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William Garnett Braithwaite

Brigadier-General W.G. Braithwaite from facing page 64, New Zealand Rifle Brigade by Lt-Col. W.S. Austin, 1924 - No known copyright restrictions

Brigadier-General W.G. Braithwaite from facing page 64, New Zealand Rifle Brigade by Lt-Col. W.S. Au …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Garnett AWMM
  • Surname
    Braithwaite AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWI 15/4 AWMM
    • South African N/N AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    21 October 1870 AWMM KendalWestmorland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Pre 16 October 1914 AWMM Single/WWI AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • South Africa AWMM
    • 1915-1916 Gallipoli AWMM
    • 1914-1919 Western Front AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWI 15/4 AWMM
    • South African N/N AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Graduated Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and joined Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 23 May 1891. AWMM
  • 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
    • Wounds Diseases Etc., South Africa AWMM
      Wounded in South Africa. AWMM
    • Wounds Diseases Etc., South Africa AWMM
      Evacuated ill to England on 27 December AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Garnett and Elizabeth Braithwaite.

    Husband of Gwendolen Elizabeth Hewett.

    Adjutant of 1 Battalion, British Army, 1898-1900.

    Served in South Africa with the British forces, 1899-1902.

    Deputy Assistant Adjutant General (DAAG), March 1901 - August 1902.

    Brevet Major Adjutant of Volunteers, 1902-1904.

    Officer of Cadet Co., Royal Military College (RMC), Sandhurst, 1906-1907.

    Adjutant, RMC, 1907-1910.

    General Staff Officer class 3 (GSO3) of NZ Forces, 25 May 1911 - August 1914.

    General Staff Officer class 1 (GSO1) of HQ 1 NZEF, August 1914.

    Commander of 2 NZ Infantry Brigade, 1916 - February 1918.

    Returned to British Army, 16 February 1918.

    Commander of 16 Infantry Brigade, British Army, October 1918.

    Chronicles Of The N.Z.E.F. - Records of Matters Concerning the Troops, No.39, March 13 1918, page 52 provides the following commentary on Braithwaite in a piece entitled An Experienced Soldier:

    "Easily the best known of our Brigadier-Generals was the elate Commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, old Bill Braithwaite, as he was warm-heartedly termed by the whole Division. He has been with use right from the start, and there are none amongst us who will ever forget his familiar figure, and not a few whom he had brought up to the scratch. He is a soldier of long experience and service, and there is not much that escapes his attention. He is a large man, genial and hearty, and makes his opinions known in no uncertain language. The boys liked the Brigadier, and we shall miss him now that he has transferred to the British Corps as B.G.G.S., and is struck off the strength of the N.Z.E.F.

    Brigadier-General William Garnett Braithwaite, C.M.G., D.S.O., was the elder son of the late Garnett Braithwaite-Wilson of Plumtree Hall, Milnthorpe, Westmorland, and was born at Plumgarths, near Kendal, Westmorland, on October 21st, 1870. He was educated at Marlborough (1882-18880 and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, 1890.

    In May, 1891, he joined the 23rd Royal Welsh Fuisiliers, and was appointed Lieutenant in May, 1894, Captain in July, 1899, Major in May, 1910, Lieutenant-Colonel in August, 1915, and Brevet-Colonel in June, 1917.

    From 1892 to 1897 he served in India with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and fought through the South African War from 1899 to 1902 as Adjutant to the 1st Battalion, and on the Staff as Brigade Major, 6th (Fusilier) Brigade, and later as D.A.A.G. He was present at the Relief of Ladysmith, the battles of Colenso and Pieters Hill, the Relief of Mafeking, the action at Fourteen Streams (wounded), and at the subsequent operations in the Western Transvaal, including the action at Frederikstadt. During his South African service he was three times mentioned in despatches, and gained the Queens Medal with five clasps, and the Kings Medal, and the D.S.O.

    From 1905 to 1909 he was Instructor and Adjutant with the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and in 1910 he passed through Staff College, Camberley. From May, 1911, to the outbreak of war he was on the General Staff in New Zealand as General Staff Officer, Auckland District, and later as Chief of the General Staff at Headquarters, Wellington.

    He left New Zealand with the main body of the Expeditionary Force (October, 1914) as G.S.O. (1), serving in that capacity with the New Zealand and Australian Division in Egypt, and through the Gallipoli Campaign from the landing at ANZAC to November 13th, 1915, when he assumed temporary command of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, at that time holding the Apex Sector of the ANZAC Defences, which command he continued to hold during the evacuation on the most memorable night of December 19th, 1915. On December 21st he was transferred to the command of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, on on March 1st following to the command of the of the newly formed Second New Zealand Division, which Brigade he has commanded on the Western Front in France and Flanders up to the present time. Together with his Brigade, he has gone through the trench days of Armentieres, the Somme, Messines, and the third battle of Ypres.

    In the present campaign the Brigadier-General has been seven times mentioned in despatches, has been decorated with the C.M.G., has gained his promotion to the brevet rank of Colonel, and has done much valiant service.

    In 1901 he married Gwendolen Elizabeth, daughter of the late Lieut.-General E.V.O. Hewett, C.M.G., R.E." AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    15 October 1937 AWMM
    Age 67 AWMM
    CamberleySurrey AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Evening Post. 19 Oct. 1937: 11 . AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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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: 73 AWMM
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Chronicles of the N.Z.E.F. AWMM
      Records of Matters Concerning the Troops. (1918, March 13) Chronicles Of The N.Z.E.F. . No. 39, p. 52; cartoon (1918, August 2). No. 49, p. 5. AWMM
    • Stewart, H. (1921). The New Zealand Division 1916-1919 : a popular history based on official records. Auckland, N.Z.: Whitcombe & Tombs. AWMM
      Official History of New Zealand: Volume II, France by H. Stewart, pp. 9, 15, 81, 108, 114, 116, 139, 150, 192, 212, 307, 313, 323 AWMM
    • The Evening Post AWMM
      Evening Post. 19 Oct. 1937: 11 . AWMM
    • Stowers, R. (2009). Rough riders at war : history of New Zealand's involvement in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 and information on all members of the 10 New Zealand contingents. Hamilton, N.Z.: R. Stowers. 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

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