McCULLOCH, George Alexander
(Service number 80084)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 1 January 1888 Place of Birth Quamby, Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 22 February 1917 Age 29 years 1 month
Address at Enlistment Waihao Forks
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience Waihao Downs Defence Rifle Club - still serving
Marital Status Single at enlistment; married at embarkation
Next of Kin Mr William McCULLOCH (brother), Main South Road, Timaru; Mrs D. M. McCULLOCH (wife), 105 Bishop Street, St Albans, Christchurch
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 161 lbs. Chest measurement 34-37 inches. Complexion medium, Eyes brown. Hair dark brown. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing normal. Colour vision normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Illnesses – pneumonia 3 years ago. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccination mark. Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Class A.

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 43rd Reinforcements, F Company
Date 17 August 1918
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Wellington Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Service Medals British War 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 5 May 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Sheep farmer


Date 18 August 1961 Age 73 years
Place of Death Waimate
Notices Timaru Herald, 19 August 1961
Memorial or Cemetery Waimate Old Cemetery
Memorial Reference Roman Catholic Section, Plot 75
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

George Alexander McCulloch was born on 1 January 1888 at Quamby, Waimate, the older son of John and Margaret (formerly Matheson, née McQuinn) McCullloch. Margaret had married George Matheson who died in 1881 leaving her with a young family. In 1885 she married John McCulloch, by whom she had two sons, George and William John McCulloch, who was an early settler at Waimate, died there on 21 November 1907 from severe injuries suffered in a trap accident. He was thrown out of his trap when the axle broke. The accident, which happened near his home, was witnessed by his family and employees. Mrs McCulloch died in February 1911. George and his brother William were admitted to Waihaorunga School in March 1902, just after the school opened. The had probably been schooled at home until then. George was an active member of the community. He was elected a member of the Waimate Caledonian Society in October 1909. Early in 1912, he donated £25 towards the erection of the Tower on St Patrick’s Church, Waimate. And in July 1914 he gave a recitation at the Waihaorunga School concert.

On the outbreak of war, George McCulloch subscribed to the Waimate Patriotic Fund. George Alexander McCulloch, farming at Quamby, Waihao Forks, was drawn in the first military ballot for No. 10 (South Canterbury) recruiting district in November 1916. He appealed - he was a farmer at Waihao Forks. “His father was dead, and his family consisted of his mother and another brother. He usually employed three teamsters, three of whom were in the First Division. He had no relations to whom he could hand over the management of his farm.” The chairman of the Military Appeal Board said “that it was a case where the appellant was fairly well off, and had a good farm, which a retired farmer could easily manage. The appellant would be given three months in which to try and get a man to manage his farm.”

In August 1917, George McCulloch contributed the proceeds from sheep to the Waimate Red Cross Fund (£10.8s). He was to go into camp with the December 1917 draft, on condition that he was passed fit by the Medical Board. In January 1918, George said that he had over 3000 acres and his place was a very difficult one to manage. His brother could not manage it as he had over 4000 acres of his own to manage. He was allowed till 4 March. In late February he asked the Military Appeal Board for time, but this request was dismissed.

It was 20 May 1918 when he left South Canterbury for camp. George named his wife as his next-of-kin – Mrs D. M. McCulloch, 105 Bishop Street, St Albans, Christchurch. Being single when he enlisted on 22 February 1917 at Timaru, he had initially named his brother – Mr William McCulloch, Main South Road, Timaru. George had married Norris (Dorris in file) Mary Lawlor on 14 August 1918 at Wellington. He was still serving with the Waihao Downs Defence Rifle Club.

His medical examination was carried out on 22 February 1917 at Timaru. He was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 161 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 34-37 inches. His complexion was medium, his eyes brown, and his hair dark brown. His sight, hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs were all normal. His limbs and chest were well formed, and he had good movement of his joints. He was free of diseases, slight defects and fits, was vaccinated and in good bodily and mental health. Although he had had pneumonia 3 years ago, he passed Class A. The Proceedings of the Medical Board on 31 July 1918 at Trentham concerning 80084 Private George Alexander McCulloch, recorded that he had originally suffered chest pain caused by pneumonia 4½ years ago, ith consequential disability on exertion. There was now no physical effects on chest and his heart was normal. He was deemed fit for Active Service, Territorial Service and Home Service, and for civil employment.

At Trentham he was transferred between Reinforcements. It was 17 August 1918 when Private George Alexander McCulloch embarked at Wellington per “Ruahine” with the 43rd Reinforcements. That was the day after losing three days’ pay for absence without leave at Trentham. He was admitted to the ship’s hospital on 5 October and discharged two days later. Having disembarked at London on 29 October 1918, he marched was posted to the Otago Infantry Regiment on 30 October 1918 and marched into Sling. A week later at Sling he was posted to the Canterbury Reserve Battalion. On 30 December he was detached to Larkhill. G. A. McCulloch was granted 28 days leave without pay from 19 February 1919 till 18 March 1919 inclusive. George Alexander McCulloch was discharged (demobilized) in England on 5 May 1919, almost a year after he had commenced duty, and returned to New Zealand after discharge.

George returned to his farm at Quamby, Waihao Downs. He was home by October 1919 when he was elected to the shooting Committee of the Waihao Downs Rifle Club. The following month the Waihao D0wns and Arno Soldiers’ Welcome Home Committees amalgamated at the Arno Soldiers’ Memorial Hall “for the purpose of giving the last of their respective men to return a hearty and monster welcome back to their old homes.” Among the last five men to return was Private George McCulloch (Waihao Downs). Dancing was enjoyed and several items were given, the singing of “When the Bells of Peace are Ringing,” getting a great hearing. After supper, medals were presented to the men and pinned on their coats. The recipients responded, thanking the people for their appreciation, and after “They are Jolly Good Fellows” was sung, the dancing resumed.

George was again involved in the community life. In 1923 he was elected to the Waimate Trotting Club; in 1926 he won the trophy at the opening shoot of the Waihao Forks Gun Club; and at the annual meeting of the Waihao Forks Gun Club on 29th March 1928, he was elected president, a position which he held again in 1939. He was elected vice-president of the Waimate Racing Club in 1929, and was elected president in 1933, holding that position until 1940. In 1933 he also presented songs at a social evening and presentation at Waimate. George was also a member of the Waimate A. & P. Association and served as chairman of the Waihao Forks Saleyards Company.

George McCulloch was again a guest at the Arno Hall, a farewell function and presentation being held in his honour when he retired from active farming, sold his property and purchased a house in Waimate. George Alexander McCulloch died on 18 August 1961 at Waimate. His funeral service was held at St Patrick’s Church, Waimate. He and Norris, who died in 1965, are buried in the Waimate Old Cemetery with his parents. By his will, dated 22 May 1957, he appointed his brother William Joseph McCulloch, of Waihao Forks, and a nephew, Donald George Matheson, of Hakataramea, as executors and trustees of his estate. He bequeathed to his wife, Norris Mary McCulloch, £6000 and all his furniture, plate, plated goods, linen, glass, china, books, pictures, prints, statuary musical instruments, clothing, jewellery, wines, liquors and consumable stores and “all other articles of personal or domestic use or ornament”. The rest of his property was vested in his trustees, and after expenses were paid, these bequests were to be made - £100 for the provision of Masses for the repose of his soul, £500 for Parish purposes, £500 for the benefit of the Convent at Waimate; £500 to the Missionary Sisters of St Peter Claver, Island Bay, Wellington; £2000 to each of these persons – his brother William Joseph McCulloch, his brother’s two sons William McCulloch and Douglas Ian McCulloch, and daughter Helen Averis McCulloch; £500 to each of these persons – his nephew John Matheson, and Donald George Matheson and Margaret Reilly (children of his half-brother John Matheson). The balance of his residuary estate was to be paid to St Columban’s Missionary Society Trust Board, Lower Hutt.

“The death of George Alexander McCulloch in Waimate yesterday, removed from the district a man of high regard and personal integrity. . . . . Mr McCulloch had been associated with the Waihao Forks district for the whole of his life. . . . . . A man of unassuming nature, but ready to help . . . . , Mr McCulloch will be a sad loss to the community. . . . . Mr McCulloch is survived by his wife ad one brother, Mr W. J. McCulloch, of “Hillview,” Waihao Forks.” [For full obituary, see newspaper attachment – Timaru Herald, 19 August 1961.]


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [27 July 2021]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0072272) [30 July 2021]; Waimate Daily Advertiser, 11 October 1909, 4 March 1912, 13 July 1914, 14 August 1914, 4 September 1917, 27 February 1918, 15 October 1919, 21 November 1919, Timaru Herald, 25 November 1916, 28 December 1916, 14 August 1917, 23 January 1918, 27 February 1918, 18 May 1918, 6 September 1923, 9 April 1928, 14 October 1929, 28 August 1933, Press, 25 November 1916, 12 July 1926, 11 October 1933, 28 January 1939 (Papers Past) [27 July 2021]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [27 July 2021]; Waimate Old Cemetery headstone transcription [27 July 2021]; Probate record (Archives NZ) [27 July 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [27 July 2021]; Who’s Who in New Zealand, 1938 (per [27 July 2021]; Timaru Herald, 19 August 1961 [x 2] (Timaru District Library) [14 September 2021]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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