London
Last Unit Served With NZ Base Post Office London

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian & Western Europe
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


Date 17 January 1919 (WWI); 2 October 1943 (WWII) Reason Unfit for War Service

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

13-25 April 1916 - No2 Australian General Hospital - influenza; 13 April-7 May 1917 - No3 NZ General Hospital Codford - neurasthenia.

Post-war Occupations

Orchardist & Farmer


Date 9 August 1977 Age 82 years
Place of Death Waikouaiti New Zealand
Notices Internal Affairs 22 August 1977
Memorial or Cemetery Ashes spread
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

David, was born at Alexandra on 6 May 1895, the third son of Henry ((1851-1938) and Mary Ann (1861-1940, nee Thomson) Schaumann. His father Henry had came out from Hannover Germany and was a miner and dredge owner in the Tuapeka/Alexandra istrict. He was also mayor of Alexandra from 1906-1910, and in his honour a street in the town is named after him. David was educated at the Alexandra Public School, and on leaving, took up a cadetship with the Post & Telegraph Department.

As soon as he reached the age of 20, David enlisted at Timaru where he was employed as a Telegraph Cadet at the Timaru Telegraph Office, on 29 May 1915. Prior to joining up he had had some experience with the volunteer P & T Corps, and nominated his mother Mary, of Alexandra South Otago, as his next of kin. He was described as being 5 foot 5 ¾ inches tall, weighing 122 pounds, his chest measuring 32 ½ to 35 ¾ inches, having a fresh complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair, his teeth were in fair condition and he had a small pigmented mole on front of his left arm pit. Following training, he left Wellington with the 1st Battalion, D Company, NZ Rifle Brigade on 10 October 1915 aboard HMNZT30 SS Manganui, and arrived in Suez Egypt, on 15 November 1915.

On 21 December David’s unit embarked for Mersa where the 1st Battalion received their baptism of fire, during the fight at Wadi Majid, on Christmas Day, 1915. After this the unit returned to Alexandria on 15 February 1916, before embarking for France on SS Acadia on 6 March 1916. Shortly after arriving at Marseilles on 13 April, David was admitted to No.2 Australian General Hospital suffering from influenza, but was discharged back to his unit on 25 April. In August 1916 he was posted back to England where he was attached to the strength at Hornchurch before being reposted on 2 September to the Otago Company at Sling Camp. The rigours of service took its toll on David, like it did on many others. On 13 April 1917 he was admitted to No.3 NZ General Hospital at Codford with neurasthenia, and was transferred to the NZ Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch a month later on 7 May. After his discharge from hospital, he was found medically unfit and was detached to the Command NZ Base Post Office at London. Here he stayed until embarking on the SS Ulimaroa at Plymouth on 7 November 1918, for his return to New Zealand. On arrival back home he was discharged on 17 January 1919 as no longer fit for war service, on account of illness contracted on active service (neurasthenia). David had served a total of 3 years and 234 days and was later awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service.

David returned to Alexandria where, in 1919, he was recorded as being an orchardist. On 30 April 1924 at Holy Cross Church, St Kilda Dunedin, he married Mabel Mary Thompson, the officiating minister being the Reverend Wingfield. From 1928 to 1954 they are listed as farming at Hawkesbury Road, Waikouaiti, and later retired to 14 Kildare Street, Waikouaiti.

Following the outbreak of war, David again enlisted for service during World War Two and entered camp on 15 March 1940. On his enlistment papers he stated that he had four children. He was posted to the New Zealand Temporary Staff as a Corporal, acting Sergeant, and attended training at Trentham as an instructor in the signal corps. He was then posted as a signals instructor to Area 11 at Dunedin and promoted to Staff Sergeant. He served for another 3 years and 201 days before being discharged on 2 October 1943, but due to illness, was unfit for posting to the Home Guard. He was later awarded the War Medal 1939-1945 and NZ War Service Medal.

David died at Waikouaiti on 9 August 1977 aged 82, and his ashes were scattered (as were his wife Mabel’s, when she died aged 82), on 19 May 1978.

Three of David’s brothers also were called up for war service. Warrant Officer William Anderson Schaumann (no. 8/3064), Otago Infantry Battalion, was killed in action at Bapume France, on 25 August 1918. Private Louis Henry Schaumann (no. 47288) and Private Victor John Schaumann (no. 84933) were both called up later in the war but did not serve overseas for medical reasons.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [September 2016]; Austin, W S “The official History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade” (L T Watkins Ltd, Wellington, 1924); Assorted records at [September 2016]; Dunedin City Council cemetery records at; "Roll of Honour" in Alexandra Herald and Central Otago Gazette 18 September 1918 p5 (brother Sergeant Major William Anderson Schaumann, killed in action 25 August 1918)

External Links

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Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

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