BATE, Laurence Frank
(Service number 55578)

First Rank Corporal Last Rank Lance-corporal


Date 24 October 1893 Place of Birth Kaiapoi

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Orari, South Canterbury
Occupation Railway porter (NZ Railways)
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single on enlistment; married before embarkation
Next of Kin Mrs Annie BATE (wife), care of Mrs E. B. Jones, Rosewarne Street, Papanui, Christchurch
Religion Methodist
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 34th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Regiment, D Company
Date 8 February 1918
Transport Ulimaroa
Embarked From Destination Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Rifle Brigade

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 24 May 1988 Age 94 years
Place of Death Levin
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Laurence Frank Bate was born on 24 October 1893 at Kaiapo, the second son of Peter and Euphemia Davidson (née Rinaldi) Bate. Laurence Bate was a railway porter at Orari when his name was drawn in the fourth ballot in February 1917, and he was called up. He had already enlisted voluntarily. As of May 1917, a big number of railway men had been selected, which was reducing the services of the railways. Laurence Bate married Annie Young on 10 September 1917. Annie was to be his next-of-kin.

Among the recruits for the South Canterbury quota of the 30th Reinforcement was L. F. Bate. The men from the Temuka and Geraldine districts going into camp to join the 30th Reinforcements were given one of the “send-offs” from Temuka, which have now become famous. (Temuka Leader, 29 May 1917.) They were entertained at luncheon – “a splendid spread”. After a few addresses, all assembled, with the exception of those going into camp, rose and sang “For they arc jolly good fellows”. “They were going to face dangers, some might perhaps lose their lives, but as one of the boys had said here a few nights ago there was no more glorious death than to die fighting for the right.” On behalf of the district, the Mayor of Geraldine wished them “God speed,” a good time as soldiers, and a safe return to their native land and their district; if it should be their luck to go to “Blighty” they would get a good time there. The men were lined up in the street, and, headed by the Temuka Brass Band, a procession was formed and marched to the station. “Mr Torepe’s Maori singing company sang several farewell songs and the Band played a number of appropriate airs. The men were cheered again and again, and as the train left the station the soldiers on board were cheered, and they warmly responded.”

Corporal L. F. Bate actually embarked with the Otgao Infantry Regiment of the 34th Reinforcements, leaving for Liverpool by the Ulimaroa on 8 February 1918. The Somerset’s Draft which was due at Lyttelton on 18 August 1919, brought home Lance-Corporal L. F. Bate, 55578. Laurence Frank Bate died on 24 May 1988 at Levin, aged 94 years. Annie had died many years before. His brother, Orthus Edward Bate who was also a railway employee, was called up.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [05 April 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) 12 October 2021]; Timaru Herald, 14 February 1917, 29 May 1917, Temuka Leader, 29 May 1917, NZ Times, 11 May 1917, 6 August 1919 (Papers Past) [04 & 12 October 2021]

External Links

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

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