QUINLAN, William John
(Service number 454)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date *1879 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 22 August 1914 Age 33 years
Address at Enlistment 598 Botany Road, alexandria, New South Wales
Occupation Municipal employee (Maintenance department)
Previous Military Experience Boer War (Service No. 7811) - New Zealand Mounted Rifles
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs W. J. QUINLAN (wife), 598 Botany Road, Alexandria, New South Wales
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with Australian Imperial Force Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation D Company
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 2nd Battalion
Date 18 October 1914
Transport Suffolk
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

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 6 April 1918 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Gassed on the Western Front

Post-war Occupations



Date 27 January 1939 Age
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery Rookwood Catholic Cemetery, Rookwood, New South Wales
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William John Quinlan, who was born at Timaru, South Canterbury, NZ, enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 22 August 1914 at Sydney, New South Wales, aged 33 years. He had been born in 1879 at Timaru, the younger son of James Joseph and Helena Agnes Quinlan. He was educated at the Catholic Boys School in Timaru, where he was awarded three prizes in the Infant Class of 1886 – Christian Doctine, and 2nd in both reading and writing. In 1887 he was placed first in Standard I reading and spelling. In 1888 at the Sacred Heart Boys School, he was second in Standard II Christian Doctrine. The infant daughter of James and Helena died in January 1888. Tragedy befell the family in March 1894, when their “nice comfortable house” at Southerton was destroyed by fire. Mr and Mrs Quinlan and their six children got out safely but with only a few clothes. Mr Quinlan had by then been in Timaru for about 19 years. Mrs Elena Agnes Quinlan died on 4 February 1898 at her home, aged 42 years. She left her husband and six children, the youngest not yet five years old. Further tragedy struck the family on 13 May 1900, when their father took his life in his own home. His daughter Mary and son William both said that their father had not been well. It may have been in 1909 that William Quinlan left Timaru. His brother, James Joseph Quinlan, took his life in Sydney in 1912. James had married in New Zealand in 1908 but, in 1910, had failed to pay maintenance for his wife and child.

William Quinlan was a municipal employee in the maintenance department. Married, he nominated his wife as next-of-kin – Mrs W. J. Quinlan, 598 Botany Road, Alexandria, (New South Wales). She was later identified as Widow: Daisy Quinlan. William had previously served with the Ninth Contingent New Zealand Mounted Rifles in the Boer War. He was then a farmer, residing at Southerton, Oxford Street, Timaru, and his next-of-kin was his brother, James Quinlan, of the same address. In 1905 William was still residing at Timaru.

Private Quinlan was gassed on the Western Front after surviving Gallipoli, and was a TPI until his death. [Cenotaph Database]. In January 1918, he was to return to Australia for discharge, because of cardiac insufficiency. He was discharged on 6 April 1918. William, a labourer, and Daisy continued to live in New South Wales. William John Quin died on 27 January 1939 and was buried in the Rookwood Catholic Cemetery at Rookwood, New South Wales.


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [18 April 2020]; Australia death index [18 April 2020]; Find A Grave [18 April 2020]; NZ & Australia Electoral Rolls ( [18 April 2020]; South Canterbury Times, 22 December 1886, 22 December 1887, 21 December 1888, 20 March 1894, 14 May 1900, Timaru Herald, 15 May 1900 (Papers Past) [18 April 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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