FINCH, Thomas Henry
(Service number 55466)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 29 April 1890 Place of Birth Waimate, South Canterbury

Enlistment Information

Date 5 May 1917 Age 27 years one month27 years 1 month
Address at Enlistment 32 William Street, Timaru
Occupation Painter
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Charlotte Finch (mother) 32 William Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Weight 116 lb, fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship C Company, 15th Reinforcements
Date 24 September 1917
Transport HMNZT 90 Ulimaroa (His Majestys Troopship 90)
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With 2nd Entrenching Battalion; 2nd Canterbury Infantry Regiment.
Last Unit Served With 2nd Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
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 29 March 1919 Reason Discharged on account of wounds received in action (gunshot wound right shoulder).

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

7 June 1917 - No 9 Australian Field Hospital - Wounded in action. 8 June 1917 - No 56 General Hospital, Etaples. 10 June 1917 - NZ General Hospital, England. Convalescent Hospital - Hornchuch.- Gunshot Wound Right Hand. 14 November 1917 - 3rd NZ General Hospital, Codford - Scabies. 23 January 1918 - 3rd NZ General Hospital, Codford - Mumps

Post-war Occupations

Painter for Graigies Paint and Wallpaper; Painter for Education Board painting schools in South Canterbury.


Date 16 May 1983 Age 89 years
Place of Death Gisbourne, New Zealand
Notices Timaru Herald 12 November 1988
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section Row 140 Plot 154
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Thomas Henry Finch, the son of Alfred and Charlotte Finch, was born on 29 April 1890.

Thomas was a painter and worked for Mr A. C. Jones in Hatton Street, in Timaru. Thomas enlisted on 5 May 1917. His medical exam describes him as being single, 27 years and one month old, a Presbyterian, 5 feet 3 and a quarter inches tall with brown hair and grey eyes. He was of a fair complexion and weighed 116 lbs.

Private Finch embarked onboard the Ulimaroa on 27 July 1917. While he was onboard the ship, private Finch got into a bit of trouble when he refused to obey an order. His punishment was a forfeiture of seven days pay. He disembarked in Plymouth and was posted to the Canterbury Regiment 4th Reserves Battalion on 24 September 1917. He was then posted overseas on 26 October 1917 and transferred to the 1st Canterbury Infantry Regiment on 30 October 1917.

On 7 February 1918 Thomas was admitted to hospital for the treatment of VD. On release from hospital Thomas joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion on 5 April 1918 and then transferred to the 2nd Canterbury Infantry Regiment of 28 August 1918. On 9 October 1918 Robert was again admitted to 26 General Hospital in Etaples, France, this time with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder. He was evacuated to the New Zealand General Hospital, Walton, London on 15 October 1918, and was transferred to the convalescent hospital in Hornchurch on 12 December 1918. Two months later Robert left England for New Zealand on board the Zealandic on 18 January 1919. He was discharged from the army on 18 March 1919 on account of wounds received in action. He had been overseas for one year and two hundred and nineteen days.

After the war, Thomas worked for Craigies Paint and Wallpaper, then later he worked for the Education Board painting schools all over South Canterbury. He also played cricket and served as an umpire. AFter the war Thomas also married Annie Maria (Dot) Averis. The couple had three children: Christina Maud, b. 1922; Thomas Henry, b. 1924; and Desmond Frederick, b. 1926.

Thomas passed away after a long life in 1983.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [4 February 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0039852)[6 March 2015]; Web submissions from D Hall, 22 September 2016

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Dianne Hall

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB