LAING, James Simpson
(Service number 7/1631)
|First Rank||Trooper||Last Rank||Sergeant|
|Date||13 August 1893||Place of Birth||Arbroath, Scotland|
|Date||25 August 1915||Age||22|
|Address at Enlistment||Fairlie, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mr C.B. Laing (father), Caldham, Forfar, Scotland|
|Medical Information||Height 5 foot 8 1/4 inches, dark complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, weight 158 lbs, chest 33 inches|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|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|
|Campaigns||Egyptian, Gaza, & Gallipoli 1918|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medl|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|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
|Date||3 July 1966||Age||72|
|Place of Death||Wellington New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Cremated, 5 July 1966|
|New Zealand Memorials|
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); Ancestry.com.au; Wellington City Council Cemeteries database; NZ Marriages 1836-1956; SCROll web submission by H Dickson
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Ted Hansen (SC branch NZSG)
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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