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James George Paterson

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1915 - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1915 - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    James George AWMM
  • Surname
    Paterson AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Patterson AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 12/834 AWMM
  • 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
    Unknown AWMM Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    James George Paterson, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 16 October 1914 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    1915-1916 Gallipoli AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 12/834 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 Unknown AWMM 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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Son of Mr. and Mrs. James George Paterson, of Fairburn Rd., Otahuhu, Auckland. Of Chinese descent. AWMM
    • Date of birth is given on enlistment form as 17 July 1894. Public - Karl Nicholas - Researcher - 15 April 2015 - Military personnel file
    • James George Paterson was born in Palmerston North on 17 July 1894. His maternal grandfather was John Jackson who was a Chinese immigrant who came to New Zealand from Hongkong in 1844, was naturalized in 1870, and lived in Palmerston North where he was a chef at the Commercial Hotel. James’ paternal family were Scottish immigrants who settled in Central Otago during the gold rush.
      One week after WW1 was declared, James volunteered for military service and was assigned to 16th Waikato (D) Company, Auckland Infantry Battalion with the rank of private. At the time, James worked as a farmer in Papatoetoe and lived with his parents in nearby Otahuhu.
      The Auckland Infantry Battalion was based at Alexandra Park in Auckland and James commenced his training there on 13 August 1914. Training was not that hard with the highlight being a 15 mile route march south, returning the next day. After a farewell on Auckland Domain, the Battalion boarded HMNZT 12 (ss Waimana) on 22 September 1914 and eventually sailed for Wellington on 11 October to join the Main Body convoy. They departed Wellington on 16th arriving in Port Suez via Albany and Colombo on 3 December 1914 and proceeded to Zeitoun Camp, outside Cairo, where they trained. On 10 April the Battalion boarded the troopship Lutzow at Alexandria and headed to Lemnos to await the now eagerly anticipated “great adventure”. On the 24th, Lutzow took it place in the fleet and sailed towards the Turkish coast.
      The Auckland Infantry, including Private Paterson commenced their landing at 8am on 25 April and were all ashore by 9.30am with few casualties. They discarded their packs and heavy equipment and headed over Plugges Plateau and down to Monash Gully for the uphill climb to Walker’s Ridge to reinforce the Australian Infantry who had landed earlier that day. James’ company was in the lead but soon fell into disarray because of the enemy sniper and machine-gun fire and overhead shrapnel as well as the thick scrub and congestion in Shrapnel Gully. They initially reached Pope’s Hill and from there pushed towards Baby 700 by which time they were mixed in with Australian troops. The enemy defence was intense.
      “All through the afternoon the Turks pressed on the thinning line, creeping up through the scrub, cutting off small parties, sniping, machine-gunning, crawling out on the exposed flanks, enfilading the torn ranks, and all the time their terrible shrapnel pelted and tore. Smoke, dust, heat, the air whining, singing, trembling, with the screeching shells and the flying fragments, rifle barrels red hot with constant firing, dead and dying all around - this was war” (O. E. Burton. “The Auckland Regiment”, p. 29).
      The 16th Waikato Company lost 36 men killed including Private Paterson during the assault on Baby 700. James was initially reported “Missing” however it was not until a Board of Inquiry on 16 January 1916 that he was reported “Dead”.
      On 25 April 1915, Private James George Paterson earned the dubious honour of being the first New Zealand soldier of Chinese decent to pay the ultimate sacrifice in War. They were considered aliens and therefore only 50 Chinese had managed to join the NZEF during the entire war.
      A Memorial Plaque was awarded to the next of kin of those killed while serving during the WW1. James’ was donated to Auckland Museum by his family and now hangs as a public tribute to his supreme sacrifice. Public - Phil - Researcher - 19 February 2017 - Military Personnel File.
      O. E. Burton. “The Auckland Regiment”, p. 29.
      Alastair Kennedy. "Chinese ANZACS". Wellington: NZ Chinese Association, 2015.
      Manawatu Standard, 22 January 1910. Retrieved from
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About death

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  • Death
    25 April 1915 AWMM
    GallipoliTurkey AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Leave a tribute or memory of James George Paterson

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  • Over generations we have been told about my great Uncle and how he was one of the first to fall at Laueling, Galippole, 1915, we have carried this with us through to now my children, and grandchildren. George was very young when he volunteered, and we were all very proud of him
    Public - raewyn absolum paea - Other Relative - 24 April 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Page No: 567 AWMM
    • Kennedy, A. (2015). Chinese Anzacs : Australians of Chinese descent in the defence forces 1885-1919 (revised to include New Zealand-born Chinese of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force 1914-1919) (2nd ed). Wellington: New Zealand Chinese Association. AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 5: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Roll of Honour, Auckland Province (digital copy), 1914 - 1919. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2016-2. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
22 September 2021Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
19 February 2017PhilAuckland, New ZealndResearcher
24 December 2016AllanRotoruaResearcher
24 April 2015raewyn absolum paeaotahuhu, aucklandOther Relative

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