(Service number 11938)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 4 July 1894 Place of Birth Temuka, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 16 December 1915 Age 20 years 5 months
Address at Enlistment Clandeboye, Temuka
Occupation Farm labourer
Previous Military Experience 2nd South Canterbury Regiment
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs J. Prattley (mother) Temuka,
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighs 148lb, maximum chest measurement of 35 1/2 inches, minimum measurement of 33 inches, is of fair complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair. False upper teeth but bottom teeth good

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 11th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 1 May 1916
Transport HMNZT 51 'Ulimaroa'
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian and Westen European
Service Medals British War Medal and 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 22 October 1919 Reason Medically unfit on account of wounds received on active service

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

11 February 1915: admitted Featherston Camp Hospital: Measles. 1 October 1916: admitted No: 15 Field Hospital: General Hospital Birmingham: Wounded. no further details. 1 May 1918: admitted No: 47 General Hospital, France: No:1 NZ General Hospital: No:1 General Hospital, Broadhurst, England: Wounded in left Knee and right leg; left leg amputated.

Post-war Occupations


Date 22 May 1971 Age 76
Place of Death Christchurch, New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery Waimari Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference Block No: AN62, Plot 18
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James Prattley was born on 4 July 1894 in Temuka, the son of Eli and Jane Prattley (nee Mailings). James was one of seven children, having five brothers and one sister: Eli, b. 1884; Henry; John, b. 1886; George, b. 1988; Arthur, b. 1890; Ruth May, b. 1892; and Richard Luke (Dick) Prattley, b. 1897.

James lived at Clandeboye and worked as a farm labourer for Mr W. Seaward of Temuka. James was already serving in the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment when war broke out. Private Prattley (serial no. 1/1938) signed up for the 3rd Reinforcements but was turned down on medical grounds. James tried again and signed his attestation papers on 16 December 1915. The Medical Officer who conducted his medical examination on 8 December 1914, described him as being single, 20 years and 5 months of age, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighing 148lb. He had a maximum chest measurement of 35½ inches and a minimum of 33 inches, was of a fair complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair. He had false upper teeth but his bottom teeth were good. He gave his religion as ‘Church of England’.

On 11 February 1916, Private Prattley was admitted to the hospital in Featherston Camp with measles, but was discharged on 2 March 1916. Private Prattley embarked from Wellington on board HMNZT 51 Ulimaroa on 1 May 1916 with the 11th Reinforcements. They disembarked at Suez on 9 June 1916. James then embarked again in Alexandra on 26 July 1916 and went to South Hampton arriving on 7 August 1916 before marching into Sling Camp. A few weeks later James left Sling Camp for France on 25 August 1916, and was attached to strength at the Base Depot at Etaples on 21 August 1916. He joined the 2nd Battalion in the field on 22 September 1916. A month later, on 1 October 1916, Private Prattley was admitted to the No 15 Field Hospital then to the General Hospital in Etaples the next day. On the 7 October 1916, he was admitted to the 1st Stationery General Hospital in Birmingham and was then transferred to the New Zealand Hospital in Walton on 6 November 1916. He was returned to strength at the Command Depot in Codford on 8 November 1916. Attached to strength at the Reserve Battalion Sling on 13 January 1917, he was transferred to the 3rd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment and marched out to Codford on 30 March 1917. On 2 April 1917 James was posted to the 2nd Company. He was admitted to the 3rd New Zealand General Hospital again at Codford on 20 April 1917, before being sent to the Convalescent Hospital in Torquay on 25 May 1917. James eventually left for France from Codford on 29 May 1917, and was attached to the New Zealand Rifle Company in the field, rejoining his unit on 25 October 1917. Later James was given leave in Paris, from the 22 November until 2 December 1917. On his return he was attached to strength at the Base Depot and posted to the 4th New Zealand Infantry Regiment on the 17 December 1917. He re-joined his unit in the field on 4 February 1918.

On the 1 May 1918, Private Prattley was admitted to the No 47 General Hospital in France with gunshot wounds to his left knee and right leg; he was placed on the severely wounded list on the 5 May 1918. On the 10 May he was taken off the severely ill list and placed on the dangerously ill list. On the 27 May 1918 he was still on the dangerously ill list but was improving. He was embarked for England on 2 June and admitted to the No 1 New Zealand Hospital at Brockenhurst, England, on 7 June 1918 where his left leg was amputated and was placed back on the severely ill list. He was removed from the severely ill list on 8 June 1918 and was again transferred to another hospital - this time to Walton on 3 September 1918. James was supplied with an artificial limb (left leg) on 14 May 1919.

Hi war over, James embarked for New Zealand on board the Corinthic on 19 August 1919, disembarking in Wellington. He was discharged from the army on 22 October 1919 in consequence of being no longer physically fit for War Service on account of wounds received in action. James had served in the Western European conflict for 3 years 147 days and received the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

James had married Emily Eva Stidwell, in England on 16 July 1919; they met during the time that James was recovering from his injuries. James and Emily settled in Christchurch and lived at 25 Simeon Street, for all of their lives. James died aged 76, on 22 May 1971 in Christchurch and is buried in the Waimairi Cemetery.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database.[16 September 2016].NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5550 0094294).[2 October 2016].

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Researched and Written by

Dianne Hall

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