LAING, James Simpson
(Service number 7/1631)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Sergeant


Date 13 August 1893 Place of Birth Arbroath, Scotland

Enlistment Information

Date 25 August 1915 Age 22
Address at Enlistment Fairlie, New Zealand
Occupation Mechanic
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mr C.B. Laing (father), Caldham, Forfar, Scotland
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 foot 8 1/4 inches, dark complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, weight 158 lbs, chest 33 inches

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 7th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 9 October 1915
Transport Aparima, Navua or Warrimoo
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With Ordnance Corps (as Sergeantt Armourer)
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian, Gaza, & Gallipoli 1918
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medl
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 27 May 1919 in England Reason End of war

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

20 August 1916 wounded Canal Zone Egypt; April 1917 wounded in Gaza

Post-war Occupations



Date 3 July 1966 Age 72
Place of Death Wellington New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery Cremated, 5 July 1966
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James was born in Arbroath, Scotland 13 August 1893, son of Mr C.B. Laing of Caldham, Forfar, Scotland.

On enlisting 25 August 1915 in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, he gave his address as Fairlie, occupation as mechanic and his father as his next of kin. He was described as being aged 22, 5 foot 8 ¼ inches tall, of dark complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, weighing 158 lbs and chest measuring 33 inches and of the Presbyterian faith. James embarked for Suez with the 7th reinforcements, C Squadron, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, from Wellington on SS Aparima, Navua or Warrimoo on 9 October 1915, arriving between 20 – 30 November 1915.

James was later seconded to the Ordnance Corps as a Sergeant Armourer and served in Egypt from 1915 until 1918 being twice wounded, once in the Canal Zone on 20 August 1916 and at Gaza in April 1917. He also served in the Dardanelles from November 1918 until January 1919 and received the Gallipoli Medallion for that service. James took his discharge in England on 27 May 1919 but later returned to New Zealand, as in 1923 he was working for Pomeroy’s Motor Engineers Hamilton. For his war service he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

A grandson recounts that after the war James married Annie Allan Winning in Forfar Scotland, on 11 February 1920. They returned to New Zealand where they lived in Remuera, Auckland. The couple had two daughters, Allison Winning Laing and Jean Duncan Laing, and moved to Sydney about 1928. James though deserted his family in 1930, leaving them in Sydney, while he returned to New Zealand.

In 1937 James married Marcia Margaret Peters and was living in Christchurch, his occupation being sales manager. He rejoined the army for service in WWII on 14 October 1940 (no.824063), serving with the 10th Heavy Regiment RNZ Artillery in Australia, Fiji and Noumea, ending the war with the rank of Major. From 1946 to 1949 he was in Mt Victoria, Auckland, still serving as a soldier. In 1950, he married Sybil Martin Williams, was living in Wellington, and was still a soldier. From 1957 to 1963 he was still in Wellington, but now working as an, engineer

James died in Wellington on 3 July 1966, at the age of 72. His next of kin was Mrs S.M. Laing, 101 Oban Street, Wellington. James was cremated on 5 July 1966.


Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015); Archives NZ (Personal File);; Wellington City Council Cemeteries database; NZ Marriages 1836-1956; SCROll web submission by H Dickson

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen (SC branch NZSG)

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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