CAMPBELL, William Alfred
(Service number 77023)

Aliases Known as Willie
First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 16 March 1897 Place of Birth Dunedin

Enlistment Information

Date 25 August 1917 Age 20 years 5 months
Address at Enlistment 134 North Street, Timaru
Occupation Railway hand
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs E. J. CAMPBELL (mother), 134 North Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 11½ inches. Weight 140 lbs. Chest measurement 30½-35 inches. Hair dark brown. Eyes brown. Complexion fair. Sight – both eyes 6/6. Hearing & colour vision both normal. Limbs & chest well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Lungs normal. Free of hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health. No fits. No notification for consumption. No treatment in a sanatorium or mental institution. Absent from work 5 years ago – ill for 2 months.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
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 16 May 1918 Reason Certificate of Leave

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Railways employee


Date 8 October 1933 Age 36 years
Place of Death Timaru
Notices Timaru Herald, 9 October 1933; Otago Daily Times, 9 October 1933
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 49, Plot 141
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Alfred Campbell, known as Willie, was born on 16 March 1897 at Dunedin, the younger son of William John and Elizabeth Jane (née Reid) Campbell. Willie was educated at Timaru Main School. Both William and his older brother, Valentine (Val) Henry Campbell followed their father into the employ of the Railways. Mr William John Campbell died on 4 March 1909 at Timaru, leaving a widow, two sons and five daughters. He had been stationed in Timaru for a considerable number of years and had been a diligent worker, who promoted better working conditions for his fellow workers.

On 1 June 1914 at the Timaru Magistrate’s Court, W. A. Campbell was fined 10 shillings and costs for a Defence case – unsatisfactory attendance. His name having been drawn in a ballot, a summons had been issued on 6 June 1917. A certificate was produced at Timaru on 20 July stating that he was unable to travel to be examined at the next sitting of the Board. William Alfred Campbell enlisted on 25 August 1917 at Timaru. He was then 20 years 5 months of age, single, Presbyterian, and a railway hand for New Zealand Railways. William stood at 5 feet 11½ inches, weighed 140 pounds, had a chest measurement of 30½-35 inches. His hair was dark brown and his eyes brown, though he was of fair complexion fair. His sight, hearing and colour vision were all normal, as were his lungs. His limbs and chest were well formed. He was free of diseases, and never had fits, notification for consumption or treatment in a sanatorium or mental institution. Though he was vaccinated and in good bodily and mental health, he had been absent from work 5 years prior when he was ill for 2 months. On medical examination at Timaru in September 1917, he was found to be medically unfit and classified C1.

Residing at home in Timaru, he named his mother as next-of-kin – Mrs E. J. Campbell, 134 North Street, Timaru. In early April 1918, the South Canterbury quota to the seventh C1 draft left for camp. Among those under orders to proceed was W. A. Campbell. Private W. A. Campbell was posted to B Company, C1 classification. The Medical Board assembled on 13 May 1918 found that Private W. A. Campbell was already suffering from rheumatism which resulted in a painful ankle and any progress was only slight. He was assessed as not fit for Active Service but fit for Home Service. A Certificate of Leave, in lieu of Discharge, effective from 16 May 1918, was issued at Featherston.

William resumed his employment with the Railways at Timaru. In March 1926 he married Mabel Euphemia Latta. Later in that year his mother died at Timaru. William and Mabel had a son born on 9 August 1929 at Whare Nana, Timaru; they named him William Henry Campbell. William Alfred Campbell – “N.Z.R., late of Timaru and Cromwell” – died on 8 October 1933 at Timaru, aged just 36 years. His funeral left the residence of his brother (Val Campbell) in North Street for the Timaru Cemetery. Mrs W. A. Campbell, and the sisters and brother of the late William Alfred Campbell inserted an acknowledgement in the Timaru Herald, thanking all kind friends and relations for their tributes and expressions of sympathy.

William Henry Campbell came to Timaru Main School in 1937, under the guardianship of Mr Campbell, 215 Stafford Street. He had come from Macandrew Road School in Dunedin, where his mother did reside for a time in the 1930s. In February 1939 he transferred to the Boys’ High School Preparatory. Mrs Mabel Campbell lived on in Timaru until the early 1950s when moved to Christchurch, her son William going with her. She married John Douglas Gray in 1949. Mabel died on 16 July 1985 at Christchurch, aged 84, and was buried at Timaru with her first husband, William Alfred Campbell.

Willie Campbell was a cousin of Alan Wilfred Campbell and a nephew of George Campbell who both served in World War One. His older brother, Valentine Henry Campbell who was also a railways employee, was called up.


NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0022507) [01 September 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [01 September 2021]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [01 September 2021]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image & burial records (Timaru District Council) [01 & 07 September 2021]; Timaru Herald, 5 & 6 March 1909, 2 June 1914, 10 April 1918, 8 December 1926, 10 August 1929, 9, 10 & 28 October 1933, Otago Daily Times, 8 October 1933 (Papers Past) [06 September 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [02, 06 & 07 September 2021]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC brnach NZSG

Currently Assigned to


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