PENNIE, William
(Service number 28913)

Aliases The family surname is also spelt "Penny".
First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 15 September 1893 Place of Birth Limerick, Ireland

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment C/- J McNamara, Arno, Waimate
Occupation Farm labourer for H Ruddenklau
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin John Pennie (father), Crohane, Shannagolen, County Limerick, Ireland; later changed to Miss Molly Hanley (neice), C/0 Mr G Webster, Nelson Terrace, Timaru
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 18th Reinforcements, J Company
Date 11 October 1916
Transport Tofua
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European, 1917-1918
Service Medals
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

29 September 1917 - Gun shot wound, leg & hand; 17 October Admitted to Brockenhurst; 8 November 1917 - reported as improving; 19 December - Transferred to Convalescent Depot, Hornchurch; 21 December - left Hornchurch, reported to Codford.

Post-war Occupations


Date 25 August 1918 Age
Place of Death Bapaume, France
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Waimate First World War Memorial (as W Penny?)

Biographical Notes

William Pennie's service records note that he was the son of John and Margaret Penny, of "Crohane, Shanogolden, Co. Limerick, Ireland". A current resident of the property commented (in November 2021) though that the house (now in ruins on his farm), was traditionally addressed "Croaghhane, Shanagolden, Co Limerick" or sometimes given as "Knockpatrick, Foynes, Co Limerick".

William spelt his surname "Pennie" in his attestation papers when he enlisted in June 1916. It seems he also gave his birth date incorrectly as 15 September 1893 on enlistment, as his birth appears to be registered in the County of Limerick on 23 Sepotember 1889 (under the surname Penny). The 1901 Census for Limerick backs this up - and the spelling of the family surname as Penny. These also show William (aged 12) living with his parents and older siblings Michael, aged 16, and Eliza, aged 17 as "Residents of a house 2 in Croaghane (Ballynacragga North, Limerick)". By 1911 the census shows that William had moved be part of the household "Residents of a house 4 in Knockpatrick (Shanagolden, Limerick)" where, aged 22, he was listed as a "servant" living with the Madigan family.

William was posted for training in New Zealand at Trentham. There he ran afoul of the military authorities and was (possibly somewhat harshly) confined to barracks for seven days after "Urinating in an empty urinal stand". 18th Reinforcements. He proceeded overseas on the Tofua with J Company of the 18th Reinforcements in October, landing at Plymouth, Devon, in England on 29 December 1916. There he marched in Sling Camp (Aldershot) for further training. On 1 February 1917 embarked for France. There, at Etaples, he would have received further training in preparation for heading to the front. In May he was charged with falling out on a route march and forfeited seven days pay, William was finally posted to 2 Battalion Canterbury Regiment in the field on 3 June 1917.

Three months after being posted to the front William suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the leg and hand on 29 September 1917. He was admitted first to the 2nd NZ Ambulance, then to 64 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) that day, before being transferred to No.12 General Hospital at Rouen on 2 October. On 16 October he embarked to return to England and was treated at No.1 New Zealand General Hospital at Brockenhurst. Improving, he was transferred to recuperate at the Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch on 19 December 1917, until returning to the base depot at Codford on 21 December 1917.

At Codford William was posted to A Company, 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Canterbury Reguiment in March 1918. Just prior to being sent back overseas he forfeited two days pay after overstaying his leave. On 14 April 1918 headed back overseas to France and rejoined the 1st Battalion, Canterbury Regiment. Four months later, on 25 August 1918, William was killed in action, part of the Alied forces in the early stages of the war's final offensive.

In the early 1920s, after the war, William's a scroll and service medals - a British War Medal and a Victory Medal - were sent to his father, John, still residing in the family home at Croaghhane in County Limerick.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [30 Dec 2013]; Military Record - Archives New Zealand, Wellington Office Item ID R20800362; SCRoll web submission by G O'Connor, 16 November 2021); 1901 and 1911 Census Records from the National Archives of Reland, available at and [accessed 23 November 2021]; Church Records, Civil Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths are the official State records of Births, Marriages and Deaths in Ireland (accessed 23 November 2021} - see Birth rergistrations for the County of Limerick at

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

John Sutherland, SC branch NZSG; Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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