PATRICK, William Emerson
(Service number 43232)
|Aliases||Emerson or Son|
|First Rank||Trooper||Last Rank||Trooper|
|Date||20 July 1890||Place of Birth||Hilton, Geraldine|
|Date||1 December 1916||Age||26 years 3 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Gapes Valley, Geraldine|
|Previous Military Experience||South Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Next of Kin||Mr W.M. Patrick (Father) Gapes Valley, Geraldine|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||26th Reinforcements Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Date||31 May 1917|
|Transport||HMNZT 01 Moeraki|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||3 New Zealand (Rifles) Brigade, 3 Battalion|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Campaigns||Egyptian Expeditionary Force 1917-1918|
|Service Medals||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||9 September 1919||Reason||Termination of his period of engagement [end of war]|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
1st September 1919 - 4 September 1919: Asthma
|Date||16 September 1955||Age||65 years|
|Place of Death||Gapes Valley, Geraldine|
|Notices||Timaru Herald 17 September 1955|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Geraldine Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Presbyterian Section, Bolock 58, Plot 20 18381|
|New Zealand Memorials|
William Emerson Patrick, the son of William Millar Patrick and Elizabeth Emerson, was born on 20 July 1890, at Hilton, Geraldine. He was known as Emerson but was often called 'son'.
Before the war, William worked for his father on the farm at Gapes Valley, near Geraldine. Emerson volunteered for the 26th Reinforcements, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, and signed his attestation papers on 1 December 1916. His medical examination was conducted in Geraldine. The Medical Officer described him as being single, Presbyterian, 26 years and 3 months of age, He was 5 feet 8 and a half inches tall, weighed 175lbs, was of fair complexion, with blue eyes and dark hair. He did not have 20/20 vision and had bad teeth.
Trooper Patrick left with the 26th Reinforcements, Canterbury Mounted Rifles from Wellington with HMNZT 01 Moeraki on 31 May 1917. They were shipped to Sydney where they transferred to the Port Lincoln (A17), which offloaded some of the contingent in Suez on 6 August 1917 before carrying on to England. Trooper Patrick was among those who disembarked at Suez. Emerson was posted to the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Training Regiment at Moascar, before being posted to the Canterbury Mounted Rifles on 3 September 1917. On 7 October 1917, Emerson was sent to the school of instruction for signal training, and was then transferred back to the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade on 30 November 1917, before joining his regiment in the field on 10 December 1917. Emerson remained in the field for the next eight months before being sent to a rest camp in Port Said for three days on 6 August 1918. He then went back into the field.
Trooper Patrick embarked for the Dardanelles onboard the Kantara on 27 November 1918, part of the Mounted Rifles contingent to assist with monitoring the Turkish compliance with the Armistace at that time. On 22 January 1919, Trooper Patrick, embarked from the Dardanelles for Port Said. At some point about here at Zeitoun (Egypt) he qualified as a signals instructor. On 1 February 1919, Trooper Patrick was admitted to hospital at Port Said. There are no further details. However, Emerson suffered severely from asthma while on service and was at one stage hospitalised. He was released back to duty on the 4 February 1919. On 30 June 1919 William marched out from Ismailia to Suez to embark onboard the Ulimaroa, for transport back to New Zealand. Trooper Patrick was discharged from the army on 9 September 1919. He had served for 2 years and 74 days in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Emerson returned home to work on the family farm, before buying his own properties in Gapes Valley. One property he bought off his late sisters husband Albert Donnithorne which is situated about half a mile past the Gapes Valley Hall. He also purchased another property previously owned by the Galletley's on Slacks Valley Road. Emerson married Alice Rosey Fifield on 6 April 1921 at St Thomas' Church in Woodbury. They moved into the property on Slacks Valley Road and lived there until Emerson died in 1955. Emerson and Alice had three children: Bertha Merle, b.1924; Phyllis Rose, b. 1926; and William Emerson (Bill). b. 1935. Emerson's properties have since been passed down through the generations and Emerson' grandson, Nigel Patrick, is now farming the properties.
Emerson was keen on duck shooting, rabbitting and the 'hare drive', he also had a keen interest in horses and bred his own ponies for his children to ride. During World War Two, Emerson would go around the local dances raising money for food parcels of the soldiers. Emerson died on 16 September 1955 at Gapes Valley, Geraldine, New Zealand. He is buried in the Presbyterian Section of the Geraldine Cemetery.
Auckland War memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (January 2015); Timaru District Council Cemetery records at http://www.timaru.govt.nz/; Andrea Patrick, Patrick Family History "Kilmarnock to Kakahu", Pope Print, Timaru(n.d.).
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