O'CONNOR, Hugh Patrick
(Service number 10/3689)

First Rank Private Last Rank Lance Corporal


Date 20 August 1893 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 18 October 1915 Age 22 years 1 month
Address at Enlistment Waipukurau
Occupation Storeman
Previous Military Experience 2nd South Canterbury (left district); Territorials (17th Ruahine)
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs M. O'CONNOR, Studholme Junction, Waimate
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 6 feet. Weight 12 stone 7 lbs. Chest measurement 33-38 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair fair. Sight, hearing and colour vision all normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - lost 2, rest good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No previous illness. No fits.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With B Company 11th Reinforcements

Military Awards

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 7 March 1916 Reason Instructions from the Adjutant General

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Salesman; service station attendant


Date 25 November 1951 Age 58 years
Place of Death Wairoa
Memorial or Cemetery Wairoa Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Hugh Patrick O'CONNOR was born in 1893 at Waimate, the son of James and Mary O'CONNOR. He had served in the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment before he left the district, and he had registered for compulsory military training at Waimate. When he enlisted, Hugh was living at Waipukurau and was employed as a storeman for Hawkes Bay Farmers.

In November 1915 he was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. Hugh was admitted to hospital at Trentham in 1916. Thereafter, in early January 1916, he was granted brief sick leave. Hugh was discharged in March 1916. At this date he was deemed of very good character. No reason for his not proceeding overseas is apparent. He seemed to be be a well built, fit young man. Perhaps it was a consequence of his hospitalization in 1916.

After the war Hugh married May BEACHEN in 1920. Hugh’s grandson Paul recounts:

“May Beachen passed away; when her son (my Father) Alan Lloyd O'Connor was 4 years old. I clearly remember my father sadly recounting a memory of his mother (May) coughing in the front room. He said: ‘I remember her coughing in the front room. She was taken to hospital, she died. I never saw her again’. Some years later Hugh O'Connor married deceased May's sister Ivy Beachen; evidently helping to raise the five siblings. Ivy was Nick named ‘Dick’ after a much earlier boyfriend ‘Dick’ (Possibly Richard) who had been sent to war. We grandchildren knew her as Auntie Dick; as that name had stuck for her adult life. She recounted to me that when Dick got a letter from her breaking off the relationship; he reportedly cried. Ivy told me that for her there was no doubt; she definitely wouldn't marry a man who cried!. Likely others baited her about it; nick naming her ‘Dick’ and hence Auntie Dick. Years later after Hugh passed; she lived with her brother Harry Beachen in Napier. New Zealand.”

Hugh had died in 1951 at Wairoa where he had lived since the late 1930s. As his graqndson recounted, after May died in 1936 Hugh had married Ivy. In early 1952, Hugh's elder son, Eric Hugh O'CONNOR, applied for the grant of Letters of Administration in regard to his father's estate, effects and credits, since Hugh had left no Will. His siblings - Alan Lloyd O'Connor, June Mills, Gwendolyn May McKenzie and Nola Margaret O'Connor, as well as his step-mother, Ivy, consented to this application.

Hugh's granddaughter, Cheryl Neame recounted: "Hugh named his house in Wairoa "Studholme" after the property his parents held near Waimate ... I remember my father saying Hugh had a fine singing voice".


NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5549 0087646) [04 December 2014]; Probate Record, 1952, Timaru Court (Archives New Zealand/FamilySearch) [05 December 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (DIA historical records) [04 December 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [05 December 2014]; Wairoa Cemetery headstone transcription (South Canterbury Branch NZSG cemetery records microfiche) [15 September 2016]; SCRoll web submission from C Neame, 24 February 2015; SCRoll web submission by P O'Connor, 24 May 2019

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