(Service number 12/310)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||14 November 1892||Place of Birth||Orari, Canterbury|
|Date||14 August 1914||Age||21 years 9 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Waihi|
|Previous Military Experience||Territorial Force, 2nd Regiment, G Company - still serving|
|Next of Kin||Samuel BATES (father), Orari, Canterbury|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 10 inches. Weight 131 lbs.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Main Body|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Auckland Infantry Battalion|
|Date||16 October 1914|
|Transport||Star of India or Waimana|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Auckland Infantry Battalion|
|Campaigns||Balkan (Gallipoli); Egyptian|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||27 March 1916||Reason|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||8 August 1980||Age||87 years|
|Place of Death||Cromwell|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Cromwell Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Block 35, Plot 42|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Robert Bates was born on 14 November 1892 at Orari, South Canterbury, the fourth son of Samuel and Martha (née Mawhinney) Bates. Samuel and Martha had married in 1878 in Londonderry, North Ireland and come to New Zealand later that year. They soon settled at Orari, South Canterbury. His mother died in 1898 and his father in 1916 at Orari. Robert was probably educated at South Orari School where, on occasion, his siblings featured among the prize-winners.
Robert Bates enlisted on the outbreak of war, by which time he was living at Waihi, and left with the Main Body. He nominated his father, Samuel Bates, Orari, as next-of-kin. Private Robert Bates embarked for the return to New Zealand per the “Willochra” on 25 September 1915, after one year and 14 days overseas. The special train bringing home returning soldiers reached Orari on Sunday night, 31 October 1915, where Privates P. Beatty and R, Bates were met by Major Kennedy who welcomed them and assured them that their services were greatly appreciated. He initially intended to return to Orari, but this was changed to Struan, Hakataramea via Oamaru.
Robert married Molly Letitia McLean in 1938. He died on 8 August 1980 at Cromwell, aged 87 years, and was buried in the local cemetery. Molly, who was considerably younger than Robert, died in 1982. His oldest brother, William Bates, was killed in action in 1918 in France. Another brother, Thomas Bates, also served in World War I. Samuel Bates, junior, appealed, his appeal being allowed as he had been passed by the Medical Board as fit only for home service.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 September 2020]; Cromwell Cemetery burial record [09 September 2020]; Timaru Herald, 2 November 1915 (Papers Past) [09 September 2020]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
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