HATHAWAY, Alfred Denny
(Service number )

First Rank Warrant Telegraphist (Merchant Seaman) Last Rank


Date 31 July 1891 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Telegraphist
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with UK Armed Forces Served in British Admiralty
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals British War 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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Wireless operator


Date 15 November 1951 Age 60 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Alfred Denny HATHAWAY was born on 31 July 1891 at Timaru, the son of Alfred Henry, a well-known organ builder, and Rosina (née MEERS) HATHAWAY. Alfred attended Timaru Main School.

From an early age Alfred demonstrated an interest in telegraphy. In 1907 he scored well in elementary algebra and in engineering in his studies at the Timaru Technical School. In 1910 Alfred was living at home at 153 North Street, Timaru, and was employed in the Telegraph Office, Timaru. By 1911 he was a telegraphic student, living in London with his grandfather. And in August 1911 he left his name at the London office of the New Zealand Government.

He had gone to England to study wireless at Marconi's school, where he passed the Government and Marconi examinations with honours. He was appointed to the White Star liner “Megantic” and sailed in her as wireless operator from Liverpool for American ports on 30 March 1912. He may well have paid a visit home in May 1914, when he was the wireless operator on the "Rimutaka" on its voyage from Liverpool to Lyttelton; the liner arrived from Bluff in Timaru port on 18 June, for homeward loading, and sailed for Waitara two days later.

Alfred travelled extensively as a ship's telegrapher or wireless operator -in 1913 from Panama to Louisiana; in 1915 from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia; in 1921 from Liverpool to New Orleans, Louisiana.

In early March 1916, at a gathering of members of the Timaru Wireless Association, to farewell one of their members who was leaving to join the expeditionary forces, a letter received on that day from Mr Hathaway was read. That Mr Hathaway was Alfred Denny Hathaway who was working in England for the Marconi Company but by this time had been "loaned" to the British Admiralty for the duration of the war.

On 13 July 1920, Alfred was awarded the Mercantile Marine Ribbon and the British Medal Ribbon; on 30 September 1926 the Mercantile Marine Medal,; and later the British Medal.

Somewhere and at some time on his travels, Alfred married Emma Isabella (known as Isabella) - yes, he married Emma Isabella McTURK on 3 September 1918 at Christ Church, Georgetown, British Guiana (Timaru Herald, 7 December 1918). Isabella was the daughter of Sir Michael McTurk, who was from Scotland but went to British Guiana in the early 19th century and was the principal medical officer at Demerara there for 34 years.

Alfred and his wife arrived in New Zealand on the "Rangitata" in August 1934. They had settled in Timaru by 1946, and they took a trip back to England in 1950. It was to his wife that Alfred left everything as per his Will made just two months before his death. Alfred was a brother of Philip Henry HATHAWAY who also served in World War I.


Timaru Herald, 29 October 1907, 19 June 1914, 9 March 1916, 7 December 1918, New Zealand Herald, 21 August 1911, Evening Post, 9 May 1912, Press, 23 May 1914, 31 August 1934, Otago Daily Times, 25 May 1914 (Papers Past) [26 July 2014; 19 & 20 September 2015]; Medal Card reference (The National Atchives) [18 & 19 September 2015]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [18 September 2015]; Probate record (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [19 September 2015]; 1911 census return for St Pancras ( [18 September 2015]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) ]13 September 2015]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [18 September 2015]

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