QUINN, William
(Service number 63266)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 3 February 1889 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 9 May 1917 Age 28 years
Address at Enlistment C/o Mrs Good, Dromore
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. One child
Next of Kin Mrs W. QUINN (wife), C/o Mrs Good, Dromore, Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 3 inches. Weight 110 lbs. Chest measurement 29-31½ inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Sight – both eyes 6/6. Hearing & colour vision normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (right). Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Illness – scarlet fever 1 year ago. 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 32nd Reinforcements, E Company
Date 21 November 1917
Transport Willochra
Embarked From Wellington Destination Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Otago Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory 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 16 June 1919 Reason On termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

22 March 1918, on way to France - admitted to Military Hospital at Shorncliffe, UK – VD; 26 March transferred to No. 2 NZ General Hospital at Codford. 29 May discharged to Convalescent Depot at Codford. 4 November 1918 - gunshot wounds to right forearm in Action; 5 November 1918 admitted to No. 3 NZ Field Ambulance; 6 November admitted to Casualty Clearing Station at Ypres, France. 8 November admitted to No. 22 General Hospital at Camiers; 12 November transferred to Base Depot in France; discharged to Medical Board.

Post-war Occupations



Date 8 June 1965 Age 76 years
Place of Death Ashburton
Memorial or Cemetery Ashburton Cemetery
Memorial Reference RSA, Area 234, Plot 23
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

William Quinn, known as Bill, was born on 3 February 1889 at Timaru, the second son of William and Catherine (Kate, née Moran) Quinn, of Makikihi. He was baptised Catholic on 17 February 1889 at Timaru. While his father William came from Ireland, his mother was born in America. They married on 11 May 1887 at the Timaru Catholic Church. Along with his younger siblings, William was educated at Makikihi School. William married Elaine Maud Good on 8 November 1916 at Ashburton. Their daughter, Joyce Catherine Quinn, was born on 12 March 1917 at Ashburton.

William Quinn, Ashburton, registered at the Timaru Defence Office on 15 June 1916. William Quinn, a labourer, of Devane’s Hotel, Ashburton, was one of those called up in the Sixth Ballot in April 1917 to fill vacancies in the 30th Reinforcements. He enlisted on 9 May 1917 at Ashburton and was medical examined. He was 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 110 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 29-31½ inches. His complexion was fair, his eyes blue and his hair brown. His sight, hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs were all normal, his limbs and chest well formed. He was free from diseases and was vaccinated. He had had scarlet fever a year prior. In good bodily and mental health, he was assessed Class A. On 24 May 1917, William Quinn, labourer, Dromore, appealed on the grounds of undue hardship. He said he had enlisted in June, 1916, and had been rejected, being not up to standard. He was married later, and had one child. He was employed at the Fairfield Freezing Works. If he went away his wife would be almost unprovided for.

A labourer at the Fairfield Freezing Works, married and Roman Catholic, he named his wife as next-of-kin – Mrs W. Quinn, C/o Mrs Good, Dromore, Canterbury. The South Canterbury quota of the 33rd Reinforcements left Timaru by the express on 20 August 1917. Included among those leaving was W. Quinn. As it was W. Quinn was with the Ashburton quota which was entertained by a section of the local businessmen at the Ashburton drill shed on 20 August. On behalf of the town and district, the Mayor thanked the men who were going away to fight for their country and wished the best of luck and a safe return. When the whistle sounded to parade, the men were escorted to the railway station by the Eighth (South Canterbury) Regiment and Salvation Army bands. A large number of people assembled on the platform to take part in the final farewells, the men being cheered as the train steamed out.

As it happened, he was posted to the 31st Reinforcements on 20 August 1917 and commenced duty. A medical certificate signed on 26 September 1917 at Ashburton, certified that 63266 Pte W. Quinn was suffering from influenza and recommend an extension of leave till 3 October 1917. Private W. Quinn embarked with the 32nd Reinforcements, departing from Wellington on 21 November 1917 per the “Willochra” and disembarking at Liverpool, England, on 7 January 1918. On 13 December 1917, it had been recorded that he was entitled to extra duty pay, having been employed for two days shifting coal. Having marched in to Sling from the 31st Reinforcements on 8 January 1918, he marched out to the 4th Otago Regiment on 10 January. He proceeded overseas to France on 19 March.

On the way to France, however, on 22 March 1918, he was admitted to the Military Hospital at Shorncliffe, UK (VD) and transferred a few days later to No. 2 NZ General Hospital at Codford. Shorncliffe was used as a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front. It was 29 May when he was discharged to the Convalescent Depot at Codford. On 4 July 1918 he left Codford and was again posted to the Otago Company. He did proceed overseas to France in September, marched into camp at Etaples and joined his battalion. The casualty list of late November 1918 reported that W. Quinn of Dromore had been wounded. He had been admitted to No. 3 New Zealand Field Ambulance on 5 November and to the Casualty Clearing Station at Ypres, France on 6 November 1918 after suffering gunshot wounds to his right forearm in Action on 4 November. He was admitted to No. 22 General Hospital at Camiers on 8 November and transferred to Base Depot in France on 12 November. Discharged to the Medical Board, he was attached to Strength on 29 November and was to go to Sling. All was well with the medical examination at sling in March and he would return by the “Carpentaria” in April.

Private William Quinn returned to New Zealand on the “Carpentaria”, due on 14 May 1919 at Lyttelton, having embarked at London on 2 April. He was discharged on 16 June 1919, on the termination of his period of engagement. All his service was in Western Europe, for which he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was advised by Base Records that his Will, executed while he was with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, had been returned from overseas. It was an important legal document “and one which should be in your possession”. He requested that it be forwarded to him at Box 1, Maronan, Hinds, South Canterbury.

William and Elaine lived at Ashburton, William a labourer and gardener. William Quinn died on 8 June 1965 at Ashburton, aged 76 years. He was buried in the RSA section of Ashburton Cemetery, a services plaque marking his grave. Although the plaque records 72 years, which age corresponds that given on enlistment, the burial record is correct. He was survived by his wife, four daughters and three sons. His son, Victor Francis, died as the result of an accident in 1964, a married man with three children and just 35 years old. His oldest daughter, Joyce Catherine Rawson, died in 1980. His widow, Elaine Maud, died on 21 April 1985 and was buried at Ashburton.

William’s brother, James Philip Quinn (Philip), also served in World War One. John Joseph Quinn, who was also of Makikihi and served in World War One, was probably a second cousin. Henry Quinn, whose name was drawn in the Seventh Ballot in May 1917, was probably also a second cousin. William’s mother Catherine died in 1932 and his father William died in 1936; they are buried at Timaru. Four of his siblings predeceased him - the first-born John Aloysius who died in infancy, Joseph Patrick who died in 1958, Catherine who died in 1957 and Edward who died in 1964.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [24 June 2023]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Collections record number 0095451) [24 & 25 June 2023]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [24 June 2023]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [24 June 2023]; Timaru Herald, 16 June 1916, 18 April 1917, 18 August 1917, 2 December 1918, Sun, 17 April 1917, 3 May 1919, Press, 18 April 1917, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 9 May 1917, Ashburton Guardian, 24 May 1917, 20 August 1917, 30 November 1918, 5 May 1919, Lyttelton Times, 21 August 1917, 5 May 1919, Sun, 3 May 1919 (Papers Past) [24 & 25 June 2023; 02 July 2023]; Ashburton Cemetery burial records & headstone image (Ashburton District Council) [24 June 2023]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [24 June 2023]; ; Baptism record (Christchurch Catholic Diocese Baptisms Index CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [30 June 2023]

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