McGILLEN, William Peter
(Service number 36472)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Warrant Officer Class Two


Date 21 June 1893 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 20 September 1916 Age 23 years 3 months
Address at Enlistment Alexandra Street, Temuka
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience B Company 2nd South Canterbury Regiment - serving
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs B. McGILLEN, Alexandra Street, Temuka
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 150 lbs. Chest measurement 34-37½ inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair fair. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing good. Colour vision normal. Limbs well formed. full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Teeth bad. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Scar on fron of right leg dued to injury 4 years ago.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Reinforcements, G Company
Date 19 January 1917
Transport Waitemata
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Army Service Corps

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)

Award Circumstances and Date

London Gazette, 3 June 1919. On 26th October 1918 in fron of Le Quesnoy. He took his Lewis gun and five men to a forward position, from which he broke up several attempts by the enemy to counter attack. He stuck to his advanced position and, though isolated, held on till he was relieved thirty-six hours later. On 4th November he personally rushed ahouse and killed five enemy with a bomb and captured fourteen more.

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 25 August 1919 Reason On termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 11 February 1982 Age 88 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Herald, 13 February 1982
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 244, Plot 991
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Peter McGillen was the second son of Patrick and Bridget (née Scully) McGillen. His bothers, John Joseph and Michael, also served in World War one.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [06 March 2017]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0073290) [12 March 2017]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [06 March 2017]; Temuka Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [06 March 2017]; Roman Catholic Baptisms Timaru (Christchurch Diocese CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [12 March 2017]; Timaru Herald, 13 February 1982 (Timaru District Council) [22 March 2017]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Currently Assigned to


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