FITZGERALD, James Patrick
(Service number 52592)

First Rank Private Last Rank Corporal


Date 13 August 1887 Place of Birth Kerrytown

Enlistment Information

Date 1 Feb 1917 Age 29 yrs 6 mths
Address at Enlistment Kerrytown
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Elizabeth FITZGERALD (mother), Kerrytown, South Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 ft 5 in. Weight 146 lb. Complexion sallow. Eyes grey. Hair fair. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing, colour vision, heart, lungs - normal. Limbs, chest - well formed. Good movement of joints. No illnesses. Free from hernia, variocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (right arm). Good bodily & mental health; no physical defects; no fits. Fit Class A.  

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 29th Reinforcements Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company
Date 15 August 1917
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Wellington Destination Glasgow, Scotland
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns 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 25 August 1919 Reason Termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

27 December 1917 to Field Ambulance - sick. 1 Jul 1918 sick, admitted to hospital.

Post-war Occupations



Date 7 March 1937 Age 49 yrs
Place of Death Timaru
Notices Timaru Herald, 8 March 1937
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 94, Plot 229
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James Patrick FITZGERALD was a son of Irish-born William and Elizabeth (nee IRWIN) FITZGERALD, of "Derry" Farm, Kerrytown, Temuka. He was baptized Catholic on 18 August 1887 at Temuka. Two brothers of James also served in WWI - Thomas Bernard FITZGERALD who was killed in action on 12 September 1918, and William Francis Joseph FITZGERALD. In December 1916 James asked for an extension of time on behalf of his brother 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. A brother (Thomas), who had been assisting him, was going into camp in February, and another brother (William) was on active service. He had to help support his mother and two sisters. The appeal was dismissed but he was allowed till the end of March. He left Timaru for the Front on 11 April 1917. On 23 July 1917, at Featherston, he lost 6 days pay for overstaying his leave. When they were down on final leave in July/August 1917, James and a fellow soldier were farewelled by a large gathering in the Pleasant Point Hall. Their good qualities were spoken of and they were wished the best of luck, God speed and a safe return. Following the presentation of wristlet watches, "For they are jolly good fellows" was sung. Each of the soldiers, in a neat speech, thanked one and all for the kind remarks and the handsome gifts, before supper and dancing which continued till the small hours of the morning. On 27 December 1918 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. Then on 19 February 1919 he was appointed Temporary Sergeant, a rank he relinquished just two weeks later. James returned to New Zealand by transport "Chupra", leaving from London on 8 June 1919 and disembarking on 28 July 1919 at Lyttelton. He was one of six who then travelled on 29 July 1919 by special troop train to Temuka, where they were greeted with a hearty cheer and given fruit before processing tto the Post Office for the official welcome. On his return home he resumed farming at Kerrytown and later at Lyalldale. He married Mary Cecilia SCOTT in 1922 and they had three daughters and one son. Although he had only two known instances of sickness and none of wounds while abroad, he died at quite an early age and before his mother. His father had died in an unfortunate accident in 1912. James's funeral was held at St Andrews, followed by burial in Timaru. He had been a member of the Pareora-St Andrews Branch of the Returned Soldiers' Association and was accorded RSA honours at his funeral.


Cenotaph Database [31 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0040340) [08 September 2013]; Headstone image Timaru Cemetery (Timaru District Council) [09 August 2013]; Timaru Herald, 26 April 1912, 15 December 1916, 6 February 1917, 10 April 1917, 2 August 1917, 10 July 1919, 30 July 1919, Otago Daily Times, 04 July 1919 (Papers Past) [11 August 2013; 20 September 2013; 27 March 2014; 15 May 2014; 15 & 16 September 2014]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism index V.1.2 (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Computer Resources) [27 April 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [21 April 2014]; NZ Birth Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [18 April 2014]; Timaru Herald, 8 & 9 March 1937 (Timaru District Library) [23 September 2014]

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