FORD, William James
(Service number 80063)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank|
|Date||21 March 1881||Place of Birth||Christchurch|
|Date||21 March 1918||Age||37 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Chaucer Street, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs M. FORD (wife), Chaucer Street, Timaru|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||41st Reinforcements, F Company|
|Date||27 July 1918|
|Embarked From||Destination||London, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Service Medals||British War Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||21 October 1919||Reason|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||4 August 1964||Age||83 years|
|Place of Death||Timaru|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Row 51, Plot 219|
|New Zealand Memorials|
William James Ford was born on 21 April 1881 at Christchurch, both his birth and his death being registered as James William Ford. He enlisted as William James Ford and his headstone is inscribed William James Ford. Obviously known as William, he was the only son of James and Mary Kate (née Webb) Ford. He had three younger sisters. William (James W.) was admitted to Richmond School, Christchurch in 1886 and left for civil service in May 1895. Starting out as a cycle mechanic, he progressed to a motor engineer. William married Mary Willcocks on 8 August 1906 at Palmerston North. Within afew years they meved from Christchurch to Timaru.
It was at Timaru that William James Ford enlisted on 21 March 1918, his 37th birthday. He named his wife as next-of-kin – Mary Ford, Chaucer Street, Timaru. He was in a large group of men belonging to South Canterbury who left Timaru for camp on Monday, 20 May 1918. Private W. J. Ford embarked with the 41st Reinforcements, departing for London, England, per the “Ulimaroa” on 27 July 1918. Private W. J. Ford returned to New Zealand by the “Hororata” which was due at Wellington on or about 30 September 1919. He actually reached Timaru by the express from Christchurch on the afternoon of 22 September. The soldiers who returned were given a hearty welcome. The Deputy-Mayor “congratulated the men on their achievements, offered them the thanks of the whole community for what they had done, and wished them a speedy return to good health.” He called for cheers from the assembled crowd, and these were given with great heartiness. Discharged on 21 October 1919, he was awarded the British War Medal.
William and Mary continued to reside in Timaru, he carrying on his work as a motor mechanic or engineer. He entered into a business partnership as a motor engineer. By late 1938 the business was failing and the firm’s assets were distributed to creditors. Mary died in February 1949. The following year James William Ford married Hilda Mary Bampton. Hilda was the widow of Robert Bampton, the brother of Walter Bampton who married William’s youngest sister (Violet Elsie). William James Ford died on 4 August 1964 at Timaru, aged 83 years, and was buried with Mary at Timaru. Hilda who died in 1976 was also buried at Timaru. William and Mary had no family, but Mary’s son born in 1901 – John George Douglas Willcocks – was remembered in William’s Will, along with Hilda and two of William’s nieces, daughters of his sister Lucy.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 September 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [11 September 2022]; Timaru Herald, 18 May 1918, 28 August 1919, 23 September 1919, 13 February 1940 (Papers Past) [August 2022; 09 & 19 September 2022]; School Admission record (Canterbury Branch NZSG) [19 September 2022]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [09 September 2022]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [September 2022]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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