(Service number 22844)

First Rank Corporal Last Rank Gunner


Date 23 April 1890 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 8 February 1916 Age 25 years
Address at Enlistment Fosters Hotel, Wanganui
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single, then married. One child
Next of Kin Mrs Isobel May McINNES (wife), care of Napier Post-office, New Zealand. Initially Mrs G. JACKSON (sister), Temuka
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 7 inches. Weight 154 lbs. Chest measurement 35-40 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes grey. Hair brown. Sight & hearing both normal. Colour vision good. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Teeth - upper artificial, lower good. Illness - pleurisy 5 years ago. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Absences from work - 4 weeks for pleurisy.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 7th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, F Company
Date 27 May 1916
Transport Tofua
Embarked From Wellington Destination Devonport, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals 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 19 November 1918 Reason Being no longer physically fit for War Service.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

23 April 1917 - evacuated to No.2 NZ Field Ambulance (scabies?); 25 April - admitted to Casualty Clearing Station. 2 May - admitted to No. 2 NZ Field Ambulance; 20 May - discharged to Duty. 24 September 1917- admitted to NZ Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch – pediculosis corporis; had had a cough since being gassed two months before; 3 January 1918 - discharged from Hornchurch. 9 January 1918 - admitted to Walton-on-Thames Hospital; 19 February - transferred to NZ Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch; 4 March - transferred to Walton-on-Thames Hospital - recurrent bronchitis. 24 January - listed as not severe case. 3 May 1918 - in England classified as permanently unfit by Medical Board – chronic bronchitis.

Post-war Occupations


Date 14 October 1922 Age 34 years
Place of Death
Notices Mangatera Cemetery, Dannevirke
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference Block V, Plot 29
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Hugh McInnes was the third son of Scottish-born John McInnes and his wife Jane Ann née Nelson. He was born on 23 April 1890 at Temuka. Hugh was just two years old when his mother died. John and Jane Ann had married in 1881 at Temuka. Jane Ann McInnes died on 31 August 1892 at Arowhenua, just 30 years old and leaving up to six or seven young children. Hugh attended Winchester and Waimataitai (Timaru) schools, transferring to Temuka with his younger brother Donald in 1902. His three older sisters - Mary Jane, Catherine (Katie) and Ann (Annie) – and his older brother John had all been to Temuka School.

Hugh appears to have gone away to the Dannevirke area when he was quite young. In 1911 he was a labourer at Wallingford and a couple of years later he was a gardener at Dannevirke. He married Isabel May Roythorne on 21 April 1916 at Napier. Their daughter Ida Annie McInnes was born on 6 June 1916 at Napier. Hugh McInnes, a gardener of Dannevirke, was listed on the Reserve Rolls. He had enlisted Trentham on 7 February 1916 – before he married. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 154 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 35-40 inches. His complexion was dark, his eyes grey, and his hair brown. His sight, hearing, heart and lungs were all normal, his colour vision good, and his limbs and chest well formed. His upper teeth were artificial, his lower good. He had had pleurisy five years previously and been absent from work for four weeks. Free from diseases and vaccinated, he was in good bodily and mental health. A labourer and Presbyterian, he initially named his sister as next-of-kin Mrs G. Jackson, Temuka; but on marrying his wife became his next-of-kin – Mrs Isabel May McInnes, C/o P.O., Napier, and later of Eketahuna.

Soon after entering camp, Hugh was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal, then less than three weeks after, to the rank of Corporal. He incurred a few penalties in camp at Featherston and Trentham, being reprimanded and forfeiting pay for overstaying leave and being absent without leave. He was also to forfeit a day’s pay while at sea.

Corporal H. McInnes embarked with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade of the 7th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington for Devonport, England, on 27 May 1916 per the “Tofua”. Having arrived in England on 27 July 1916, Rifleman McInnes left Sling for Active Service in France on 12 August 1916. He was posted to the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion in France on 4 September. In April 1917, in the Field, Hugh McInnes forfeited pay twice – for absence from billet and absence without leave. He was evacuated to the No. 2 NZ Field Ambulance on 23 April 1917 (scabies?), then admitted to the Casualty Clearing Station two days later. He was again admitted to the No. 2 NZ Field Ambulance on 2 May. Discharged to Duty, he rejoined his Unit on 20 May 1917 and was posted to the rank of Driver with Divisional Ammunition Column but reverted to Rifleman a week later.

Hugh proceeded on leave to the UK on 22 September 1917, then on 24 September he was admitted to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch – pediculosis corporis. It was noted that he had had a cough since being gassed two months before. He was discharged from Hornchurch on 3 January 1918. He was admitted to Walton-on-Thames Hospital on 9 January 1918 and transferred to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch on 19 February, only to be transferred to Walton-on-Thames Hospital on 4 March with recurrent bronchitis. A hospital and progress report issued on 24 January 1918 had listed his as not a severe case. Classified as permanently unfit by the Medical Board in England on 3 May 1918 – chronic bronchitis, he was placed on the NZ Roll. His bronchitis was constitutional (probably secondary to hydatids of lung 6 years prior) but was aggravated by the stress and strain and exposure of service.

Hugh McInnes embarked at Southampton on 31 July 1918 for transfer to “Marama” at Marseilles. So, H. McInnes, 22844, Eketahuna, returned to New Zealand per the “Marama’ (Draft 175), which arrived on 20 September 1918. In August he was assessed as improving with regards to the bronchitis. He was medically examined again on arrival on 20 September. He attended Rotorua hospital as an out-patient, as recommended, until late October and was medically boarded there on 29 October. His original disability was now attributed to the gas shell explosion. While he had improved, his disability was permanent and he could do only light duties or sedentary work. He was discharged on 19 November 1918, being no longer physically fit for War Service. For his service in Western Europe, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. In 1924 the medals were sent to Mrs Isabel May McInnes, Hospital Road, Dannevirke, the address to which Hugh had returned.

After the war, Hugh resumed his work as a gardener, but not for long. Hugh McInnes died on 14 October 1922 at Dannevirke Public Hospital, aged 32 years. His death was caused by acute pneumonia and cardiac dilation of eleven days duration. He was buried at Mangatera Cemetery, Dannevirke. Isabel lived for 53 years a widow, dying in November 1975, age 82. She was cremated at Tauranga, her ashes interred at Pyes Pa Cemetery. Their daughter married, raised a family and died at the age of 92. Isabel requested the Public Trustee to administer Hugh’s estate. Two brothers of Hugh also served in World War One – John and Donald.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [10 August 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0073819) [14 August 2016]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [10 August 2016]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [10 August 2016]; Mangatera Cemetery headstone transcription [10 August 2016]; Evening Post, 25 January 1918, 7 September 1918 (Papers Past) [11 August 2016]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [14 August 2016; 07 September 2023]; Probate record (Archives NZ/Family Search) [14 August 2016]; Pyes Pa Cemetery burial record (Tauranga City Council) [09 September 2023]

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