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Remembered Today:

Arthur Richard Gillespie

roger gillespie

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Arthur Richard Gillespie, Born 20.4.1880. NZRB during the Boer War and then WWI. He was apparently 6'4" and built like a tree. I cannot find any records in NZ archives. Can anyone help?post-18390-1169855294.jpgpost-18390-1169855294.jpg

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This him:


Given Name Arthur Richard

Category Nominal Roll Vol. 1

Regimental Number 12/2164

Rank Sergeant

Body or Draft Third

Unit or Regiment Auckland Infantry Batln

Marital Status M

Last NZ Address Albany

Next of Kin Title Mrs Lizzie

Next of Kin Surname GILLESPIE

Next of Kin Relationship Wife

Next of Kin Address Burnside Albany Auckland


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Roger, not all WW1 files are held at Archives NZ. If there is post-1920 activity on the file, it remains with the New Zealand Defence Force at Trentham. You can request a copy of those files online, and you are allowed one free file in a 12 month period.

The list of details you need to include are here, along with possible charges etc. Then you can email them through the site here. I'd keep a copy of what you send them, though, for your own records, as through the site you don't get a copy in your sent box or anything. Also, they tend not to respond to your request... you just get a photocopy of the file in the post after about 6 weeks.


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This him:


Given Name Arthur Richard

Category Nominal Roll Vol. 1

Regimental Number 12/2164


unfortunately this is not our man. He was pretty much a hermit and gold fossicker after the war. All I do know is that he was born in 1880. Father- Charles Haggerty Gillespie. Mother- Helen. Died after heart attack, alone, on his property in Makra, outside Wellington.

the search continues.

thanks Zack

thanks also Allie, I'll give it a go.




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You will need to note that the NZRB were not around in the Boer War, they were only in existence from 1915 -1919

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You will need to note that the NZRB were not around in the Boer War, they were only in existence from 1915 -1919

Quite right, my mistake. Zack has since found out he was in the 2nd contingent of the NZ mounted rifles and he is expecting the full service record, including Gallipoli, to arrive from Trentham records this week. Thanks for the note.



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Your man is a very interesting fellow.

He served in the Boer war, World War One, and was a member of the National Residential Guards in World War Two. He was born in Wellington NZ on 20 April 1880. He died at Makara Wellington on 1 October 1947 aged 67. He is buried at Karori cemetery and his parents Charles Haggarty Gillespie (father) who died, Wellington 25 July 1897 and Helen Gillespie (nee Cochrane) who died Wellington on 23 June 1909 are also buried in the Karori cemetery.

In the same grave as Arthur’s parents are buried the following: Charles Gillespie (brother) who was drowned at Alfredton 31 Oct 1870, David E Gillespie brother (7th son), born 2 May 1874 died 5 Aug 1900, and Charity Sarah Cooper, Governess died 5 Sept 1896 aged 76.

Arthur’s father was the hotelkeeper for the Scottish Thistle Hotel in Wellington. Charles Haggarty Gillespie was actually born at Cupar, Fife Scotland on 12 July 1832. Charles Haggarty Gillespie and Helen Gillespie (nee Cochrane) were married in 1863.

Arthur’s Boer war nominal roll records the following:

Reg No: 310

Unit: nos 3 and 4 companies

Rank: Private

Occupation: engineer

Address: Shepherd's Arms hotel Wellington

Next of Kin: Gillespie Mrs E H

Relationship to Soldier: mother

Next of Kin Address: same

County/City: Wellington

Born about 1880, Wellington

He was in the second contingent that departed Wellington on 20 Jan 1900 on the SS Waiwera. On board 11 officers 231 men, 300 horses. Major Cradock Commander.

There is a bit on the web about the Waiwera e.g. “Sidney Kelly (born Appledore 1879) was captain of the Waiwera from 1915. In 1917 a torpedo fired from a German submarine missed her when she was off the Lizard. In 1926 she was sold to Ellerman Bucknall Line and renamed 'City of Pretoria'. In 1928 she was sold for £11,000 and scrapped at Barrow.

Waiwera was built in 1898/9 by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton and Lloyds Register list her details as follows:

Ships No. 110243, SteelSc3MstSr, 6237 Tons, 425.7 feet long, 54.1 feet breadth, 29.8 feet depth. Built for Shaw Saville & Albion Co. She was built with a cargo capacity of 80,000 carcasses. In 1899 on October 1st, she sailed from Wellington with the first contingent of New Zealand troops to fight in the Boer War."

You will find photos and drawings of her on the web as well.

I think Arthur was one of the Second / Third Contingents New Zealand troopers who returned from South Africa at Port Chalmers on 8 May 1901. (Unfortunately I haven’t been able to locate his Boer war file either at Archives or Trentham – it may well be 'lost.')

The following is a summary of his WW1 file (ex Trentham) – Archives don’t have this file because he obviously had some connection with the army after returning from WW1.

The file is made up on 10 photocopied pages and contains WW1 files and WW2 files. I’ve tried to capture all the relevant information, including the spelling as recorded on the file for you.

History Sheet

Reinforcement: 3rd

Unit: 3rd Coy Auckland Infantry Regiment

Rank: Private

Surname: Gillespie

Christian Name: Arthur Richard

No: 12/2164

Occupation: Engineer or Farmer

Last employer: Self

Religion: Church of England

Date of birth: 20 April 1880

Place of Birth: Wellington

Last New Zealand Address: Albany

Next of kin: Miss C H Gillespie (Sister), 118 Tinakori Road Wellington

Period of service:

In New Zealand: 96 days

Overseas: 1 year 66 days

Total service: 1 year 162 days

Date commenced duty: 24.12.1914

Date finally discharged: 20 May 1916.

Theatres of operation:

Egyptian 1915 – 16

Mudros, Lemnos Dardanelles 1915


1914 15 Star

British War Medal

Victory medal

Medal action completed 13 Sep 1923

“Injuries in or by the service 20 May 1916 discharged. Gun shot wound left hand.”

Enlisted 14 Dec 1914 (commenced duty 24 Dec 1914)

He left New Zealand Feb 14 1915 (three ships carried 1,712 troops of the 3rd reinforcements to Suez – Maunganui, Tahiti, Aparima – haven’t yet checked which one Arthur was on.)

He returned to New Zealand on the “Ulimaro” (see ship’s name below which is more correct) 20 April 1916.

His address on 23 June 1924 was Burnside, Albany, Auckland (a farm?)


Wounded 14 May 1915

Returned to Egypt from England 13.11.15

Admitted NZG Hop Pont-de-Koubbeh G S W hand 14.1.16

At NZG H Pont-de-Koubbeh Cairo 4.3.16

Invalided to NZ per “Ulimaroa” and struck off strength NZE Suez

Died at Makara 1.10.47 (This is noted on the filed and stamped “28 Oct 1917.”)

“Intended address Private Mail Bag Mangawhare?”

Statement of services (Regiment or Corps, Promotions, Reductions, Casualties &c, rank, date

A Coy, posted, Pte, 14.12.14

A Coy, Appt A/Cpl 9.6.15

A Coy, Appt A/Sgt 5.7.15

A Coy, Reling appt of A/Serg (Wnd) 7.8.15

AIR, Appt A/Sgt 20.11.15

AIR, Ceases to be A/Sgt Private 8.12.15

Particulars of Marriage

Wife’s maiden Name Lizzie Hoir?

Place of Marriage: Wellington

Date 1911

Officiating clergyman or registrar Rev Sprott

No particulars of children on file.

Casualty Form Active Service Army Form B 103

Embarked for Dardanelles from Alexandria on 12.4.15

Wounded in action at Dardanelles 8.5.15

Adm HMT Franconia at Dardanelles on 8.5.15 G S W Hip

Adm to E A Hosp Cairo on 12.5.15 G S W right thigh

Discharged from Hosp

Fit for active service Cairo 30.5.15

Rejoined unit Dardanelles 7.6.15

Appointed acting Corporal Anzac 15.4.15

Appointed acting Sergeant Anzac 5.7.15

Appointment of A/Sgt ceases Anzac 7.8.15 (Report signed by Lt H G Woolley)

Wounded in action Dardanelles 9.8.15 2nd time

Adm 1st Aust C C Stat Dardanelles 10.8.15 Bullet wound left hand

Adm H S Aquitania Dardanelles 12.8.15 Bullet wound left hand

H S Aquitania disemnbarked Southhampton 23.8.15

Adm 3rd London Gen Hospital Wandsworth 23.8.15

Embarked for Egypt 5.11.15

Rejoined unit Dardenlles 20.11.15

Admitted hospital Mudros 10.12.15

Dis to Rest Camp Mudros East 16.12.15

Appointed ac/sergt Dardanelles 20.11.15

Ceases to be a Sergt Dardanelles 8.12.15

Att to strength of Base Mudros 16.12.15

Rejoined unit Mudros 24.12.15

Disembarked H T Varisova Alexandria from Mudros 29.12.15

Adm NZ Gen Hosp Cairo 2.1.16 old wound hand

Invalided to NZ 17.3.16

Embarked Ulimaroa Suez 17.3.16 Struck off strength of NZ Exp Force

WW2 File

The World War Two history sheet is brief.

He is a private in the Nat Military Res Guards, Reg No 2/26/81

Entered camp 2/9/39

Attested 3/9/39

Discharged 1.9.48 Wgton

Next of Kin Mrs Lizzie Gillespie – Legally separated

Address of soldier on return to NZ: 120 Tinakori Rd Wellington

He qualified for the following two WW2 medals:

War Medal 1939 – 45 (Ribbon issued 9/4/47)

NZ War Service Medal

Date of birth is same as for other rolls.

Occupation: Mech engineer

Last employer Fletcher and Love (Contractores)

Age 59

Height 6ft 0 ½ ins

File records two discharge dates – 21.11.39 and 1.9.48.



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I think Roger's search has advanced a step or two.... :D

Fantastic work, Zack.


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Thank Steve - I'm sure it will help Roger.

I also found Arthur's grave today at the Karori cemetery, and also of his sister (Constance Helen Gillespie - recorded on the history sheet as next of kin) and photographed them but I don't know how to put them on the forum site.

Any advice please on step by step how do this from any of the pals experienced in doing this would greatly appreciated. :unsure:



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I have PM'd Zack to thank him personally however I feel compelled to place on public record my sincere thanks to him and others that selflessly search to re-unite these records with families. This particular war touched so many lives and the links can be pretty faded but every piece of information is treasured by relatives.

Thanks to all


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