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William Astle


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William AWMM
  • Surname
    Astle AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    New Zealand Wars 1864 AWMM Farmer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • At the age of nine, William Astle was convicted of horse stealing, sentenced to seven years imprisonment and in 1842 was transported to New Zealand to get his second chance.

    In 1843 David Rough, the Auckland Harbour Master, who was also the Superintendent of the Parkhurst Boys, reported that William had been convicted of absconding and was incorrigible. In 1844 William absconded again and was living with the ‘Natives’, first near Kawhia, and later at Remuera, where he was employed on a marae carrying wood and water.

    During his absence William had been kindly treated by Maori but was found in a state of near nakedness. Felton Mathew, the Chief Police Magistrate, considered him an object deserving of compassion, and asked that he be placed with a judicious master. William became a servant to Edward Meurant the Government Interpreter and came into contact with the early Wesleyan Missionaries.

    In 1850 William was charged with stealing a horse. He confessed. However, at the trial he changed his plea, claiming that he had purchased the horse from an American, who had since left the colony. The jury believed him and found him not guilty.

    In 1855 he married Hana (Ann) Rangaiurakia, sister of Rewi Maniapoto, at Atawhao (Te Awamutu). By 1863, with several children, William and Hana were farming at Onehunga.

    In 1864, during the New Zealand Wars, Captain Baker, who had previously fought in the Crimea and India, engaged William as a guide, for General Cameron’s forces attacking Orakau. This was the legendary ‘Rewi’s Last Stand’. William was paid £5. In 1867 Hana claimed compensation of £100 for the cow, cattle and sheep unlawfully taken from her by the Army because her relatives had been rebels.

    In 1873 William was wounded in a shooting accident at Kohimarama. He was also a witness in the Orakei Murder case in 1876. In 1884 Hana died, of consumption, aged 50.

    William remarried, to Susan (formerly Lawence), aged 45, in 1889. She died in 1899. From 1896 to 1899 William was a gum digger at Riverhead, Waitamata. By 1899 he described himself as a pensioner. The pension of £18 per annum was introduced in 1898 for people over aged 65, with few assets and of good moral character.

    In 1901, aged 68, William married Margaret Robinson, aged 55. William died on 8 July 1910 in Auckland Hospital. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    8 July 1910 AWMM
    AucklandNew Zealand AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Waikumete Cemetery Glen Eden Auckland New Zealand AWMM Anglican Division F, Row 14, Plot 28A AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
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