PIERCE, George Henry
(Service number 78584)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||16 March 1888||Place of Birth||Orari, New Zealand|
|Date||20 July 1917||Age||29 years 4 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Geraldine, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Elizabeth Rudd Pierce (wife), Geraldine, New Zealand|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||5 feet 7 inches tall, 128lb with a chest measurement between 33 and 35 inches, is of a dark complexion with blue eyes and brown hair.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||41st, 43rd, 44th, & 45th Special Co|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||29 March 1955||Age||67 years|
|Place of Death||Geraldine, New Zealand|
|Notices||Timaru Herald 30 March 1955|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Geraldine Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Row 222, Plot 187|
|New Zealand Memorials|
George Henry Pierce, the eldest child of Thomas Bushell and Emily Ann Pierce (nee Stevens), was born on 16 March 1888 in Orari. George has a twin sister, Maud Mary, and three brothers: Albert Edward, Thomas Cecil, and Leslie William Robert Pierce. George worked in the maintenance branch of the Railways Department before going farming in the Geraldine district in 1914. George married Elizabeth Rudd Grayburn on 29 September 1915 at the Methodist Church in Geraldine. Elizabeth was the daughter of Harland Watson and Hannah Grayburn, of Geraldine.
When George enlisted he was the father of his oldest child, David Bushell Pierce. George was called up in the 9th Ballot for service with the NZEF, signing the attestation papers on 20 July 1917 at Timaru. George listed his employment as a farmer working for himself, in Geraldine. For some reason George gave his mother’s name as Mary Ann Pierce. George Henry Pierce was 29 years and 4 months old when he joined the 41st Reinforcements, Special Company, of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. The officer at his medical test described him as being 5 feet 7 inches tall, 128lb with a chest measurement of 33 to 35 inches. He was of a dark complexion, with brown hair and blue eyes.
While in New Zealand George transferred through other reinforcement groups’ specialist companies – the 45th in June, then to the 43rd in September, and finally to the 44th in October. With the war coming to an end he was discharged on leave without pay in September (while nominally with the 43rd). He was finally demobilised on 25 November 1918 at the end of the war.
After the war George and Elizabeth went on to have seven more children, in addition to their oldest son David Bushell, born before George enlisted. The children were: Evelyn Mary, George Egerton, Helen Elizabeth, Una Lilias, Nora Maude, Pamela Anne, and John Thomas Harland Pierce.
George died aged 67 on 29 March 1955 in Geraldine. He is buried with Elizabeth in the Geraldine Cemetery.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [16 September 2016]. NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref, AABK 18805 W5539 0039812). [11 October 2016]. Timaru Herald 30 March 1955.
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