FITZGERALD, Thomas Bernard 
(Service number 48931)

Aliases Born Thomas Joseph Bernard FITZGERALD
First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Lance Corporal


Date 21 August 1894 Place of Birth Kerrytown, South Canterbury

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Kerrytown
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs W. FITZGERALD (mother), Kerrytown, Temuka
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 26th Reinforcements G Company (part)
Date 8 June 1917
Transport Willochra 
Embarked From Wellington Destination Devonport, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Egypt; Western Europe
Service Medals 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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

17 December 1917 evacuated to Hospital, sick - admitted to NZ Field Ambulance.

Post-war Occupations


Date 12 September 1918 Age 24 years
Place of Death Havincourt, France
Cause Killed in action, in the Field
Notices New Zealand Tablet, 14 November 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery, Nord, France. Initially buried in Isolated Grave 9 miles South South West of Cambrai. Memorial Stone Temuka Cemetery (parents' plot) [image]
Memorial Reference V. C. 1. Temuka Cemetery - General Section, Row 225, Plot 422
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; St Joseph's Church, Temuka; Pleasant Point War Memorial; Temuka War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Thomas Bernard FITZGERALD was the fifth son of William and Elizabeth (nee IRWIN) FITZGERALD, of "Dirragh" Farm, Kerrytown, Temuka, and one of three sons who served in WWI. He was baptized Catholic (Thomas Joseph Bernard) on 26 August 1894 at Temuka. Thomas was educated at the Kerrytown School and at St Patrick's College, Wellington. although he was farming at kerrytown when he enlisted, he may have previously passed the junior Civil Service examination, in 1912-1913. His brothers James Patrick FITZGERALD and William Francis Joseph FITZGERALD both also served in WWI. Thomas was drawn by the first military service ballot for No. 10 (South Canterbury) recruiting district, in November 1916, when he was farming at Kerrytown. In December 1916 his brother James asked for an extension of time on behalf of Thomas until after harvest, explaining that they worked a farm on behalf of their father's estate. Two months time was given. James himself was drawn in the second Military Service Ballot for the South Canterbury district in December 1916. Initially he appealed as he had to look after his farm of 405 acres. His brother Thomas, who had been assisting him, was going into camp in February, and another brother (William) was on active service. His father had died in an unfortunate accident in 1912. Thomas was among the men of the South Canterbury quota of the 27th Reinforcements who left Timaru for Trentham by the express on 7 March 1917. Before leaving they were entertained at afternoon tea by the ladies of the Patriotic War Relief Society. Thomas incurred one punishment while he was at Featherston, when he forfeited 2 days pay for overstaying leave from 15th till 17th April 1917. He embarked at Wellington on 9 June 1917 and reached Devonport on 16 August. He left for Etaples, France on 23 October 1917 and, apart from one hospital admission, served for almost eleven months in France until he was killed in action on 18 September 1918. During that time he was appointed Lance Corporal. His medals, plaque and scroll were all offered to his mother.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [26 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0040384) [28 July 2013]; CWGC [26 July 2013]; Timaru Herald, 26 April 1912, 25 November 1915, 29 December 1916, 6 March 1917, 12 September 1919, Otago Daily Times, 26 September 1918, , New Zealand Tablet, 14 November 1918 [x 2], 23 September 1920, Dominion, 22 January 1913? (Papers Past) [11 August 2013; 20 September 2013; 16 September 2014; 14 & 20 August 2016]; TDC headstone image (Temuka Cemetery) [09 August 2013]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism index V.1.2 (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Computer Resources) [27 April 2014]; Gamble, David "Tom's war: remembering a Great War Sacrifice" (Wellington: First Edition Ltd, 2009), held by the South Canterbury Museum, #2009/261.01; SCROll web submission by S Lawlor, 7 Sept 2022

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