GOWANS, Robert
(Service number 28871)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 6 May 1896 Place of Birth Fauldhouse, Scotland

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Rhodes Street, Timaru
Occupation Carpenter
Previous Military Experience 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Peter GOWANS (father), Rhodes Street, Timaru; 128 Cox Street, Ashburton
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

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 18th Reinforcements, J Company
Date 11 October 1916
Transport Tofua
Embarked From Destination Plymouth Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

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 6 January 1958 Age 61 years
Place of Death Nelson or Christchurch
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Robert Gowans was born on 6 May 1896 at Fauldhouse, Scotland, the older son of Peter and Janet (née Wilson) Gowans. In 1901 Robert was at home with his parents and four sisters (two older and two younger) at West Calder, Midlothian, Scotland. Agnes, born in 1900, entered Timaru Main School from Scotland in February 1912. At least four younger children came with the family to New Zealand, and another was born here in March 1914.

Robert Gowans enlisted at the Timaru Defence Office in June 1916. Private Gowans and five other soldiers returned to Timaru by the express from Christchurch in late April 1919. The Mayor extended a cordial welcome to them, saying that they (the citizens) were “delighted to have the privilege of welcoming them home after their gallant work abroad, an d to acknowledge what they had done for the Empire.”

Robert Gowans married Catherine Armstrong Stevenson in 1923. He died on 6 Janaury 1958 at Nelson or Christchurch. Catherine died in 1980.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [10 September 2020]; 1901 Scottish census ( [10 September 2020]; Timaru Herald, 7 June 1916, 28 April 1919 (Papers Past) [10 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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