UNWIN, William Howard
(Service number 3/2206)
|First Rank||Last Rank|
|Date||14 July 1871||Place of Birth||New Cross, London|
|Date||15 June 1916||Age||44 years 11 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Church Street, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs W. H. UNWIN (wife), Church Street, Timaru; Edward UNWIN (father), The Mount, Shortlands, Kent, England|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||New Zealand Medical Corps|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
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||25 December 1945||Age||74 years|
|Place of Death||Timaru|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
William Howard Unwin was the second son of Edward and Elizabeth (née Spicer) Unwin. William was at home at Lee, London, with his family in 1881 and 1891. He was appointed medical superintendent of Timaru Hospital in 1904, resigning in 1907 to go into private practice. On 5 December 1904 in New Zealand he married Phyllis Agnes Florence Hall. William and Phyllis had three sons and one daughter, all born in Timaru. A medical practitioner in Timaru, he enlisted on 15 June 1916 and went to serve. He spent nearly two years in England “doing splendid work at Walton and other military hospitals”. Before returning to New Zealand, “Major Unwin has received several extremely valuable presentations from his confreres.” He acted as medical officer on the voyage home – “Tainui”, Draft 130 (2 November 1917 – 4 January 1918) carrying 442 invalided soldiers, the walking wounded from the Somme and Messines. Accompanied by a nursing sister (Letitia Millar) and six men of the ranks, all belonging to South Canterbury, he travelled to Timaru by the express and was given a hearty welcome by a large crowd. The Mayor addressed them briefly, and he made special mention of Dr. W. H. Unwin and Sister Millar, as he had learned of the splendid service these two had rendered their boys. His expression of thanks and appreciation to all returning, on behalf of the people of South Canterbury, was met with applause.
W. H. Unwin was also a mountaineer. On one occasion he broke a leg and crawled for miles towards the Hermitage before he was found by guides. William Howard Unwin died on Christmas Day 1945 at Timaru. He had served Timaru citizens for 40 years. His wife died in 1932 and his second son in 1933. Dr Unwin’s brother, Cyril Unwin, also served with the New Zealand forces in World War I, and another brother, Sidney Unwin, a farmer in South Canterbury, was called up. Both Cyril and Sidney died in New Zealand. His brother Stanley who remained in England, was a conscientious objector and joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment. He was later knighted.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [12 December 2016]; 1881 & 1891 England census returns (ancestry.com.au) [25 March 2020]; The Times, 28 December 1945 (Andrews Newspaper Index Cards per ancestry.com.au) [25 March 2020]; Timaru Herald, 8 December 1917, 5 & 9 January 1918, NZ Herald, 4 January 1918, Press, 26 December 1945 (Papers Past) [01 September 2014; 25 March 2020]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
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