HAWKE, Henry Woodman
(Service number 7/1358)

Aliases Known as Harry
First Rank Trooper Last Rank Saddler


Date 1 December 1885 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 12 June 1915 Age 29 years
Address at Enlistment C/o E. J. Atwill, Waimate
Occupation Saddler
Previous Military Experience Waimate Rifles - 3 years
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Woodman HAWKE (father), Waimate, Canterbury
Religion Wesleyan
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 6th Reinforcement
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 14 August 1915
Transport Tofua
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
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 14 June 1916 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Plantation worker


Date 8 March 1919 Age 33 years
Place of Death Samarai Island, British New Guinea
Cause Blackwater fever
Notices Waimate Daily Advertiser, 12 March 1919; Lyttelton Times, 14 March 1919
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Henry Woodman Hawke, known as Harry, was born on 1 December 1885 at Waimate, the eldest son of Woodman and Elizabeth Ann (née Bateman) Hawke.

At his medical examination, it was recorded “This man is in perfect physical health. He is a well known footballer in tis district.” In late May 1915, men were “offering more freely” at Timaru. H. W. Hawke, Waimate, was one of those who had passed the medical test and had signed on to leave Timaru for Trentham by special train on 29 May. Before leaving they were to be entertained at afternoon tea in the Drill Hall and then played to the railway Station by the Regimental Band. Fifteen young men were entertained at Waimate prior to their departure for Trentham. The guests of the evening were assured that “they were not going on an ordinary adventure, but to fight for the existence of the Empire, and avenge the atrocities of Belgium and the Lusitania. Waimate was proud of them.” Mr H. Hawke, in replying to the toast on behalf of himself and fellow volunteers, said “they could not foresee their fate or the future, but they hoped to uphold the honour of their country, and bring back a record second to none, whether they gained Victoria Crosses or not.”

A saddler, single and Wesleyan, he enlisted on 12 June 1915, and named his father as next-of-kin – Woodman hawke, Waimate, Canterbury. Trooper H. W. Hawke embarked with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles of the 6th Reinforcemnets, departing from Wellington for Suez on 14 August 1915.

Intercessory services on behalf of the War were conducted at St Paul’s Methodist Church, Waimate on 1 August 1915. The “Roll of Honour” contining he names of those connected with the Church in the circuit who were with the colours was unveiled and the names read out. One of those names was Trooper H. W. Hawke. The annual report of St Paul’s Sunday School, preseted in December 1915, made reference to the many ex-scholars and teachers who had answered the Empire’s call for men and who were on active service. Among the names of former scholars appearing on the roll of honour was Harry Hawke.

He served in Egypt before being invalided home. Trooper H. W. Hawke, of Waimate, returned by the Willochra which brought a large number of invalided soldiers. It was due at Port Chalmers at the end of January 1916. Mr Woodman Hawke went south to meet his son, who returned by a special train from Dunedin on 30 January and was met at Studholme Junction by the deputy-mayor of Waimate.

In about 1917, he was appointed to a position on a plantation in New Guinea. Sadly, at Samarai Island, British New Guinea, on 8 March 1919 he died of blackwater fever. He was just 33 years old and had been expected to return before long. “So loved, so mourned.”. Two of Harry’s younger brothers served in Wold War One – Alfred James Hawke and William Strudick Hawke.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [16 May 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [16 May 2022]; Timaru Herald, 26 May 1915, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 28 May 1915, 2 August 1915, 13 December 1915, 19, 28 & 31 January 1916, 12 March 1919 [x 2], Otago Witness, 23 June 1915, Lyttelton Times, 14 March 1919, Otago Daily Times, 20 March 1919, Auckland Star, 25 March 1919 (Papers Past) [14, 16 & 17 May 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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