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William John Birdsall

Portrait of William John Birdsall. Date unkown. Image kindly provided by Margaret Stevenson (October 2018). Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of William John Birdsall. Date unkown. Image kindly provided by Margaret Stevenson (October …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William John AWMM
  • Surname
    Birdsall AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 13/232 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    10 June 1894 AWMM Big OmahaAuckland Province AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 Whangateau, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 J.B. Birdsall, Whangateau, Rodney, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 16 October 1914 AWMM Single/WWI AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 13/232 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 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
    Died of wounds, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • William Birdsall was the son of John Bowden Birdsall and Isabel Birdsall.

      William is commemorated on the Matakana District war memorial. The inscription reads: 'This monument was erected by public subscription as a thanksgiving to almighty God for peace and victory and in memory of the men of this district who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. Their Duty Nobly Done. December 1919'

      His rank is recorded as Private on the memorial. AWMM
    • ===================================================================
      William “Jack” was born 10 August 1894 on the family farm in Big Omaha (Whangateau) the son of John and Isabella. He is related to many familiar families in the Rodney area - Ashton, Darroch, Greenwood, Matheson and Smith.

      Like many young men he was keen to enlist, joining the Auckland Mounted Rifles, 3rd Squadron and left with the main body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 16 October 1914. First to Egypt for several months of training, then on to the Gallipoli peninsula, arriving at ANZAC Cove on the 12th of May 1915, with Walker’s Ridge their next objective.

      On the 14th of June “Jack” was moving down the Monash Valley (south of Walkers Ridge) when he was shot in the back by a Turkish sniper. Under fire, his comrades carried him down to the beach where he was transported to the Hospital Ship H.M.H.S. SOUDAN that took him to the Valletta Hospital in Malta.

      On 22nd June 1915 he passed away as a result of his wounds and is buried at the Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta, 18,000 kms from home. Trooper Birdsall was only 20 years old.

      He is remembered at the Matakana War Memorial and the Birdsall Family plot in the Whangateau Cemetery.

      We will remember him. Public - Matakana - Researcher - 3 October 2017 - Military Personnel Records, NZ Archives, NZ Papers Past.
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About death

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  • Death
    22 June 1915 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta AWMM A. V. 5. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    TROOPER WILLIAM JOHN BIRDSALL, died of wounds on June 22. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Birdsall, of Big Omaha. (AUCKLAND STAR, 12 JULY 1915)
    IN MEMORIAM. BIRDSALL - In loving memory of Trooper William John Birdsall (Jack), who died of wounds at Malta, June 22, 1915. ‘There is a link death cannot sever, a sweet remembrance lasts forever’ - Inserted by his cousin, C. Bond. (NZ HERALD, 27 JUNE 1916) Public - Sandra - Researcher - 30 October 2018 - Papers Past Online
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Matakana War Memorial (King George war memorial statue), Matakana Wharf Reserve, Matakana Road, Matakana, New Zealand AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM

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Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
30 October 2018SandraWaipuResearcher
03 October 2017Matakana War MemorialMatakanaResearcher
10 January 2017AdrienneMatakana, North Auckland, New ZealandResearcher

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