LOACH, Thomas Victor
(Service number 7/742)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 15/10/1892 Place of Birth Orari, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 19 October 1914 Age 32
Address at Enlistment Washdyke, Timaru, New Zealand
Occupation 15 October 1882
Previous Military Experience South Canterury Mounted Rifles
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mr Joseph Loach (father), Orari
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 5 foot 5 inches tall, weight 148 lbs, chest 32 1/2 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, good teeth

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 2nd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 14 December 1914
Transport Verdala, Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian
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 5 May 1915 (in Egypt) Reason Misconduct & being an undesireable

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

VD Hospital Cairo (twice)

Post-war Occupations


Date 18 February 1960 Age 77
Place of Death Hawea Flat, New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery Hawea Flat, Central Otago
Memorial Reference Block 4, Plot 41
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Thomas was born at Orari, on 15 October 1883, to Joseph and Harriet Loach.

Prior to enlistment Thomas was employed as a horse breaker by Mr C.H. Ensor of Washdyke and did not have an enviable record with the law. Enlisting at Timaru on 19 October 1914, he was described as being aged 32, 5 foot 5 inches tall, weighing 148 lbs, chest measuring 32½ inches, of fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, good teeth, single and an Anglican. His records also stated he had served for nine months with the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles. After a rocky start to military life, he left Wellington on 14 December for Suez, Egypt, with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 2nd Reinforcements, aboard the SS Verdala, Willochra or Knight of the Garter. He was admitted to the isolation hospital aboard the transport a few days after leaving Wellington, suffering from VD. After reaching Hobart, he absented himself without leave and again deserted from the transport at Colombo. Finally, after reaching Egypt on 5 February 1915, he was admitted to the VD Hospital after which he promptly went AWOL, absented himself again at Zeitoun on 21 March, gave further trouble on 27 March and after further hospital treatment, again went absent. In Egypt on 5 May 1915, he was discharged from the army for misconduct, his services no longer required and returned to New Zealand on SS Tahiti.

On 29 November 1916 at Dunedin, he married Elsie Christobel McLennan. The following year he was working for Mr F. Stocker at Washdyke, when he was reballoted for war service. Medically boarded at Timaru on 3 May 1917, he entered camp on 28 May for training with the 30th Reinforcements. Again he absented himself without leave when it suited him, and was continually being put back from embarking, finally being part of the 40th reinforcements. On 10 October 1918 he was court-martialled for desertion and losing his equipment, sentenced to 112 days detention and demobbed on 13 January 1919. After the war he wrote to the “Truth“ newspaper complaining about not being awarded his war medals, but the reply from the Defence Department was not very complementary.

Thomas died at Hawea Flat on 18 February 1960, aged 77 years.


Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015); Archives NZ (Personal File); Queenstown Lakes District Council cemeteries database; NZSG Index V5

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen (SC branch NZSG)

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB