LANE, Alexander
(Service number 47154)

Aliases Known as Sandy or Alex
First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 11 February 1886 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 25 January 1917 Age 30 years 11 months
Address at Enlistment Waimate
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin G. HICKS (friend), Hunter School, via Waimate
Religion Church of England
Medical Information Height 5 feet 7¼ inches. Weight 153 lbs. Chest measurement 34½-37½ inches. Complexion ruddy. Eyes grey. Hair brown. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision both normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left arm). Fit, Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 25th Reinforcements, G Company
Date 26 April 1917
Transport Turakina
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
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 23 November 1919 Reason Termination of period of engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

20 December 1917, France – sick; 26 December admitted to 63rd Casualty Clearing Station. 26 May 1918 gunshot wound to head and face, possibly fracture - admitted to Casualty Station, 27 May to hospital, then to Convalescent Depot. 1 August 1918 gunshot wound to his right arm; 2 August admitted to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, France; reported not severe. 13 August 1918 embarked for UK per “Brighton”; admitted to No. 2 NZ General Hospital at Walton or No. 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst. 28 August transferred to Hornchurch. 12 September discharged to Codford. 15 November 1918, Codford, UK concussion in an accident. 10 December reported not severe.

Post-war Occupations



Date 17 October 1968 Age 82 years
Place of Death Waimate
Notices Timaru Herald, 18 October 1968
Memorial or Cemetery Waimate Lawn Cemetery
Memorial Reference Returned Service Area, Block 15, Plot 86
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Alexander Lane, known as Sandy, was born on 11 February 1886 at Waimate, the son of Frederick (Fred) and Matilda Louisa (née Dawe) Lane. Frederick and Louisa Matilda, who had married at Marnhull, Dorset, in 1870, came out from England in 1874 with at least two children. They settled at Waimate where eight more children were born. Sandy’s early life was probably quite simple, poor and tough. By 1886 Matilda was in difficulty over a mortgage and in 1891 she faced a court charge of stealing. In April 1886 Frederick was resisting attempts to evict him from the house he was occupying at Waituna, near Waimate. He had already been “turned out with his goods and chattels, and live stock, including some eight or ten children”, but the family had again effected an entrance into the house. He hoped that “their Worships would make an order so that he couldn't go to his wife any more.”

All this was going on just a few weeks after Alexander (8th surviving child) was born. Fred was gaoled, and Matilda would be too unless “she immediately vacates the house and land with all the little Lanes”. A few days later Matilda was remanded to the cells for twenty-four hours, to think over the matter. Matilda Louisa Lane died on 11 April 1893, aged 47 years, and was buried at Waimate. There is also a burial record for Matilda at Linwood Cemetery, Christchurch. In March 1896 Frederick was sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment for failing to comply with an order of the court for the maintenance of his children. And again, in September 1897 he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment for failing to comply with an order of the Court to contribute to the support of his three children (presumably the three youngest - Henry, Alexander and George). Yet again, in February 1900, Fred was before the Court, for failing to contribute towards the maintenance of his children, as per the order of 1896, the arrears of payment now being 44 pounds and 16 shillings. Alexander’s father died at the Waimate Hospital in July 1909, aged 63 years. After a service at St Augustine’s Church he was buried with Matilda. So, who really looked after little Alexander and his siblings? Maybe his older sister Clara. His next-of-kin, friend George Hicks, was the husband of his older sister Clara.

Alex Lane was educated at Waimate District High School, where he received first equal prize for boys in the Infant Room Class V in December 1895. His father or his brother Frederick acquired the parsonage paddock in Waimate in October 1904, and this is where Alexander and his brothers Frederick and William lived for the remainder of their lives, Henry and George before their marriages. His second oldest brother Fred was critically injured in an accident at Waimate on 10 July 1915 and died in the hospital less than a month later.

Alexander Lane, a labourer at Waimate, was drawn in the first military ballot for No. 10 (South Canterbury) recruiting district in November 1916. An older brother, William Edward Lane, was called up in 1917, while brothers Walter John Lane, Henry Lane and George Arthur Lane were listed in the Expeditionary Force Reserve in November 1917. Henry appealed and was deemed as fit only for home service. George Arthur Lane, a farmer, Waimate, also appealed, saying that he had eight employees and he wanted time to fix up his affairs. He had one brother at the front (Alexander). His case was adjourned sine die. Having enlisted on 25 January 1917 at Timaru, aged 30 years 11 months, A. Lane (Sandy) was one of the men who left Waimate by the first express, en route for Trentham, on 13 February 1917. He had also been medically examined on 25 January 1917 at Timaru. Alexander stood at 5 feet 7¼ inches, weighed 153 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 34½-37½ inches. His complexion was ruddy, his eyes grey and his hair brown. His sight, hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs were all normal, his limbs and chest well formed. Free of illnesses and diseases and was vaccinated, he was assessed as fit, Class A. Single and of Church of England affiliation, he named a friend as next-of-kin – Mr G. Hicks, Hunter School, via Waimate. This was surely George Hicks, the husband of his sister Clara Emily Lane. Alexander’s address was simply Waimate, although he was likely living on Parsonage Road.

Rifleman A. Lane embarked with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade of the 25th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington for Plymouth, England per the “Turakina” on 26 April 1917. He disembarked at Devonport and marched into Sling on 20 July 1917. He did acquire one entry on his conduct sheet - at Tidworth Pennings he was absent without leave from midnight 31 August 1917 till 2.30pm 1 September 1917, for which he spent 3 days confined to barracks and forfeited 1 day’s pay. Proceeding overseas to France on 14 October 1917, he was detached for duty with the Brigade Salvage Party in the Field on 6 December. Taking sick in France on 20 December 1917, he was admitted to the 63rd Casualty Clearing Station on 26 December 1917. He re-joined his Unit on 11 January 1918 and was again detached to the Brigade Salvage Company for the first week of February.

Back with the Rifle Brigade, he was reported wounded – gunshot wound to head and face, possibly a fracture - on 26 May 1918 and admitted to the Casualty Station and to hospital the next day, then to the Convalescent Depot. Back with his battalion throughout July, he was wounded in action for the second time on 1 August 1918 and was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in France the next day. He had suffered a gunshot wound to his right arm. Casualty List No. 928 listed his case as not severe. On 13 August, however, he embarked for the UK per the “Brighton” and was admitted to the No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton or No. 1 New Zealand General Hospital at Brockenhurst. On 28 August he was transferred to Hornchurch, from where he was discharged to Codford on 12 September. A. Lane, No. 47154, N.Z.R.B. 8th Battalion, suffered concussion in an accident on 15 November 1918. His statement read “On November 15th 1918 I was playing football and collided with another player.” He was admitted to the No. 3 New Zealand General Hospital at Codford. The hospital report issued on 10 December 1918, listed A. Lane of Waimate, but his was not a severe case.

On 27 September 1918 at Tidworth, he was issued with these Decorations - 2 Blue Service Chevrons, a field service ribbon and 2 wound bars. After 2 years and 184 days abroad, Alexander embarked at Plymouth per the “Remuera” on 12 September 1919, reaching Auckland on 26 October. Arriving at Colon on 2 October, the Remuera resumed her voyage on 3 October. He was discharged on 23 November 1919, on the termination of his period of engagement. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in Western Europe.

Sandy spent all his life in or near Waimate, living on Parsonage Road before and after the war, working as a labourer and dying there in 1968, survived by only one sister. It was on 17 October 1968 at Waimate that he died, at the age of 82. He was accorded RSA honours at his funeral and buried in the Returned Services area of the Waimate Lawn Cemetery. So, buried at Waimate are Alexander, his parents and five of his brothers, and other Lane relatives; only his eldest brother, Wilfred, and his three sisters are buried elsewhere. Two English cousins of Alexander served with the British Forces in World War One – Cecil Herbert Lane and Berkeley John Lane. Two other cousins emigrated in the 20th century and settled at or near Waimate – Wilfred George Lane and Alexander Edward Lane. Robert George Lane, a son of Alexander Edward, served with the New Zealand Forces and is buried in the Services area of Waimate Lawn Cemetery (1999).


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [05 October 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5541 0066067) [15 October 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [10 October 2014]; NZ Gazette 1916, 1917 [05 October 2014]; Waimate Cemetery burial records (Waimate District Council) [05 October 2014]; Waimate Lawn Cemetery headstone transcription (South Canterbury Branch Cemetery Records microfiche) [10 October 2014]; Timaru Herald, 3 February 1886, 5 & 10 April 1886, 16 October 1891, 24 December 1895, 27 March 1896, 18 September 1897, 5 February 1900, 15 October 1904, 12 & 13 July 1915, 10 August 1915, 25 November 1916, 12 February 1917, 7 November 1917, 13 December 1917, 6 June 1918, 17 August 1918, Lyttelton Times, 21 December 1895, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 23 July 1909, 12 February 1917, 8 June 1918, Sun, 5 June 1918, 9 October 1919, New Zealand Herald, 6 June 1918, Evening Post, 15 August 1918, NZ Times, 11 December 1918, Star, 12 December 1918, Dominion, 12 December 1918 (Papers Past) [04, 11 & 14 October 2014; 17 July 2015; 20 December 2015; 07 August 2016; 11 July 2017; 28, 29 & 30 May 2023]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( 07 & 11 October 2014]; Family records ( [11 October 2014]; Wound Bars & What are Chevrons (Great War Forum) [reference; 15 October 2014]; Decoding Photos - Wound Badge & Service Chevrons (National Army Museum) [reference; 15 October 2014]

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