McAULEY, Frederick Henry
(Service number 7/979)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank


Date 15 September 1893 Place of Birth Oamaru, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 29 December 1914 Age
Address at Enlistment Timaru, New Zealand
Occupation Labourer (for J Armstrong, Timaru)
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Peter McAuley (father), Totara Tahi, Oamaru, New Zealand
Religion Non-Conformist
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 132 lbs. Chest 33 to 37 inches. Complexion fair with light blue eyes, light brown hair, good eyes and fair teeth.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 4th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 17 April 1915
Transport HMNZT 21 Willochra, or HMNZT 22 Knight Templar, or HMNZT 23 Waitomo
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Cycle Corps

Military Awards

Campaigns Balkans (Gallipoli) 1915, Egyptian 1915-1916, Western European 1916-1918
Service Medals 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Gallipoli Medallion (1996)
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 22 January 1919 Reason Discharged in consequence of no longer being physically fit for war service (Influenza debility)

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

12 July 1916 - Admitted to No.2 NZ Field Ambulance - rhuematism; rejoined unti 14 July. 5 September 1916 - Sent to No.11 Stationary Hospital, Roeun - sick; 8 September embarked on Hospital ship for England; 10 September admitted to No.1 NZ General Hiospital, Brokenhurst England; 21 October - Trabsferred to NZ Convalescent Depot. 17 November 1916 - Admitted to Venerial Hospital; discharged 27 February 1917. 7 November 1917 - Evacuated, sick, to No.4 NZ Field Hospital; 9 November - transferred to No.10 Stationary Hospital; 11 November - Admitted to No.51 General Hospital, Etaples. Discharged 19 December. 30 May 1918 - Evacuated to hospital, sick; 8 June - re-joined unit. 29 July 1918 - Evacuation to hopsital, sick. Admitted to No.48 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS); 2 August - transferred to hospital, Rouen; 9 August - evacuated to England on "St Patrick"; 10 August - Admitted to No.1 NZ General Hospital; 31 October - classified as unfit for service.

Post-war Occupations


Date 6 September 1965 Age 71
Place of Death Seadown, Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Frederick, born in Oamaru, was the son of Mary Jane nee Matthews and Peter McAuley.

Frederick enlisted in December 1914 at Timaru (working there for J Armstrong), having previously been rejected for service with a sprained back. He joining the Canterbury Mounted Rifles as a Trooper. Along with his unit he embarked from New Zealand on 17 April 1915. On arrival he was posted to the 8th (South Canterbury) Mounted Rifles at Mudros in October 1915, on his (or his unit's) return from the Gallipli peninsular. They returned to Egypt, disembarking at Alexandria on 26 December. During this time he would have had news of his brother, John Alexander McAuley, who died of disease at sea after being evacuated from Gallipoli in June 1915.

In the reorganisation that followed the Gallipoli campaign Frederick was posted to the 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment at Moascar in February 1916, prior to embarking from Egypt for France in April. During this time, on 31 March 1916, he was posted to 12th Neslon Company. Three months later, in France, he was admitted to No.2 Field Ambulance while in the field with rhuematism. Two days later, on 14 July 1916 he rejoined his unit. Conditions on the front saw Frederick fakling sick again two months later, this time being admitted to No.11 Stationary Hospital, Roen, on 5 September, before being transferred back to England where he was admitted to No.1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst on 10 September. Just over a month later Frederick was on the improve, being transferred to the NZ Convalescent Depot. In mid November though he was admitted to the Venerial Hospital for almost three months, being discharged on 27 Febraury 1917.

On 2 May 1917 Frederick transferred to the 3rd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment, and proceeded overseas to France. Two months later, still in France, he was appointed Lance Corporal on 14 July 1917. In October he was temporarily attached to the Reinforcement Camp for just over a week before returning to his unit. In October he enjoyed a week's leave in Paris and shortly after rejoining his unit he was futher promoted to Corporal on 3 November 1917. Sickness struck once again soon after, as he was evacuated to No.4 Field Ambulance on 7 November 1917. After two days he was transferred to No.10 Stationary Hospital at St Omer, then No.51 General Hospital at Etaples on 11 November. Discharge came over a month later on 19 December 1917, after which he was attached to Base Depot at Etaples until rejoining his unit on 17 January 1918.

On 18 February 1918 Frederick transferred to the NZ Cyclist Corps where he was posted to 1st Company. A month later, on 7 March, at his request, he relinquished his rank of Corporal, and returned to the ranks as a Private. Less than a week later he was awarded another leave of almost a month's duration. Back with his unit for less than a month, illness struck again when he was evacuated sick on 30 May 1918. After two weeks, he re-joined his unit on 8 June. The rigours of service appear to have continued to take a toll on Frederick though, as about six weeks later, on 29 July 1918, he was evacuation to hopsital, sick again. He followed a standard form of military triage from there, starting with his initial admission to No.48 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS). A few days later on 2 August he was transferred to hospital at Rouen for further treatmeant. After a week there he was evacuated to England on "St Patrick" on 9 August, and on arrival was admitted to No.1 NZ General Hospital, Brokenhurst, the next day. Finally, on 31 October, he was classified as unfit for service.

Frederick enjoyed a brief period of leave at Torquay from 29 October until 12 November, before preparing to return home. His war now over, Frederick finally embarked for home from Liverpool on the SS Tahiti on 3 December 1918. After arriving home Private Frederick McAuley was discahrged from service on 22 January 1919, classified as no longer fit for war service due to illness. He had served a total of 4 years and 37 days, all but 132 of those overseas. After the war he initially intended to head back to Oamaru, but his service records show he went to the Upper Sanitorium, Chasmere, Christchurch. Frederick's service medals were sent to him at Totora, Oamaru when his medals were actioned in the 1920s. Much later, well after it was first issued, a Gallipoli Medallion was issued on his behalf in 1996.

Married J McAuley?

Frederick later became a Jevoh's Witness. In 1940 the government declared Jehovah's Witness', a group of only a few hundred, as a subversive movement. In late 1940 William Meehan attempted to force his way into a Witness meeting in Oamaru. Armed with a rifle and bayonet, an usher at the door attempted to prevent his entry. Struggling with Meehan, the usher's hand was cut. While the pair continued to wrestle, Meehan dicharged his rifle - shooting another man coming to investigate the disturbance. The man shot was Frederick McAuley, a military pensioner, who had travelled from his home in Otipua Road, Timaru, with two friends to attend the meeting where he served as an usher. At the court hearing one of the witnesses was a constable, wh stated he had been instructed to attend the meeting in plain clothes, under cover. He took charge of the assailant and reported that the accussed was 'highly excited' and stated "I would do it again. Fifth column b----s. That's the way to get rid of Fifth Columnists." Frederick's wound proved to be serious, and his right leg had to be amputated. Meehan was charged with attempted murder. Months later Frederick wrote to his attacker, forgiving him for his attack. His words speak to the strength of his beliefs: "In the spirit of good will and friendliness, I would like to make it quite clear that I have no ill feeling whatever toward you and am glad to do as Jesus advises, namely, to forgive those who trespass against us.” Meehan was eventually aquitted of attmepted murder, his counsel stating "His present predicament is due to a misguided sense of patriotism". Instead he was found guilty of assualt and, having already been imprisoned for some months, was sentenced to two months hard labour in early 1941.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (5 May 2014); Notes by E P McAuley given to Tony Rippin, 28 January 2014 (with 2014/011); NZ Historical BDM records (bdmhistoricalrecords,; SCRoll submission by B Watson, 4 February 2021; "Jehovah’s Witnesses in New Zealand​—Peaceful and Devout Christians?" on Jehovah's Witness at ; "Further remand" in the Ashburton Guardian 1 November 1940, "Shooting affray at Oamaru" in the Press 11 & 12 December 1940, and "Meehan sentenced" in the Evening Post 7 February 1941, all courtesy of Papers Past at ; Military Service records held by Archives NZ (February 2021)

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Ann Munro, SC branch NZSG; Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB