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James Robert Dennistoun

James Dennistoun in uniform - No known copyright restrictions

James Dennistoun in uniform - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Robert AWMM
  • Surname
    Dennistoun AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    7 March 1888 AWMM Peel ForestCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 George James Dennistoun (father), Peel Forest, South Canterbury, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • 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 or died while a Prisoner of War, Cause of Death AWMM
    Died whilst a Prisoner of War of wounds received in action AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of George James and Emily Dennistoun, of Peel Forest, South Canterbury.

    New Zealand lost a very keen and able mountain-explorer in death of "Jim" Dennistoun, who, after being wounded and taken prisoner, died in 1916, in a German hospital. (from New Zealand Alpine Journal, volume 3 , No.11, December 1921)

    "Holding a commission in the Irish Horse, attached to the R.F.C., died at Ohrdruf, in Thuringia, on August 9th, 1916, from the effects of wounds received while flying. His biplane caught fire, and he was compelled to descend in the enemy’s lines. He achieved considerable fame as a member of Scott’s Expedition in 1910, being awarded the King’s Antarctic Medal as well as that of the Royal Geographical Society. After leaving school in 1897 he farmed in Canterbury, and by way of recreation took to mountaineering, ascending many virgin peaks, in particular Mitre Peak, hitherto considered inaccessible. He went to the front in November, 1915, and was for some months intelligence officer to a division, afterwards joining the R.F.C. At the time of his death, he was on a bombing expedition with his cousin, H. B. Russell." (In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School]) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    9 August 1916 AWMM
    Age 33 AWMM
    OhrdrufGermany AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Niederzwehren Cemetery, Kassel, Hessen, Germany AWMM IV.H.2. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Lieutenant James Robert Dennistoun, Irish Horse, attached R.F.C., died at Ohrdruf, in Thuringia, Central Germany, on August 9, from the effects of wounds received while flying. His biplane caught fire and he had to descend in the enemy lines. He was the elder son of George James Dennistoun, of Peel Forest, Canterbury, New Zealand, a member of a younger branch of the old family of Dennistoun, of Dennistoun and Colgrain. He was born at Peel Forest, was educated at Wanganui and Malvern College, and was a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand. Lieutenant Dennistoun was a member of Captain Scott’s Antarctic Expedition, 1910-11, and was awarded the King’s Antarctic medal and that of the Royal Geographical Society. After leaving school he had taken up sheep-farming, but he took the keenest pleasure in mountaineering. He made the ascent of many of the snow-capped Southern Alps in New Zealand, amongst them that of several virgin peaks. He also climbed, alone, Mitre Peak, in Milford Sound, which had up to that time been considered inaccessible. Lieutenant Dennistoun, who did a considerable amount of exploration work, was a member of the Alpine Club. On the outbreak of war he returned to England and obtained a commission in the Irish Horse. He went to the front last November, and was for some months intelligence officer to a division, afterwards joining the Royal Flying Corps. His brother, Lieutenant-Commander George Dennistoun, D.S.O., R.N., is on active service abroad. (The Times, 2 September 1916, p. 8)

    Obituary: Chronicles of the NZEF 1916 (2) p. 33 AWMM
  • Memorial name
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