World War 1 Service:

William Thomas KNOX

The information below is from William Thomas's Defence Force Personnel Record, from Archives New Zealand.

Biographical Details

According to his History-Sheet, his occupation was Linesman last employed by the "Electric Light Dept". His last New Zealand address was 8 Hall St, Wellington. His religion was R.C. [Roman Catholic] and his birth-date was 14/4/72, in England.

His next of kin was listed as his 'mother', Mrs. Lilian Knox, of 8 Hall St, Newtown, Wellington. However this was twice amended over time; firstly, 'mother' is replaced with 'wife', at Seddon Road, Waddington Estate, Nai Nai, Lower Hutt; then to Cuddy [sic: Cudby] St, Lower Hutt.

Details of his marriage are provided: to Lilian Monks (spinster) at Dunedin, on 20/8/83, by Dr Stuart, of Dunedin.

This last item is interesting because he cites a birth-date of 1872, and a marriage date of 1883, which would have made him 11 years old when he married! The marriage year is confirmed by the NZ Registrar of Birth, Deaths & Marriages, so the birthdate is wrong. It is likely he understated his age, probably by 10 years.

His Attestation was dated 18 January, 1916, at Trentham. He gives his birth-place as 'England', saying he was a British subject, and gave his birth-date as 14th April, 1872.

He gives his occupation as Linesman, last employed by "Electric Light Dept". He last resided at 8 Hall St, Newtown, and had passed the Fourth Educational Standard.

He was married. He hadn't been convicted by the Civil Power, nor was he at the time a member of any 'military or naval force'. However, he had 2 years membership of a 'Volunteers' unit

His "Apparent age" was given as 43 years. His physical description is given as: 5 foot 6 inches, 154 lbs [69.85 Kg], chest measuring 34 inches (max: 38 inches), medium complexion, grey eyes, brown hair. His religious profession was R.C. [Roman Catholic]. His medical examination was 'normal' and so he was classed as "Fit".

Service Details

He was assigned to F Company, 12th Battalion of the NZ Rifle Brigade, and became part of the 12th Reinforcements with the Service Number 12416.

He served 137 days in New Zealand and 2 years 40 days overseas, for a total of 2 years 177 days. This included a period in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in 1916 as well as on the Western Front during 1916, '17, & '18. His service commenced on 18/1/'16 and ended with his discharge on 13/7/'18.

  • Posted 18/1/1916
  • Disembarked Egypt 22/6/16
  • Embarked Egypt 26/7/16
  • Disembarked Southampton 7/8/16
  • Posted as Rifleman to D Coy at Sling 7/8/16
  • Left Sling for France 19/9/16
  • Marched in to Etaples 20/9/16
  • Marched out to Division from Etaples 1/10/16
  • Posted to C Coy 4th Batn 3/10/16
  • Transferred to Bn Hqrs 11/9/17
  • To UK on Leave 16/9/17
  • Returned from Leave 27/9/17
  • Attached to NZ [?] 9/10/17
  • Rejoined unit 20/10/17
  • Transferred to No1 NZ (D) Emp Coy 9/1/18
  • Posted to unit 9/1/18
  • Detached to Base 11/3/18
  • Classified "C" [No Longer Physically Fit for War Service?] by NZ Standing Med Board 18/3/18
  • Proceeded to England 26/3/18
  • Marched in Torquay 28/3/18
  • Embarked for NZ Waimaroa [?] from Liverpool 1/5/18
  • Returned to NZ 14/6/18
  • Discharged 13/7/18


He was awarded the British War Medal 1914-19 and the Victory Medal. These were sent to him at Waddington Settlement, Nai Nai, Lower Hutt in September 1924.

British War MedalBritish War Medal
Victory MedalVictory Medal