(Service number 65163)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 6 April 1883 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 5 June 1917 Age 34 years 2 months
Address at Enlistment Care of G. WARNOCK, Redan
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Miss Janet WARNOCK (sister), Wyndham, Southland; Nelson Street, Hawthorne, South Invercargill
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 ft 6 in. Weight 151 lbs. Complexion dark. Eyes brown. Hair black. Sight – both eyes 6/6. Hearing good. Colour vision good.Limbs & chest well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Heart & lungs normal. Teeth – artificial except front lower; two teeth require stopping. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Good bodily & mental health. Slight defects but not sufficient to cause rejection. No fits.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 37th Reinforcements, B Company
Date 9 May 1918
Transport Maunganui
Embarked From Wellington Destination Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Wellington 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 22 November 1919 Reason No longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

20 October 1918 - admitted to hospital – sick. 29 October 1918 rejoined battalion from Field Ambulance. 23 November 1918 - admitted to 2nd NZ Field Ambulance – bronchitis; 27 November admitted to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station; 29 November admitted to 5th General Hospital, France. 8 December transferred to 2nd Convalescent Depot; discharged to Base Depot on 10 December. 17 December 1918 - admitted to 26th General Hospital at Etaples – dermatitis. 23 January 1919 admitted to Endell Street Military Hospital, London, from France; 27 January transferred to Hornchurch.

Post-war Occupations

Shepherd; farm labourer


Date 7 May 1969 Age 86 years
Place of Death Gore
Memorial or Cemetery Gore Cemetery
Memorial Reference Block 124, Plot 41
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Gavin Warnock was born on 6 April 1883 at Waimate, the second son of Gavin and Mary (née McLachlan) Warnock. Gavin and Mary, both from Scotland, had married in January 1875 at Dunedin. By 1878 the family was in the South Canterbury area, the birth of their third child and second daughter being registered at Timaru in that year. Gavin and Mary, with their young family, were living in the Waimate district by 1880. There four more children were born, including twins, Gavin and Mary. Mr Gavin Warnock was a farmer and contractor at Waimate. Gavin was surely educated at Waimate District High School, where his older sister Flora received a prize in 1887 and his sister Margaret in 1892. The following year his father received a prize at the Waimate Agriculture and Pastoral Association’s annual show. Mr Warnock was possibly one who made land available for a rifle range for the Studholme Mounted Rifles (1901-1903). G. Warnock won two prizes for butter at the 1905 Waimate Show, while Miss Warnock was mentioned for her scones. The third Warnock daughter, Margaret Helen, died at Waimate in 1899, aged 18 years. In November 1905, Mr Warnock sold his property at auction – “That Well-known Freehold Property of 149 Acres, Situated within 1 Mile of Waimate and Consisting of Rich Agricultural and Grazing Land now being worked successfully as a Dairy Farm. . . . . . .” It was described by the auctioneers as “a model dairy farm”. The following month, “near mouth of gorge, Waimate”, he sold the “whole of his live and dead stock”, which included not only good dairy cows and horses, but 20 hives bees.

From Waimate the Warnock family moved to Normanby, near Timaru, where Mr Warnock again took up farming. Mr Warnock soon became involved in the Kingsdown community. The first ordinary meeting of the Kingsdown Mutual Improvement Society, when a programme of songs, recitations, and readings was provided, several selections were given by Mr G. Warnock’s gramophone. He was appointed chairman for the next meeting. He was elected secretary at the annual meeting in May 1909, and regularly presided throughout the year. Gavin, junior, became a farm labourer at Pareora West, while his brothers, William and David were farm labourers at Kingsdown. It was at Normanby that Mrs Mary Warnock died in January 1910. She was buried at Timaru, their youngest daughter and Gavin’s twin, Mary, buried with her in 1911 and a little grandson, Gavin James, also in 1911.

In about 1914 Gavin Warnock, senior, had moved to Redan, Wyndham, Southland, perhaps to be closer to family members. Gavin, junior, had gone too, engaging farming. It was in September 1914 that young Lachlan Warnock, from Wyndham, and another boy from Sherwood downs, each took in a canary to O’Callaghan and LeCren’s mart, requesting that they be sold for the home Relief Fund. The two birds were knocked down to numerous bidders (who gave them back to the fund) and finally realised £26.10s. Lachlan, 6 years old, was of William’s youngest brother, David. In October 1914 David Warnock of Redan donated to the Southland Patriotic Fund. David Warnock returned to the Kingsdown area for some years, his children attending school there until 1920 when he sold his property and they moved to Southland. Mr D. Warnock was added to the Kingsdown Patriotic Committee in mid 1917.

Gavin Warnock and his brother-in-law, John McTaggart, passed the First Aid examinations conducted by St John Ambulance Association at Redan in November 1916. G. Warnock sold 79 ewes at the Wyndham stock sale in February 1917. Gavin enlisted on 5 June 1917 at Wyndham, aged 34 years 2 months. He was farming on his own account and gave his address as care of G. Warnock, Redan. Single and Presbyterian, he nominated his sister as next-of-kin - Miss Janet Warnock, Wyndham, Southland. Janet was later of Nelson Street, Hawthorn, South Invercargill. One person was absolutely dependent on him, probably his elderly father. He had previously served with the Waimate Volunteers until he left the district. He stood at 5 feet 6 inches, weighed 151 pounds, and was of dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. His sight, hearing and colour vision were all good, his limbs and chest well formed, his heart and lungs normal. He was in good bodily and mental health, being vaccinated and free of diseases, illnesses and fits. His teeth were artificial except the front lower, where two teeth required stopping. There were some slight defects but not sufficient to cause rejection (teeth?).

A special train left Dunedin on 18 September 1917 for Lyttelton with recruits for the 34thy Reinforcements. Included in the Invercargill quota, which had arrived in Dunedin the night before, was G. Warnock. The southern contingent paraded at the Early Settlers’ Hall before joining the Dunedin men at Anzac Square. A telegram from the mayor read in part: “May the 34th be the glory of New Zealand and the dread of her enemies. Good-bye, good luck.” The train moved off “with military precision” amidst cheers from those gathered. In January 1918 at Featherston, G. Warnock forfeited 15 days pay for overstaying his leave. He was transferred from one company to another on several occasions while at camp. Private G. Warnock embarked with the 37th Reinforcements at Wellington per “Maunganui” on 9 May 1918, destined for Liverpool, England. Having disembarked there on 24 June and marched into Sling on 25 June, it was not until 10 October that he proceeded overseas and joined his battalion in France.

Private Gavin Warnock must have seen very little action at the front, being plagued with illness. He was admitted to hospital, sick on 20 October 1918. Having rejoined his battalion from the Field Ambulance on 29 October, he was admitted to the Field Ambulance on 23 November, suffering from bronchitis. From there he was moved to the Casualty Clearing Station and two days later was admitted to hospital. After a couple of days at the Convalescent Depot, he was discharged to Base Depot on 10 December. Just a week later, he was admitted to the 26th General Hospital at Etaples, with dermatitis. Admitted to Endell Street Military Hospital, London, from France, on 23 January 1919, he was transferred to Hornchurch on 27 January.

He embarked on “Paparoa” at Glasgow on 1 April 1919. The Paparoa’s draft (No. 246), which disembarked on 24 May 1919, brought home to Invercargill, where their sister Janet was living, two brothers - G. Warnock, 65163, and W. Warnock, 38998. Gavin intended to return to Box 42, Mataura or Nelson Street, Hawthorne, Invercargill. It was not until 22 November 1919 that he was discharged, being no longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

After the war Gavin worked as a shepherd and farm labourer at Redan and in the Gore district, retiring in the mid 1950s. In latter years he lived with his sister Janet at Gore. His father, Gavin Warnock (late of Timaru), had died in September 1923 at his daughter’s residence at Redan. His brother William Warnock, also served in World War I. Gavin Warnock died at Gore on 7 May 1969, aged 86 years, his next-of-kin then being Mrs C. Golden , of Roslyn Bush near Invercargill. (Mrs Golden was his niece, a daughter of David Warnock.) He was buried at the Gore Cemetery, his sister Janet purchasing the plot. On enlisting he stated that he had previously made a Will which was held by solicitors at Invercargill. He had signed a new Will at Gore in 1963, appointing his nephew, Lindsay Warnock of Morton Mains, as trustee and executor. The proceeds of his estate were to pay the income of his sister, Janet Fleming Warnock, during her lifetime and, after her death, to go to his nephew Lindsay Warnock.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [03 September 2020]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5557 0119194) [06 September 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [18 August 2014]; Otago Daily Times, 20 January 1875, 21 November 1916, 19 September 1917, 1 May 1919, 6 September 1923, Timaru Herald, 24 December 1887, 14 November 1888, 28 December 1892, 7 April 1902, 1 April 1903, 15 November 1905, 18 November 1905 [x 2], 30 December 1905, 24 May 1907, 26 May 1908, 28 June 1909, 23 August 1909, 4 October 1909, 2 February 1910 [x 2], 7 September 1914, Otago Witness, 9 February 1910, Southland Times, 8 October 1914, 23 February 1917, 2 May 1919, New Zealand Times, 1 May 1919 (Papers Past) [19 August 2014; 03, 04 & 06 September 2020]; Gore Cemetery headstone transcription & burial record [03 September 2020]; Probate record (Archives NZ) [06 September 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [03 September 2020]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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