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Vivian Claude Kavanagh

Portrait - No known copyright restrictions
Portrait - No known copyright restrictions AWMM


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Vivian Claude AWMM
  • Surname
    Kavanagh AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • South African 8770 AWMM
    • WWI 24/203 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    2 June 1882 AWMM MaukuWaikato AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • South African Mauku, South Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW1 140 Crummer Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Mrs Charlotte Kavanagh (mother), 140 Crummer Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Training and 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 in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Vivian Kavanagh possibly born 1880, was the son of Charlotte and Charles Kavanagh. Mr Kavanagh died at a young age. Vivian Kavanagh lived with his widowed mother and his sister in Grey Lynn before enlisting. He was a Ponsonby Hockey Rep. and a Cricket Rep. (see attached photos of Auckland Hockey Club v. Whangarei Reps. hockey teams 1905 and Auckland Reps 1913(?).

      He was a master builder in partnership with a Mr Williams.

      The Plaque sent by the King to the Sergeant Kavanagh's mother is held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum. AWMM
    • Vivian Claude Kavanagh was born on the 2nd June 1882. He was the youngest son of Charles and Charlotte Kavanagh. Charles died suddenly the same year of Vivian's birth. Vivian had two older sisters, Marcella and Ida and two brothers Francis and Charles (Cecil).

      The Kavanagh family were prominent figures in Mauku in South Auckland and owned and ran the Mauku Store and Post Office. Vivian attended the local schools.

      When the South African War broke out in 1899, the Empire called for New Zealand's help. Vivian volunteered his services for the Boar War age 17 years old. He was a member of the Tenth Contingent on the ship Drayton Grange. He worked his way up to Lance Corporal, serving until the war ended in 1902.
      It was when he returned from the Boar War he took a study in architecture and set up his own building and contracting business in partnership with T. H Williams, designing many stylish and comfortable homes in Auckland.
      Vivian was an enthusiastic sportsman and well known for his sporting attributes, becoming one of Auckland's best representative hockey and cricket player. He took part in several cricket cup championships and inter-provincial matches as well as participating in hockey shield contests. It is quoted in a newspaper article that "he was not conspicuous in public life, but on the field of play he stood out prominently on the account of his brilliancy. He added many friends and admirers wherever he played."
      In 1911, he designed and built a beautiful modern homestead in Patumahoe for his sister, Ida and brother-in -law Edwin Cuff (our grandparents). The home was named Wharerakau and was the place where our mother Muriel was born ( the youngest of five sisters - Lucy, Stella, Doreen and Moira, Vivian's nieces). Our mother Muriel was born the year Vivian died at war.

      In 1914 when World War One began, Vivian and his older brother Cecil enlisted. Cecil joined the 6th Auckland Infantry Battalion leaving Wellington August 1915 for the Gallipoli Campaign. Vivian joined the A Company, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, (Earl of Liverpool's Own, affectionately known as The Dinks) 2nd Battalion and left from Wellington on the 9th October 1915 eventually arriving in Cairo on 14 November. They were then attached for duties with the Western Frontier Force.

      It is noted in Vivians World War 1 records that he contracted Trench fever (an infectious disease transmitted by body lice causing fever, rash, headaches, muscle pain especially in the legs) and was admitted to Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) on the 29/01/17 then 2 weeks later transferred to Convalence Depot (hospital) . He eventually rejoined his own unit.

      On the 9th August 1917 during The Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) Vivian was shot by a sniper. He is buried in Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Commines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Public - joy - Direct descendant - 24 April 2016 - Family albums and archives
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About death

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  • Death
    9 August 1917 AWMM
    Age 35 AWMM
    YpresBelgium AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Commines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium AWMM III. A. 24. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Vivian Claude Kavanagh

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  • "Remembered always by your great nieces and extended families"
    Public - joy - Direct descendant - 24 April 2016
  • In memory of the great uncle I never met.
    Public - Lois - Other relative - 22 April 2016



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  • External links
  • Documents
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      Vol1: 383 AWMM
    • New Zealand Sporting and Dramatic Review AWMM
      Roll of Honour, 6 September 1917, p. 22, 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


Command item
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09 August 2017RaewynAucklandDirect descendant
22 April 2016LoisAustraliaOther relative
22 April 2015Joykaitaia nzOther Relative
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