BATES, Robert
(Service number 12/310)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 14 November 1892 Place of Birth Orari, Canterbury

Enlistment Information

Date 14 August 1914 Age 21 years 9 months
Address at Enlistment Waihi
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience Territorial Force, 2nd Regiment, G Company - still serving
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Samuel BATES (father), Orari, Canterbury
Religion Church of England
Medical Information Height 5 feet 10 inches. Weight 131 lbs.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

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

Military Awards

Campaigns Balkan (Gallipoli); Egyptian
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star; 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 27 March 1916 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


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

Biographical Notes

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]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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