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Charles Unsworth McGrath

Portrait of Private Charles Unsowrth McGrath, Military Medal, Royal Canadian Regiment. Archives New Zealand, R24184018. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Private Charles Unsowrth McGrath, Military Medal, Royal Canadian Regiment. Archives New …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Charles Unsworth AWMM
  • Surname
    McGrath AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Charlie McGrath AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 477639 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    7 November 1887 AWMM Bay of IslandsNew Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 Pre 15 August 1912 AWMM New Brunswick, Canada AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Mr Joseph McGrath (father), Napier Police, Napier, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    1914-1919 Western Front AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 477639 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      Citation for Military Medal (MM): "For Conspicuous Bravery in the Field." [Source: London Gazette 29854]. When detached from his own Regiment, he placed himself under the orders of officer Commanding the 42nd Canadian Battalion, R.H.C. and after the attack of September 15th did great service in dressing the wounded, both of the 42nd Battalion and the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. In the attack of September 16th, he did exceptionally good work, regardless of fatigue and danger in dressing the wounded and bringing them in. His work, until he became detached from the Royal Canadian Regiment, was invaluable to all who came in contact with him." AWMM
    • 1914-1915 Star AWMM
    • British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
    • Victory Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 15 August 1912 AWMM Clerk AWMM
    St JohnsQuebec Province 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
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 10 1/4 inches AWMM
    • Chest expansion, Unknown Period AWMM
      33 inches (min); 36 1/2 inches (max) AWMM
    • Complexion, Unknown Period AWMM
      Fresh AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Blue AWMM
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Light brown AWMM
    • Distinguishing marks, Unknown Period AWMM
      birthmark on right thigh, false teeth (whole top set) AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Joseph Albert McGrath (ex-superintendent of New Zealand Police) and Mary Geraldine McGrath (nee Browne), of 26, Konini Rd., Hataitai, Wellington, New Zealand.

    The date of death is probable as this was the date when the Royal Canadian Regiment was involved in a major offensive against the German line during the Battle of Ancre Heights. He was reported missing presumed dead.

    He was briefly a Sergeant as of 29 October 1915, but on landing in France 3 days later he was court martialled for drunkenness on active service and demoted to the rank of Private. It is likely he is buried somewhere near the village of Courcelette on the Somme.

    The Auckland Museum Library's manuscripts collection contains a hand-illustrated certificate honouring the bravery of Charles McGrath. [Ref. MS 2002/121]

    Age at death incorrect on CWGC AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    8 October 1916 AWMM
    Age 28 AWMM
    FranceEurope 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
    Vimy Memorial, Pas-de-Calais, France AWMM

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  • External links
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
    Sources Used
  • References
    • McGrath, Charles Unsworth. Certificate. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/121. AWMM
      McGrath, Charles Unsworth. Certificate. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2002/121. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
20 February 2018JeniferWairarapaResearcher

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