PETRIE, William Avenal
(Service number 3/1415)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 7 May 1893 Place of Birth Invercargill, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 24 November 1915 Age 22
Address at Enlistment C/- W. Lamborn, Geraldine
Occupation Mechanic
Previous Military Experience B Company, 2nd South Canterbury Regiment & Sergeant No.6 Mounted Ambulance
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs W. Petrie (mother), 47 Bank Street, Timaru, New Zealand
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 foot 10 inches, weight 160 lbs, chest 34 inches, dark complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair, teeth good

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation NZ Medical Corps
Unit, Squadron, or Ship NZ Medical Corps
Date 4 December 1915
Transport Hospital Ship Marama (NZ Hospital Ship No.2)
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Medical Corps

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian, Salonika, and 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 21 August 1919 Reason End of war

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Mechanic/Carpenter & Builder


Date 20 June 1962 Age 69
Place of Death Timaru, New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William was born in Invercargill on 7 May 1893, the son of William & Grace Petrie.

Before enlisting at Timaru on 24 November 1915, he was working as a mechanic at Geraldine, for W. Lamborn, Garage proprietor, and gave this as his last NZ address. He was single, aged 22, 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighing 160 lbs, had a chest measuring 34 inches, of dark complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair, having good teeth and of the Presbyterian faith. His mother was living at 47 Bank Street, Timaru, and he listed her as his next of kin. Private Petrie had had previous military experience, having served with B Company, 2nd South Canterbury Regiment, and as a Sergeant with Number 6 Mounted Field Ambulance. He was posted to the NZ Medical Corps and embarked with them from Wellington, on 4 December 1915, aboard SS Marama (NZ Hospital Ship Number 2), bound for Suez, Egypt, arriving 11 January 1916.

William was to serve in Egypt until being posted on 27 January 1916, to No 1 NZ Stationary Hospital, Salonika. After his return to Egypt, he embarked from Alexandria on 2 June 1916, for service with the NZ Stationary Hospital in France. On 17 June 1919, he embarked from England aboard SS Briton, for his return to NZ, arriving home 23 July. Having completed his war time engagement, he was discharged from the army on 21 August 1919. For his service, William received the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

1919 saw William back in Geraldine, working as a mechanic. In 1920 he married Evelyn Marion Dale. From 1928, he is listed on the electoral rolls as working in Timaru as a carpenter/builder. In 1932 he was the employer’s representative on the NZ Builders and Contractors Federation. 1936 saw him elected vice president and, in 1937 at the Timaru conference, was elected unanimously as president of the federation, and again in 1938 at Hamilton.

William died in Timaru, on 20 June 1962, aged 69.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotpah Database (August 2015); Military Personnel file at NZ Archives (August 2015); NZ BDM Historical Records at (1 September 2015); Ancestry at (1 September 2015); Papers Past: Evening Post, 13 December 1932, p11 "Rates of Pay declined by Unions" (1 September 2015) and New Zealand Herald, 19 February 1938 "BuildingFederation: New Officers Elected" (2 September 2015); New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 at (2 September 2015)

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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