PILKINGTON, Charles Merritt
(Service number 7/801)
|First Rank||Sergeant||Last Rank||Lance Corporal|
|Date||2 August 1896||Place of Birth||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Date||13 December 1914||Age||18|
|Address at Enlistment||Woodbury, South Canterbury, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience||8th South Canterbury Rifles|
|Next of Kin||Mrs G.M. Pilkington (mother), Carleton School, Bennett's Junction, Woodbury, New Zealand|
|Medical Information||5 foot 10 inches tall, weight 141 lbs, chest 33 inches, dark complexion, dk grey eyes, black hair, false upper teeth, good lower teeth|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||3rd Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Date||14 February 1915|
|Transport||Maunganui, Tahiti, Aparima, or Navua|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Campaigns||Egyptian & Gallipoli|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||12 September 1916||Reason||Physically unfit|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
1 December 1915: Gunshot wounds to right arm. 5 December 1915: admitted to No.2 NZGH Alexandria. 21 December: transferred to NZGH Cairo. On return to New Zealand treated at Christchurch Hospital
Farmer, Traffic Inspector, Civil Servant
|Date||31 August 1983||Age||87|
|Place of Death||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland New Zealand|
|Memorial Reference||Ashes Protestant Berm B, Row 8, Plot 41|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Charles, second son of George Merritt and Anne Welby (nee Hadfield) Pilkington, was born in Christchurch on 2 August 1896. He received his primary education at the Silverstream and Woodbury Schools and secondary at Christchurch Boys High School.
Prior to enlisting on 13 December 1914, he was employed as a bank clerk at the Geraldine branch of the Bank of New South Wales. On his enlistment papers he made out he was two years older than he was by quoting his aged as 20 years, and his date of birth as 2 August 1894. This was quite common for those who were underage for overseas service. He was described as being single, Presbyterian, 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighing 141 lbs, chest measuring 33 inches, of dark complexion, dark grey eyes, black hair, having false upper teeth and the lower teeth good. He gave his next of kin, his mother, Mrs G.M. Pilkington of Carleton School, Bennett’s Junction, Woodbury, where his father was principal teacher, and his last New Zealand address as Woodbury, South Canterbury. Having had previous military service with the 8th South Canterbury Rifles he was enlisted with the rank of Sergeant in C Squadron, Canterbury Mounted Rifles. After training, he embarked for Suez, Egypt, with the 3rd Reinforcements from Wellington on 14 February 1915, aboard the Maunganui, Tahiti, or Aparima. While on route to Egypt his rank was reverted back to Corporal on 24 February. After Egyptian service he was posted, on 3 October 1915, to the 8th Mounted Rifles at Mudros, where he again dropped his rank back to Lance Corporal.
On 1 December at Gallipoli, he received a gunshot wound to his right arm, and on 5 December was admitted to 2 NZ General Hospital Alexandra. On 21 December he was transferred to NZ General Hospital Cairo. After further treatment, he was found unfit for further military service, and on 14 April 1916, discharged to New Zealand aboard the Hospital Ship Maheno, arriving in Lyttelton on 14 April. Further treatment followed at the Christchurch Hospital, and he was finally discharged from the Army on 12 September 1916, as physically unfit due to wounds received in action. Charles was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals for his service. His elder brother, Corporal Ronald Frank Pikington (no.8/267) was also serving in Gallipoli during this period with the Otago Infantry Battalion.
In October 1920 Charles married Miss Louisa Clare Bailey at St Mary’s Church, Addington. In May 1921, he was granted land under the Returned Soldiers scheme, and farmed at Southbridge for some years. There he was secretary of the Southbridge RSA, a keen rifle shooter, member of the Southbridge Athletics Club and tennis player. In 1935, he had moved to the Hawkes Bay area and was working for the Public Works Department at Tuai. During the Second World War he joined the 1st Battalion of the National Reserve on 9 July 1940 with the rank of Lieutenant, listing his current occupation as a Traffic Inspector. On 7 May 1942, he was discharged to join the Home Guard Traffic Control Section. On 5 March 1943 he was promoted to Captain and placed in charge of Number 1 Company at New Lynn and, in 1944, was the Traffic Inspector for schools. After the war he was recorded as a Traffic Inspector at Waitakere, chairman of the New Lynn RSA, and member of the New Lynn Bowling Club.
Charles' wife died in 1947. In 1948 he married again, this time to Frances May Thuell (nee Wade) and was farming at Henderson. 1957 saw him at Massey employed as a civil servant, 1963 at Greerton, Bay of Plenty, retired, and 1978, was living at Te Atatu, Auckland. In 1983, he was at Mt Roskill, Auckland, where he died on 31 August. Charles was cremated, his ashes being interred at the Waikumete Cemetery.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotpah Database (August 2015); Military Personnel file at NZ Archives (August 2015); Fam Net, The Family History Network at http://famnet.net.nz; Auckland Council Cemetery records at http://waitakere.govt.nz/cnlser/cm/cemeterysearch/cemeterydetails.aspx?id=12710 1 (2 September 2015); Papers Past at http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz: The Sun 14 April 1916 "Home again: The Maheno's Men", The Press 15 April 1916 "Sick and wounded: arrival of Maheno's contingent", Ellesmere Guardian 2 October 1920 "Pilkington-Bailey" wedding report, The Otago Daily Times 9 December 1915 "The Roll of Honour", and many more (2 September 2015); Ancestry at http://search.ancestry.com.au/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=allgs&gss=sfs63_home&new=1&rank=1&msT=1&gsfn=charles%20merritt&gsfn_x=1&gsln=pilkington&gsln_x=1&MSAV=1&cpxt=1&cp=14&catbucket=rstp (2 September 2015); NZSG NZ Burial Locator V2 NZSG NZ Marriages 1856-1956; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=205375 (2 September 2015)
- Waimate Trooper casualties - Waimate Daily Advertiser 21 August 1915 (pdf, 154.8 KB updated 20-Feb-2018)
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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