WWI

Men of the Otautau War Memorial

The following 53 men are listed on the Otautau War Memorial. On this page, they are in order of their death during World War I. We are still looking for photos for a few of them. If you can help, please email us.

Sergeant Craig
Francis John Craig was born in Lawrence to Mr & Mrs Robert Craig in 1894He worked as a fruit grower and at the motor garage in Otautau.

Sergeant Craig was one of the first to enlist from Otautau on 14 Aug 1914, ten days after Britain declared war on Germany.

His time in the military was brief and brutal. Serving with the Otago Infantry Battalion, the 21-year old was killed in action at Pope’s Hill, Gallipoli, 2 May 1915 under heavy Turkish bombardment.

(Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150805-40-17)
Military Personnel File at Archives NZ
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Sergeant Grant-Ussher
Frederick Arthur Grant-Ussher was born in Caversham to Jane and William Grant-Ussher in 1889. 

The family came to Otautau in 1912 and farmed at Mayfield. Sergeant Grant-Ussher worked as a carpenter.

One of the first to enlist in 1914, Sgt Grant-Ussher served with the Otago Mounted Rifles and was killed in action at Gallipoli, Turkey, 5 Jul 1915, aged 26.

“A very popular young fellow all round the district.”  The Otautau Standard, 10 Aug 1915

(Photo: Weekly Press, 3/11/1915, Christchurch Library)
Military Personnel File at Archives NZ
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Private Moffat
Harry Moffat was born at Scotts Gap in 1891, the youngest son of Henry & Catherine Moffat of Orawia. He was a sawmill hand at the Matai Sawmill Co. in Owhango, central North Island, when he enlisted in Sep 1914.

With the Wellington Infantry Battalion, Private Moffat served in the Dardanelles. Suffering a gunshot wound to the thigh, he was sent back to Alexandria to recover. 

Pte Moffat was killed in action in Gallipoli, 7 Aug 1915, aged 24.

(Photo: Moffat Family, Eastern Bush)
Military Personnel File at Archives NZ
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Trooper Thomas
Edward Richard Thomas was born in Otautau in 1882 to Thomas and Jessie Thomas of Yellow Bluff. 

He was working as a contractor when he enlisted in Aug 1914—one of the first from Otautau to enlist. Two of his brothers also joined the war.

Trooper Thomas served with the Otago Mounted Rifles. No sooner had he landed at Gallipoli then he was immediately killed in action, 21 Aug 1915, aged 33.

(Photo: Otago Witness, Collection of Toitū Otago Settlers Museum)
Military Personnel File at Archives NZ
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Private King
Lauritz Victor King was born in Dunedin in 1895 to Albert & Alice King. He came to Otautau in 1906 when his father became postmaster. The Wallace County Council employed him as a cadet. 

Private King enlisted Jun 1915 and served with the 1st Battalion, Otago Regiment. He was wounded at Armentières sector, France, and died on 5 Jul 1916, aged 21. A tablet and photograph were erected in his honour at the council.

“...he bore such an excellent character both as a citizen and a Christian.”   Cr Linscott, The Otautau Standard, 22 Aug 1916 

(Photo: Weekly Press, 2/8/1916, Christchurch Library)
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Private McKenzie
Daniel McKenzie was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1886. He immigrated to NZ and became a ploughman on John Macdonald’s Strathvale farm, Otautau.

Private McKenzie enlisted Jan 1915 with the 1st Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment. He was in Gallipoli for 3 months when he contracted the flu. After recovering, he spent 4 months in Egypt and was stationed in France for 3 months when he was killed in action on 14 Jul 1916.

(No photo found yet)
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Private Angus
Henry Leake Angus was born at Clifton, Invercargill in 1890, the 5th son of Alexander & Margaret Angus. He managed Thomson & Beattie drapery in Otautau.

In 1915, aged 24, Henry enlisted. A year later with the 1st Battalion, Otago Regiment, Private Angus was killed in action in France, 16 Jul 1916, aged 25.

“...the third member of the family to answer the Empire’s call.”
 —The Otautau Standard, 1 Aug 1916
(Photo: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19160824-40-19)
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Private Ford
Sydney Ford, the fifth son of Richard & Emma Ford, Valeview, Otautau, was born in 1894. He apprenticed as a carpenter after he left school and enlisted in 1915.

Private Ford served in the 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment and was killed in action, Somme, France, 15 Sep 1916, aged 21. He was the first in this family to die in the war.

...made the Supreme sacrifice in the great struggle for freedom...”  The Otautau Standard, 5 Jan 1917

(Photo: Otago Witness, Collection of Toitū Otago Settlers Museum)
~~~

Private Poole
Thomas Henry Poole was the son of Margaret & Edward Poole of Isla Bank. He was born in 1889 and worked as a farmer.

Private Poole enlisted Feb 1915 with the Otago Mounted Rifles. He transferred into the NZ Pioneer Battalion a year later. In 1916, the Pioneer Battalion built communication trenches at the Somme under heavy artillery fire. Pte Poole was killed in action, 15 Sep 1916, aged 27. 

He was one of 600 NZers to die that day and the first of the three Poole brothers to die in the war.

(Photo: Weekly Press, 27/12/1916, Christchurch Library)
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Private Laidlaw
Francis Andrew Laidlaw was born in 1894 to Hannah & John Laidlaw, Isla Bank. He became a sawmiller for Mr McCallum, Fairfax.

Private Laidlaw enlisted in Nov 1915 with his brother John. He served with the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment and took part in the first offensive in the Somme. Under heavy artillery fire on 15 Sep 1916, 21-year old Pte Laidlaw was killed in action, aged 21.

(Photo: Otago Witness, Collection of Toitū Otago Settlers Museum)
~~~

Private Pay
Ernest John Pay was the son of Frederick & Margaret Pay, born in Kennington, Invercargill, in 1895. He was a cheesemaker at the Ryal Bush Dairy Factory.

Private Pay enlisted Nov 1915. A large gathering of Bayswater residents fare-welled him in Jan 1916.

As a member of the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment, he was in the front line of a planned attack at the Somme, France. Pte Pay was killed in action 15 Sep 1916, aged 21.

(Photo: Otago Witness, Collection of Toitū Otago Settlers Museum)
Military Personnel File at Archives NZ
~~~

Private Lamont
Nisbet Shirreffs Lamont was born in Woodlands to John & Jane Lamont of Edendale. He was a teacher and 1st Assistant at Otautau School.

Private Lamont enlisted Jan 1916 serving with the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment. He was killed in action at the Somme, 1 Oct 1916, aged 21. The school committee erected his portrait in commemoration.

“… a life of effort, crowded in good service and consideration for others.”  The Otautau Standard, 3 Apr 1917

(Photo: Rick Lamont, Christchurch)
~~~

Corporal McIntosh
Christian Fraser McIntosh was the son of Donald & Christina. They made “Culblair,” Fairfax, their home in 1882. Christian, their fifth son, was born in 1888. He was farming in Rangiora when he enlisted in Feb 1915.

As a member of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, Corporal McIntosh was involved in taking Rafah, Palestine. He died of wounds in the 1st Australian field ambulance, vicinity of Rafah, Palestine, 10 Jan 1917, aged 28. His older brother, Samuel, soon enlisted.

“...a very fine soldier, and greatly admired by all his comrades.” Lieutenant Colonel John Findley, as quoted in The Otautau Standard, 20 Mar 1917

(Photo: Weekly Press, 24/1/1917, Christchurch Library)


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