SCHMELZ, William Arthur
(Service number 23/1799)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Corporal


Date 1 August 1890 Place of Birth Dunedin

Enlistment Information

Date 18 October 1915 Age 25 years
Address at Enlistment 56 Cain Street, Timaru
Occupation Farm labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs D. HENDRY (mother), 56 Cain Street, Timaru. Later also advise Mrs M. A. SCHMELZ (wife), 49 Manor Road, Leyton, Essex, England
Religion Church of England
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 3rd Reinforcements, 1st Battalion, E Company
Date 8 January 1916
Transport Tahitior Warrimoo
Embarked From Destination Suez, Egypt
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 28 May 1946 Age 55 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 28, Plot 162A
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Arthur Schmelz was born on 1 August 1890 at Dunedin, the youngest son of Carl Heinrich and Dorothea Conradina Juliana (née Fanger) Schmelz. His father died at Dunedin in December 1889, more than sevn months before William was born. His mother married Richard Bool in 1895. After Richard’s death (1897), she married Thomas Jones in 1900. Thomas died in 1903 and Dorothea married Charles Hendry, a widower of Maybank, St Andrews, South Canterbury, in 1909, Dorothea having gone as a housekeeper for Charles. Dorothea died in 1930 at Timaru and was buried with Thomas Jones in Dunedin. William was educated at Caversham School and the Boys’ High School in Dunedin. He enjoyed success in his music examination in 1905, and finished second in a cycling race held at the Southland Irish Athletic Sports in March 1907. Working as a Post Office messenger in 1908, he took classes at the Dunedin Technical School and passed shorthand theory.

William Schmelz passed the medical examination at Timaru in September 1915 and was sworn in for service at the Front. He was part of South Canterbury’s quota for the Ninth Reinforcements which left South Canterbury for Trentham on 18 October 1915. He was a farm labourer, residing at Timaru with his mother, when he enlisted and named his mother, Mrs D. Hendry, as next-of-kin. William married Maria (Maud) Annie Hobbs on 2 December 1918, at the Parish Church, Leyton, Essex, England. Thereafter, Maud was also to be advised of any notifications.

Corporal W. A. Schmelz returned to New Zealand with the Arawa’s draft (No. 244) in May 1919. William and Maud settled at Springbrook. They are buried at Timaru, Maud surviving William by 44 years. His mother died at Timaru in 1930 and was buried in Dunedin with her third husband.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [18 September 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [18 September 2020]; School Admission records (Dunedin Branch NZSG) [23 September 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [23 September 2020]; Otago Daily Times, 22 March 1905, 29 January 1919, Southland Times, 14 March 1907, Evening Star, 23 November 1908, 22 April 1930, Timaru Herald, 14 September 1915, 18 October 1915 (Papers Past) [September 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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