condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

George Huntley Hay

Portrait of George Huntley Hay, The Acme Photo Co., Dunedin, c.1916. Image courtesy of L. Johnston, SCRoll Project, South Canterbury Museum. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of George Huntley Hay, The Acme Photo Co., Dunedin, c.1916. Image courtesy of L. Johnston, …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    George Huntley AWMM
  • Surname
    Hay AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 14020 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    George Hay (father), corner of Hanley Street and Otipua Road, Timaru, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›
  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 14020 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

Contribute ›

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›
  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


Contribute ›

Prisoner of war

Contribute ›
  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

Contribute ›
  • Medical notes
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
    • George Hay was the son of George and Helen Jane Hay, of 2 Hurdley St., Timaru, New Zealand. AWMM
    • George Huntley Hay was the second child and eldest son of George Hay and his second wife, Helen née Marshall, of 2 Hurdley Street, Timaru. Known as Huntley, he was born on 16 August 1895 at Glenomaru in South Otago, and was most likely educated at the Glenomaru School, with which his father was involved. Huntley was probably in his teens when the family moved to Timaru.

      Huntley was a labourer for C. Gamble, East Taieri when he enlisted on 9 March 1916, single and having turned twenty just six months earlier. He nominated his father of Timaru as his next-of-kin. Standing at 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing in at 154 pounds, George was in good physical condition, although he said that he had suffered from rheumatic pains some years previously. G. H. Hay, a labourer of Taieri, left Otago in early March with the men representing Group 15. He had no vaccination mark when he was medically examined but was vaccinated at Trentham a few months later. On 26 June 1916 he embarked at Wellington with the 14th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Battalion, destined for Devonport, England. After a month at Sling he proceeded to France and joined his battalion in October at Rouen. He remained with the Otago Infantry throughout his time at the front.

      Private George Huntley Hay met his fate on 14 June 1917, killed in action at Messines, Belgium, just one year after leaving New Zealand’s shores and aged only 21 years and 10 months. His was one of 155 deaths recorded in Casualty List No. 606 issued on 27 June 1917, the vast majority of the victims killed in action. A death notice appeared in the Timaru Herald of 30 June and in the Otago Witness of 4 July – beloved son of George and Helen Hay, Corner Hurdley and Otipua Streets, Timaru.

      Thereafter, Huntley was regularly honoured by his family with touching notices in Otago and Timaru newspapers. In June 1918 his parents, sisters and brothers remembered thus - “He arose responsive to his country’s call, He gave himself, his life, his all.” In 1919 – “There is a link death cannot sever, Fond remembrance lasts forever.” In 1920 the poignant message read “In a distant land he lies, At rest in a soldier’s grave, His battle fought, his name enrolled On the scroll of the deathless brave.” And for years after, the grief of his loving parents, five brothers and two sisters was quietly expressed, as in 1927 – “Duty called him – he was there To do his bit and take his share; His heart was good, his spirit brave, His resting place a soldier’s grave.” His resting place was indeed, a raw soldier’s grave, he having no known grave. Although the Battle of Messines was a striking success, the New Zealanders paid a heavy price for success – a price paid in the life and future of young Huntley Hay. He is remembered on the Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial, Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Belgium; and his name is inscribed on the Timaru War Memorial Wall, the Glenomaru War Memorial, and the marble tablet beneath the memorial window in the East Taieri Presbyterian Church. The fallen soldiers’ memorial at Glenomaru was constructed through donations and volunteer efforts – a substantial granite monument, raised on a concrete pedestal, with an iron railing – and was unveiled in August 1920. The school children placed wreaths, the cadets paraded, all joined in singing the Old Hundredth Psalm, and The Last Post was sounded. The inscription on the monument reads “The Great War, 1914-1918”, followed by names (including George Huntley Hay), and “Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” At the unveiling and dedication of the memorial window in the East Taieri Church, the Rev. Mr McCosh took for his text John XII, 24. The National Anthem was sung and the names inscribed on the marble tablet were read. The window is symbolical of the text: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.” (Otago Daily Times. 3 August 1921) At the front of the window is the inscription: “T Public - Jenifer - Researcher - 29 January 2023 - South Canterbury Museum :
Read more


About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    14 June 1917 AWMM
    Age 21 AWMM
    BelgiumEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name
    Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial, Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Belgium AWMM

Roll of Honour

Remember George Huntley Hay by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of George Huntley Hay

Leave a note

Contribute ›



Contribute ›


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
29 January 2023JeniferWairarapaResearcher
10 January 2023Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
27 February 2018AllanRotoruaResearcher

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Creative Commons LicenseOnline Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.