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Donald Johnstone McGavin

Portrait of Colonel Donald Johnstone McGavin. Image sourced from Imperial War Museums' 'Bond of Sacrifice' collection. ©IWM HU 117461

Portrait of Colonel Donald Johnstone McGavin. Image sourced from Imperial War Museums' 'Bond of Sacr …


  • Title
    CMG Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 January 2016 - Military Record
  • Forenames
    Donald Johnstone AWMM
  • Surname
    McGavin AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 3/604 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion
    Church of England Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 January 2016 - Military Record

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    19 August 1876 AWMM EnglandUnited Kingdom AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
    son of John & Jessie McGavin of Tokomaru Bay, Gisborne Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 January 2016 - Poverty Bay Herald report 3 Nov 1915 page 3 - refer document Torpedoed Transport
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 Pre 19 April 1915 AWMM Upper Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Mrs Mary McGavin (wife), 200 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 21 May 1915 AWMM Married/WWI AWMM
    • 27 August 1903 married Mary Allan Chapple in Wellington
      father of 1 son - Donald Burns McGavin Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 January 2016 - & BMD NZ Records


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 19 April 1915 AWMM
    Age 38 AWMM
    Medical practitioner AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Donald McGavin was the son of John McGavin and Jessie Burns

    Qualified as LCRP in 1899, MB in 1900, and MD in 1901

    Served as a civilian surgeon during Anglo-Boer War in South Africa before joining the RAMC in Natal

    McGavin married Mary Allan Chapple on 27 August 1903 and had one son

    Commanding Officer (CO) of No. 1 NZ Stationary Hospital from 19 April 1915

    Assistant Director of Medical Services (ADMS) for NZ Division, October 1916

    Promoted to Colonel on 29 June 1917

    Appointed Temporary Director of Medical Services (DMS) for NZEF in the UK

    Promoted to Brigadier and served as Director General of Medical Services (DGMS), 1919-23

    Appointed Honorary Surgeon to the Governor-General, 1920-24

    Promoted to Major General in 1923

    Put on Reserve of Officers list in 1924

    Served as Medical advisor to Manpower Board, 1939-45

    Ship name "Marama" from The Evening Post, May 23, 1915 listing the nurses and officers on the passenger list. Transfer to Moldavia. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    8 May 1960 AWMM
    Age 83 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    Crematorium in Wellington Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 January 2016 - Wellington Cemetery Records
  • Grave reference
    Record No. 19353 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 16 January 2016 - Wellington Cemetery Records
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 447 AWMM
    • British Medical Journal AWMM
      21 May 1960, p1576 AWMM
    • The Evening Post AWMM
      9 May 1960, p12 AWMM
    • New Zealand Medical Journal AWMM
      v59 n335 (July 1960), pp348-349 AWMM
    • Unknown photographer. (1914 - 1918) [Battles at Ypres and Messines]. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira. PH-ALB-195. 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. 2: Includes portrait 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
    • Pat Clarkson Medical Practitioner Research Project (January 2014 - March 2022). This project identified Medical Practioners who served in WWI. AWMM
    • McDonald, W. (2013). Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. (3rd ed.). Hamilton, N.Z.: Richard Stowers. AWMM
    • The Le Quesnoy Campaign research was undertaken by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists as part of the development of New Zealand Liberation Museum - Te Arawhata (Le Quesnoy France). This research project was led by CJ Barbour (NZSG), BI Silvester, HH Farrant (NZMHS) with the support of NZSG volunteers (2022). The individuals included in this research data set were verified as serving in Le Quesnoy. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
16 January 2016Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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