McGOWAN, Herbert Edward
(Service number 6/4181)
|First Rank||Lieutenant||Last Rank|
|Date||28 July 1870||Place of Birth||New Zealand|
|Address at Enlistment||Willowbridge, South Canterbury|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Marital Status||Married. Three children|
|Next of Kin||Mrs H. E. McGOWAN (wife), Willowbridge, South Canterbury|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||11th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company|
|Date||1 April 1916|
|Transport||Tahiti or Maunganui|
|Embarked From||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Military Awards||Member of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) (Military)|
Award Circumstances and Date
London Gazette, 1 January 1919
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||22 November 1950||Age||80 years|
|Place of Death||Avondale|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland|
|Memorial Reference||Service Persons Area K, Row 11, Plot 51|
|New Zealand Memorials||Willowbridge & Studholme District Roll of Honour|
Herbert Edward McGowan was born on 28 July 1870 in New Zealand, the eldest son of Edward McGowan and his first wife, Sarah Ann née Vickery. In 1890 he went to Willowbridge to manage the Willowbridge Estate. On 28 June 1894 at Waimate he married Margaret Davidson Cochrane. Herbert and Margaret had three children who were all born and educated at Willowbridge – Herbert Stanley (known as Stanley, born in 1896), Margaret Evelyn (born in 1898) and John Adinell (known as Jack, born in 1903). Their first-born, Ann Constance Rose, died at 15 months.
Herbert McGowan served as a JP at Waimate. He was an armourer, residing at Willowbridge when he enlisted. Lieutenant Herbert Edward McGowan, NZ Motor Service Corps, was appointed an officer to the 11th Reinforcements, effective from 1 April 1916. He embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion of the 11th Reinforcements on that date, headed for Suez. In early June Mrs H. E. McGowan received a cable from her husband from “Somewhere in France”. A few months later an interesting letter, with observations of Herbert’s early days abroad, was received. [See attachment.] In early 1918 Lieutenant McGowan was promoted to captain for service in the field.
Henry Edward Mcowan was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE Military), the honour being gazetted on 1 January 1919. Captain H. E. McGowan returned to New Zealand by the “Bhamo” (Draft 234), which was due at Auckland on 24 April 1919. Captain Herbert Edward McGowan, Willowbridge, South Canterbury, was influential in having the correct name inscribed on the grave of Horace Lancelot Parker, who had served as Charles Holdsworth, sending a statutary declaration dated 6 November 1920 to the authorities.
Herbert and Margaret divorced in 1940. He died at Auckland while she died at Waimate. Their older son, Herbert Stanley McGowan, was called up for service in the war. Ernest James McGowan, a younger brother of Herbert, served in the South African War. Lester Vickery McGowan, a nephew, served as a sergeant in World War Two.
The name of H. McGowan is inscribed on the Willowbridge and Studholme District First World War Roll of Honour.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [25 November 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [25 November 2020]; Waikumete Cemetery burial record (Auckland Council) [27 January 2021]; Press, 1 April 1916, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 9 June 1916, 13 & 16 February 1918, 30 April 1919, 6 June 1919, Timaru Herald, 25 September 1916m 11 April 1919 (Papers Past) [16 July 2021
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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