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William James Cuthbertson

Headstone, Waikaraka Public Cemetery (Photo P Baker 2007) - No known copyright restrictions

Headstone, Waikaraka Public Cemetery (Photo P Baker 2007) - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William James AWMM
  • Surname
    Cuthbertson AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 12/3603 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
    8 November 1877 Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - Archives New Zealand; Military personnel file;
  • Place of birth
    County Tyrone Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - Archives New Zealand; Military personnel file;
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    J. Cuthbertson (brother), 50 Curran Street, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • 1914-1919 Western Front AWMM
    • 1914-1916 Egypt AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 12/3603 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      'Between Corner Fort and Le Brecheaux east of Flerbaix. This N.C.O. is a courageous and a skilled leader and an indefatigable worker. During the night prior to raid by his battalion of 21 February 1917, he supervised the whole of the wire cutting and patrolling on his company front. At dawn he went over with his platoonand its officer being wounded, he took command and led the assualt. Although wounded himself, he remained at the head of the party clearing the enemy's support trench until their task was finished. Strength of raid 16 officers 515 O.R.' - 'London Gazette'- 17/04/1917 AWMM
    • British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
    • Victory Medal AWMM
    • Military Medal (MM) "for acts of gallantry in the field" Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - Archives New Zealand; Military personnel file;

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 Agent/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
    • Advertising Agent Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - Archives New Zealand; Military personnel file;
    • For New Zealand Herald Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - Archives New Zealand; Military personnel file;
  • 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
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Wounded 7 March 1917. Casualty list no. 529/5 AWMM
    • Died after Discharge from Wounds Inflicted or Disease Contracted while on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM
      Died after discharge from the NZEF from wounds inflicted or disease contracted while on active service AWMM
    • Gunshot wound in left wrist 21 February 1917 Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - Archives New Zealand; Military personnel file;

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Mrs A. Cuthbertson of Hillerest, Dundonald, County Down, Ireland

    Embarked, 8 January 1916; disembarked Suez, 12 February 1916.
    Joined 2nd Bn, Auckland Infantry Regiment, Moascar, 9 March 1916.
    Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, France, 8 September 1916.
    Appointed Lance Corporal, 9 October 1916; promoted Corporal, 22 October 1916.
    Appointed Temporary Sergeant, 22 November 1916; promoted Sergeant, 27 December 1916.
    Wounded in action, 21 February 1917 (gun shot wound, left wrist), and admitted to No 1 NZ Field Ambulance; transferred to 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, 22 February 1917; to England, 24 February 1917, and admitted to No 2 NZ General Hospital, Walton-on-Thames, 24 February 1917; discharged, and attached to NZ Command Depot, Codford, 5 May 1917.
    Admitted to No 3 NZ General Hospital, Codford, 13 August 1917; discharged, and attached on strength of NZ Command Depot, 24 August 1917.
    Attached on strength to 3rd Bn, Royal Berkshire Regiment, Portsmouth, 10 October 1917.
    Detached to NZ Field Artillery Depot, Aldershot, 28 November 1917.
    Proceeded overseas to France, 15 April 1918; rejoined 2nd Bn, Auckland Infantry Regiment, in the field, 26 April 1918.
    Promoted Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 31 July 1918.
    Commenced return to New Zealand from London on board SS 'Mamari', 3 July 1919; disembarked Auckland, 20 August 1919; discharged (termination of period of engagement), 17 September 1919.
    War service: 3 years 334 days (of which 3 years 225 days were abroad)
    Died after discharge from wounds sustained in action.
    Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

    Mother: Mrs A. Cuthbertson Hillerest, Dundonald, Co Down, Ireland AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    22 April 1920 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Waikaraka Cemetery, 1 Alfred Street, Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM Area 2 , Block W, Grave 90 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    At the inquest held by Mr. J.E.. Wilson, S.M.. touching the death of William James Cuthbertson, who had been found dead in the public lavatory in Customs Street on Thursday afternoon, evidence was given that Cuthbertson was a returned soldier, who had sustained wounds, and had won the military medal. He was a single man, 38 years of age engaged in business on salary as a canvasser, and living at his brother's home at Onehunga. According to the brother, he had no financial worries, but was given to drinking exceseively. He had shown no sign of depression. On Thursday afternoon, when in company with a friend, Walter Arnold, he exhibited a small bottle of poison which he said he had got to poison a dog. Later Cuthbertson went to the lavatory, and after waiting a while for him to return to the street Arnold went to look for him, and found him dead, the bottle of poison being on the floor. Arnold stated that Cuthbertson that day looked like a man who had been drinking a deal, but he was not depressed and spoke of going to the Domain on Saturday. Other evidence was to the effect that about 1 p.m. on Thursday Cuthbertson obtained the poison at F. J. Cooper's chemist shop in Victoria Street, saying it was wanted to apply to an injured leg, and when asked to sign the poison book he picked up the bottle and hurried out without signing the book or paying the price, sixpence. After hearing the medical testimony, the coroner found that Cuthbertson died from shock following the swallowing of poison, self administered, while he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor." Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 17 August 2015 - National Library of New Zealand; Paperspast portal; Auckland Star, Volume LI, Issue 98, 24 April 1920, Page 15;
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
01 September 2015SarndraAuckland, New ZealandResearcher

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