FYFE, Thomas Camperdown
(Service number 14094)
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||22 June 1870||Place of Birth||Timaru|
|Address at Enlistment||Hobson Street, Auckland|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Marital Status||Married. Four children (two under 16)|
|Next of Kin||Mrs T. C. FYFE (wife), Wilson Street, Timaru; C/o Corp Peake, Defence Office, Wairarapa Farmers Buildings, Wellington|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||5th Reinforcements, 3rd Battalion, G Company|
|Date||26 June 1916|
|Transport||Tahiti or Maunganui|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Auckland Regiment|
|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|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||3 August 1947||Age||77 years|
|Place of Death||Hastings|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Hastings Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Block P, Plot 514|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Thomas Camperdown Fyfe , known as Tom, was born on 22 June 1870 at Timaru, the oldest son of Scottish parents, Thomas Webster Fyfe and his second wife, Jane (Jean, née Craigie) Fyfe. Thomas’ first wife, Margaret née Craigie, died not ten months after she, Thomas and their little daughter arrived in New Zealand. She was buried at Timaru, Jane and Thomas and some of their family in the same plot. Tom was educated at Gleniti (Wai-iti), where he made his mark in athletic events.
Tom Fyfe was a remarkable climber in New Zealand’s mountains. He was working at the Hermitage, Mount Cook, when he started climbing. He went on to make several first ascents, the most notable being that of Mount Cook on Christmas Day 1894, with a Waimate man and fellow Hermitage guide, Jack Clarke of Temuka. ‘We yesterday received the following gratifying telegram from Mr T. C. Fyfe, of Timaru: — “Messrs Graham, Clarke, and Fyfe topped Mount Cook from Hooker side on Christmas Day.” In a telegram to Mr Malcolm Ross (kindly placed at oar disposal by Mrs Ross) Mr Fyfe states that the ascent was made via Green’s Saddle, the time from the Hermitage being 15 days. We congratulate Mr Fyfe and his party on their success, after their long-continued efforts and despite many failures. It was on the 5th of November last that Messrs Dixon and Malcolm and Kenneth Ross met at the Fairiie Creak Junction, and were joined by Mr Fyfe, and eventually by Mr Matheson.’ [Otago Daily Times, 31 December 1894. Refer also South Canterbury Times, 21 March 1894; Press, 4 April 1894, 15 March 1906; Otago Witnesss, 16 May 1895, 1 February 1900.] He became a much respected guide, making numerous alpine crossings of the Southern Alps.
Thomas C. Fyfe married Mary Ann (Annie) Peake on 3 May 1896 at St John’s Church, Wellington. They had four children – Aorangi Lilly Fyfe (Lila) born in 1897, Constance Clyde Fyfe (Clyde) born in 1900, Kenneth Camperdown Fyfe born in 1903 and Thomas Malcolm Fyfe (Malcolm) born in 1906. The children were educated at Wellington and Timaru Schools (Waimataitai, Timaru Main, Timaru South, High School). Clyde died in Auckland at the age of 19. Thomas was a plumber for the Public Works Department and resding in Auckland when he enlisted. His nominated next-of-kin, his wife, was initially living in Timaru, but was later at a Wellington address. T. C. Fyfe returned to New Zealand in September 1917.
Thomas Camperdown Fyfe died on 3 August 1947 at Hastings and was buried in the local cemetery, a services plaque marking his grave. His brother, Charles Marshall Fyfe, served with the Australian Forces, and two other brothers, Alfred James Fyfe and Christopher Hume Fyfe, enlisted with the New Zealand Forces.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [28 December 2002]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [13 April 2020]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [28 December 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [13 April 2020]; Hastings Cemetery headstone image & burial record (Hastings District Council) [28 December 2020]; Otago Daily Times, 31 December 1894 (Papers Past) [28 December 2002]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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