MULDREW, William John
(Service number 26/1095)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 13 November 1885 Place of Birth New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 14 October 1915 Age 30 years
Address at Enlistment C/o Mrs Wenlow, Chappell Street, Timaru
Occupation Carpenter
Previous Military Experience 2nd South Canterbury Regiment
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Campbell (mother) Francis Street, Oamaru.Later his mother remarried and became Mrs S. Adams C/- Post Office.
Religion Anglican
Medical Information The Medical examiner described William as being 30 years of age, 5 feet 6 3/4 inches tall, weighing 140 lbs. He had a chest measurement of between 33 1/2 inches and 36 1/2 inches, a fair complexion with grey eyes and brown hair. He also had a tattoo of a mans face on the inside of his left forearm.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Main Body
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 3rd Battalion, Otago Regiment
Date 5 February 1916
Transport HMNZT 43 Makoia
Embarked From Destination Suez, Egypt (arrived 15 March 1916)
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With B Company, 4th Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade

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 21 October 1919 Reason Discharged on termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

15 September 1916 - wounded in action (left arm, severe, France) - transfered to the Hospital ship Stad Antwerpen; 2nd New Zealand General Hospital, Walton; 3rd New Zealand General Hospital, Codford; 23 March 1917 - Mumps - 3rd New Zealand General Hospital, Godford; 9 December 1918 - Repatriated with Tachicardia - New Zealand General Hospital, Hornchurch.

Post-war Occupations


Date 10 October 1941 Age 55 years
Place of Death Timaru
Notices Timaru Herald 11 October 1941
Memorial or Cemetery Oamaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William John Muldrew was born on 13th November 1885 in New Zealand.

When William enlisted his mother, Mrs Campbell was living on 14 October 1915. The Medical Officer described William as being 30 years of age, 5feet 6 3/4 inches tall, weighing 140lb, with a chest measurement of between 33 1/2 inches and 36 1/2 inches. He was of a fair complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair. William had a tattoo of a man's face on the inside of his left forearm. He was an Anglican, and at the time of his enlistment was working as a carpenter for Mr D.C. Turnbull.

Private Muldrew embarked with His Majesty's New Zealand Troopship (HMNZT) 43 The Makoia and disembarked at Suez in Egypt on 15 March 1916, where he was posted to D Company, 4th Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Private Muldrew embarked for France onboard the Atlaunia on 17 April 1916. A few months later, while Muldrew was serving in France, he was admitted to No 18 General Hospital on 16 September after being severely wounded in the left arm the day before. William embarked for England on the hospital ship "Stad Antwerpen" on 22 September 1916. The ship had only 18 cots on board for the wounded and four nurses and sisters to tend to them. The next day, after diembarking, he was admitted to the 2nd New Zealand General Hospital at Walton. He stayed here for a month, after which he was attached to the New Zealand Command Depot at Codford on on 24 October.

On 23 March 1917, Private Muldrew was again admitted to hospital, this time to the 3rd General Hospital at Codford, as he had contracted mumps. He stayed here for about two weeks, until on 6 April when he was again attached to the Command Depot at Codford. On 2 May 1917, Private Muldrew was posted to the 4th Brigade, 3rd Otago Infantry Regiment. The Brigade was posted back to France on 28 May 1917. On 20 February he was transferred to Battalion, and posted to B Company, 4th Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 14 April.

On 6 May 1918, Private Muldrew was reported missing, believed to be a prisoner of war. Eight days later Private Muldrew was unofficially reported sound, then on 19 June 1918, London received a communication from Private Muldrew, confirming he was being held as a prisoner of war in Germany. William was captured at Mailly, France, and on the 4 September 1918, it was discovered that he was being held at the Prisoner of War (POW) Camp Parchin, which was a distribution camp for a number of working commandos (smaller camps) from which the men would go out and work (mainly on farms) each day.

On 8 December 1918, Private Muldrew arrived in Dover in England, after having been released from captivity. He was admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital in Hornchurch, suffering from Tachicardia. After his recovery, on 6 January 1919, he was discharged from hospital and told to report to headquarters in London. When he marched in at Codford, he was given leave until 6 March 1919. However, when the 6 March arrived Private Muldrew did not. He went missing from 23.45 hours (11.45 pm) 6 March 1919 until 19.30 hours (7.30 pm) on the 14 June 1919. A Court of Enquiry was held at Codford and Private Muldrew was charged with being illegally absent from 6 March until 14 June 1919. He was found guilty and was sentenced to 28 days detention, and fined 128 days pay. He was held at Gosport Detention Barracks.

William returned to New Zealand on board the Horarata on 28 July 1919 and was discharged on the termination of his period of engagement, after 3 years and 231 days of service, on 21 October 1919. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

William died at Timaru on 10 October 1914. He is buried in the Oamaru Cemetery.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [31 October 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5546 0084153[29 November 2016]; Major- General Sir W.G. MacPherson,K.C.M.G., C.B., LL.D., (1921), Great War Hospital Ships and Ambulance Transports. History of the Great War; Medical Services. Vol 1. available at

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Researched and Written by

Dianne Hall

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