OSBORNE, Thomas Edwin
(Service number 82072)

Aliases Known as Edwin
First Rank Corporal Last Rank


Date 27 February 1887 Place of Birth St Columb, Cornwall, England

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Timaru
Occupation Assistant storeman
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 43rd Reinforcements?
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Date *1918
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 8 June 1965 Age 78 years
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 37, Plot 211
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Thomas Edwin Osborne, known as Edwin, was the eldest of the three sons of Thomas Henry (Harry) and Mary Jane (née Teague) Osborne, of Cornwall, England. Edwin was at home with his family at St Columb, Cornwall in 1891, 1901 and 1911, before the family migrated to Timaru, New Zealand. He was a clay worker. In 1916 May Jane Osborne died at Timaru. Two younger brothers – William Henry Osborne and Harry John Teague Osborne – also served in World War I. All three were noted bandsmen in Timaru. Edwin married Kathleen Hancock in 1916. Kathleen lived to a hundred. Thomas Edwin Osborne, an assistant storeman in Timaru, was drawn in the ninth ballot and called up in mid 1917. South Canterbury’s quota of the 43rd Reinforcements, which included T. E. Osborne, was under orders to leave for camp in mid June 1918. There had been a delay for the 43rd Reinforcements to go into camp, until 23-27 July, because of training requirements. They were originally to go into camp early, in April. At a concert at the Caroline Bay rotundaon 16 June he was one of the bandsmen who made their final appearance with the 2nd South Canterbury Band, before leaving for the training camps. Corporal E. Osborne had trained the Timaru Boys’ High School Band since its inception. A farewell social for Corporal E. Osborne to be held at the Woodlands Street Methodist Church on 15 August had to be unavoidably postponed; a presentation was made on 28 August. The 43rd Reinforcements went on final leave in August. The 43rd Reinforcements were inspected on 12 September, the draft having completed training in New Zealand. It was described as thoroughly good, the physical standard high, and the exercises were carried out in a manner indicating earnest attention to training. The left wing of the 43rd Reinforcements, en route for the front, was reported from a port of call in mid October, a cablegram to the Minister of Defence stating that the general health of the troops was splendid. (The right wing had left in late August and reached its destination at the beginning of November.) The “Matatua” sailed from Wellington on 12 October 1918 with the left wing of the 43rd Reinforcements, which was the last reinforcement to leave New Zealand. Three days before the “Matatua” reached Sierra Leone, she received a wireless message that the armistice had been signed. The third wing, i.e. the left wing, reached its destination – England - safely by December. Adraft had gone into Sling Camp in November. T. E. Osborne may have returned to New Zealand by the “Ayrshire” which left Liverpool on 5 August 1919, or by the “Remuera” which reached Auckland in late October. It seems, however, that he was present at the annual meeting of the Band of the 2nd (South Canterbury) Regiment, held in mid May 1919, and elected to the committee. Thomas Edwin Osborne surely enlisted. Did he go abroad?

The Methodist Church of Timaru placed a handsome window in the Bank Street Church as a memorial for the war victims of the congregations. Apart from the names of the fallen appearing on the window, the names of all who served were inscribed in a book which was to be preserved in the Church. Included in the names were those of Harry John Teague Osborne, Thomas Edwin Osborne, William Henry Osborne. Meeting with a painful accident on 6 July, Mr T. E. Osborne received a letter of sympathy from the Methodist Church Timaru Circuit. Thomas Edwin Osborne had played with the 1st Canterbury Mounted Band (brass); he was conductor of the Timaru Munivcipal Band, and later elected bandmaster. At the opening of the Timaru Boy’s High School Memorial Library in March 1924, the school band, “whose instruments glittered in the sun, stood in a compact little body under the direction of Conductor T. E. Osborne.” Edwin’s sister Lottie married William Joseph Roseveare in 1909 in Cornwall. Lottie and William migrated to Timaru, where William enlisted in 1918.

The file of Thomas Arthur Osborne is attached to Thomas Edwin Osborne, 82072, on Archives NZ.


Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [22 March 2020]; 1901, 1911 census returns England ( [24 March 2020]; Timaru Herald, 4 July 1917, 15 June 1918, 5 & 7 July 1922, 21 March 1924, Taihape Daily Times, 13 September 1918, Taranaki Herald, 17 October 1918 (Papers Past) [March 2020]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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