THOMSON, George Edward
(Service number 58619)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 29 May 1897 Place of Birth Dunedin, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 26 May 1917 Age 20
Address at Enlistment 38 Edward Street, Timaru, New Zealand
Occupation Carpenter
Previous Military Experience 6 months with Territorial Force Field Ambulance
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Agnes Thomson (mother), 38 Edward Street, Timaru, New Zealand
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 5 foot 6 inches, weight 140 Lbs (64kg), chest 33 1/2-36 1/2 inches, brown eyes and hair, dark complexion

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 29th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Date 15 August 1917
Transport HMNZT92 Ruahine
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Glasgow, Scotland
Other Units Served With 2 Coy, 3 Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Last Unit Served With 2 Company, 3 Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western Europe
Service Medals 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 26 March 1919 Reason No longer physically fit for further war service on account of illness contracted on active service (debility)

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

6 December 1917 - No 4 NZ Field Ambulance - diarrhoea; transferred to No10 Casualty Cleasring Station same day; 14 December - admitted to No 14 General Hospital; transferred to King George Hospital London on 18 December;. 1 February 1918 - transferred to Walton on Thames. 26 March 1918 - transferred to Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch; 10 July 1918 - transferred to Walton; 24 October 1918 - discharged to Torquay.

Post-war Occupations

Carpenter & Joiner


Date 27 April 1964 Age 66
Place of Death Timaru, New Zealand
Notices NZ Internal Affairs 12 May 1964
Memorial or Cemetery Cremated
Memorial Reference Timaru Cemetery, General Section, Row 32, Plot 542 (Ashes in with mother)
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

George was born at Dunedin on 29 May 1897, the son of John (born in Scotland) and Agnes Thomson. He attended the Timaru Main School from 1902 to 1904, then Timaru South School from 1904 to 1911, reaching the sixth standard. After leaving school he took up an apprenticeship with the building firm of Shillito Brothers, who operated from LeCren Street, Timaru.

On 26 May 1917, at the age of 20, George enlisted at Timaru and was posted to C Company, Canterbury Infantry Battalion. Prior to enlisting he had had six months service with the territorial field ambulance and was still living at home. He was described as being 5 foot 6 inches tall, weighing 140 pounds (64 kg), chest measuring 33½ to 36½ inches, brown eyes and hair, and having a dark complexion. His mother, Mrs Agnes Thomson of 38 Edward Street Timaru, was nominated as his next of kin. On 15 August 1917, he left Wellington aboard HMNZT92 SS Ruahine, with the 29th Reinforcements, arriving in Glasgow, Scotland, on 2 October 1917.

From Glasgow George proceeded to Sling Camp where he marched in as part of the 4th Reserve Battalion, Canterbury Regiment. He then left for France from there on 26 October 1917. On 9 November he joined 3 Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 2nd Company, who were preparing to move into the Ypres Salient in mid-November. His time was short with the battalion as he was admitted to No 4 NZ Field Ambulance on 6 December with diarrhoea and transferred to No 10 Casulaty Clearing Station the same day. On 14 December he was sent to No 14 General Hospital. From there he was transferred to England where, on 18 December, was admitted to King George Hospital in London with debility. Further transfers followed: on 1 February 1918 to Walton on Thames; 26 March to the Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch; 10 July to Walton; and on 24 October, he was discharged to Torquay. Here he remained until boarding SS Tahiti on 3 December 1918 for his return to New Zealand, arriving home on 12 January 1919. After having served a total of 1 year and 305 days, he was discharged on 26 March as no longer physically fit for war service on account of illness contracted on active service. He was later awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

George returned to his home address in Timaru and continued in his trade of carpenter/joiner. On 12 January 1921, at St Mary’s in Timaru, he married Miss Recordia McGregor Bryant (1897-1989), daughter of Margaret and Richard Bryant. In 1928 they were living at 169 Church Street Timaru. From 1949 the couple were at 78 Wai-iti Road Timaru, where George died on 27 April 1965, aged 66 years. Recordia died on 9 January 1989, aged 91 years. Both had their ashes interred in with his mother Agnes, in the General Section of the Timaru Cemetery.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [September 2016]; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at; Assorted records at [November 2016];Timaru District Council cemetery records at [November 2016]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch, NZSG; Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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