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James Duncan McLennan Wilson

  • Service number
    WWI 14180 AWMM
  • Also known as
    • James Duncan McLellan AWMM
    • James Duncan McLellan AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Last rank
  • War
Portrait, Chaplain Wilson (kindly provided by family) - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait, Chaplain Wilson (kindly provided by family) - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
    Rev. AWMM
  • Forenames
    James Duncan McLennan AWMM
  • Surname
    Wilson AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • James Duncan McLellan AWMM
    • James Duncan McLellan AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 14180 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    • 14 March 1882 AWMM DunedinOtago AWMM
    • 14 March 1882 Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra DunedinOtago Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Mabel Wilson (wife), 30 Tunbridge Street, Merivale, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 26 June 1916 AWMM Married AWMM
    Married, 1 child AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Sinai & Palestine AWMM
    • Sinai & Palestine AWMM
    • Sinai & Palestine AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 14180 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 9 June 1916 AWMM
    Age 34 AWMM
    Clergyman/Civilian AWMM
  • 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
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Malaria 1918 AWMM
    • Accidental Death, Cause of Death AWMM
      Died after being hit by a car whilst crossing the road AWMM

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Mabel Cooke (1878-1969) married 14 June 1912. They had one son James Bruce Wilson (1913-1989)

    He was born at Cumberland Street, Dunedin 14 March 1882, the third son of James Campbell Wilson and Annie Paterson Wilson, nee McLennan who had migrated from Glasgow, Scotland in 1879.

    He volunteered for service despite having a wife and young son.

    Served from 9 June 1916 to 27 February 1919, with foreign service 26 June 1916 to 7 January 1919 total 2 years and 264 days.

    He was a Freemason and was Secretary of the "NZ Expeditionary Forces in Palestine & Egypt Masonic Association". On 6 April 1918 they held a meeting at the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem, the supposed site of Solomon's Temple, a place of great significance to Freemasons. A photograph was published later in a booklet of the occasion.

    A Presbyterian Minister he trained for the Ministry at the Hall, Dunedin 1909-1911. Served at Weston 1912, Waimate 1919 and then St Andrews, New Plymouth from 1926-1945. There was some controversy in the 1990's at St Andrews, the minister wanted to rededicate the church as the foundation stone c1934 with Wilson's name on it said "laid with Masonic ceremony".

    Name spelled incorrectly as McLellan on the Nominal Roll

    War service: England, Egypt
    Reported and attached to 14th Reinforcements as Presbyterian Chaplain, 10 June 1916.
    Reported to No 1 Camp, and attached to Canterbury Company for rations, 24 August 1916.
    Attached to NZ Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch, 20 November 1916.
    Proceeded overseas to Egypt, 30 November 1916; taken on strength, NZ Mounted Rifles Training Unit and Depot, Cairo, 12 January 1917.
    Attached for duty to NZ Mounted Rifles Field Ambulance, 31 March 1917.
    On detachment, Desert Mounted Corps Rest Camp, Port Said, 10 August 1917; rejoined unit from detachment, 20 August 1917.
    [Service in Salonika? one mention on file, but no details recorded.]

    Admitted to 4th Stationary Hospital, Kantara, 23 August 1918 (malaria: slight); discharged to Rest Camp, Cairo, 31 August 1918; discharged to duty, 5 September 1918.
    Admitted to 36th Stationary Hospital, Alexandria, 17 October 1918 (malaria); transferred to hospital, Ras el Tin, 2 November 1918.
    Commenced return to New Zealand from Suez on board HT 'Malta', 14 December 1918 (on duty); discharged, 27 February 1919.
    War service: 2 years 264 days (of which 2 years 196 days were abroad) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    24 November 1966 AWMM
    Age 84 AWMM
    Island BayWellington AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Cremated at Karori Crematorium, Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: Evening Post, November 1966 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • Rev. James Wilson was the Secretary of the NZEF Masonic Association in Egypt and Palestine. He was also a member of the NZEF Masonic Association in France. It is possible he also had one of the 50 Masonic Jewels created to commemorate the holding of the meeting on the 6th April 1918 in Jerusalem inside the Dome of the Rock at 2.15pm. For more information see "The Brig" a biography of William Meldrum published 2013 I am interested in identifying the men in the photograph. I have all the names but cannot place their faces.
    Public - Gordon - Researcher - 23 June 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • 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
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
      Correspondence with family AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
      Cenotaph data entry form AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1917). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume II. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      34: 27 AWMM
    • The Evening Post AWMM
      Death notice: Evening Post, November 1966 AWMM
    • NZEF Peter Dennis, UNSW Canberra 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


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
23 June 2015GordonGreymouth New ZealandResearcher

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