LOPER, William Joseph
(Service number 6/1609)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 17 April 1885 Place of Birth Waimate, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 12 December 1914 Age 29
Address at Enlistment Coronation Street, Waimate, New Zealand
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mr John Loper (father), Coronation Street, Waimate
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 5 foot 8 1/4 inches tall, weight 146 lbs, chest 34 inches, dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, good teeth

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 3rd Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 14 February 1915
Transport Manganui, Tahiti or Aparima
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian, Gallipoli, & Western Europe
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, 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 5 April 1917 Reason Medically unfit

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

28 Sep 1916, Somme: multiple shrapnel wounds to legs, left arm and head; December 1916 admitted to NZ General Hospital Brocklehurst, England

Post-war Occupations



Date 12 April 1957 Age 71
Place of Death Waimate, New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery Waimate Cemetery
Memorial Reference Plot 322, Block 17
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Born at Waimate on 17 April 1885, William was the second son of John & Annie (nee Butler) Loper, of Coronation Street, Waimate.

At the outbreak of war, he was employed as a labourer by Mr H. Ruddenklau, Waimate. Enlisting at Timaru on 12 December 1914, he was described as single, aged 29, 5 foot 8ΒΌ inches tall, weighing 146 lbs, chest 34 inches, of dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, good teeth and Anglican. His last address was given as the same as his father's, Mr John Loper of Coronation Street, Waimate, who he also gave as his next of kin. Trained with 2nd Company, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, he embarked from Wellington with the 3rd Reinforcements for Suez, Egypt, on 14 February 1915, on either the SS Maunganui, Tahiti or Aparima, arriving 26 March. After Egyptian service, he landed on the Dardanelles on 9 May 1915.

Surviving Gallipoli, he returned to Egypt where he embarked on 6 April 1916, from Port Said, for France. On 28 September 1916, during the battle of the Somme, he received multiple shrapnel wounds to the legs, left arm and head. After evacuation for treatment at the NZ General Hospital, Brocklehurst, England, he was returned to New Zealand on 8 March 1917, and discharged as unfit for further military service on 5 April 1917. William was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service. William's brother, John Wesley Loper (no. 2/3571), also served with the NZ Field Artillery in France.

In 1919, William married Winifred Joyce. They lived the remainder of their lives in Waimate, where he worked as a labourer and freezing worker. William died on 12 April 1957, and is buried in the Waimate Lawn Cemetery.


Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015);; Archives NZ (Personnel Record); NZBDM Historical Records; NZSG Index V5; Waimate District Council cemeteries database

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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