Background Thames WWI:
In 2014, 2300 names were identified for men and women who served in World War One from the greater Thames-Hauraki-Coromandel region. The 'war death' rate was 26% for the Hauraki region.
How many men from Thames township died in the war? Initially research found that over 200 soldiers died in the war (up to 1923 which qualifies for a war related death). When considering the Thames ward (from Kereta to Hikutaia, and Kopu Bridge to Hikuai hill) - this number increased to at least 247 men. This is the number of memorial trees that are planted at the WW100 Forest at Rhodes Park, Thames.
Please note that memorials such as the Thames Peace Memorial do not record all the ROH (or returned soldiers), and is in fact missing at least 50% of the names. There is a remembrance board outside the Thames War Memorial Hall that has a more up-to-date Roll of Honour list.
The names on the St JAMES ROH Board:
* Indicates a war death eg. KIA (Killed in Action) or DOD (Died of Disease). NOK stands for next-of-kin. Place of death is stated as France for the war deaths, and is usually recorded in the war file as on the fields of France or Belgium - based on troop movements and battle dates, it is usually possible to research and get a more accurate location.
Interesting to note that no WWI Nurses are recorded on this board, this is possibly an error and / or only servicemen were deemed eligible to go on the list.
GRAHAM, James: WWI 12/3654 - working as a labourer on enlistment, son of Mr & Mrs William Graham of Terrace Street, Thames.
PRICE, Arthur Gorton: WWI 36791 - Son of George Price of Queen Street, occupation on enlistment was traveller. (Brother of Henry & John)
WATSON, Donald Dr: WWI - Son of John Watson, attended Thames High, further details not known.
|Major George Lapraik|
WWI Medical Corps
- Of the 51 names listed above on the ROH board, 10 men lost their lives as a result of the war. Sydney AGNEW, Charles AUTRIDGE, William CAMPBELL, John GLESSING, Albert GRAHAM, Thomas ISAACS, Colin McONIE, John POTTS, Harold RAMSAY and William WALLACE.
- There were nine sets of brothers: George & James CLARK; George & Thomas CRAWFORD; Albert & James GRAHAM; Thomas & William GRAHAM; Ernest & Fredrick HINDMAN; John & Robert LAW; Ernest, John & Robert MCDONALD; Colin & George McONIE; and Arthur, Henry & John PRICE.
- Dr George Lapraik served as a General Practitioner in the town from 1899 to 1919, which included an incredible stint during the November 1918 Influenza Epidemic. Dr Lapraik was over 50 years of age when he served on the front line during WWI. George died in 1933, and his friends at the Thames placed a headstone on his plot at Hamilton East Cemetery. The monumental inscription reads:In loving Memory. Geo. Lapraik M.B. Mast. Surg. Univ. of Glasgow 1887. Died 7th May 1933 Aged 69 Years. He gave of his best for humanity. Erected by Thames friends.
- Another man on the list, is an example of the amazing folk that came from Thames. Reginald Trevor Smith was awarded an OBE in 1942. A boy from Thames who went onto oversee major civil engineering projects with the public works for decades. Including rebuilding after the 1931 Napier Earthquake, recovery operation at Tangiwai train disaster in 1953, conversion of trams to trolley buses in Wellington, and much more! Smith served in WWI (wounded twice), WWII with the 13th Railway Construction Company and later with the Indian Army.
- Thames WWI Roll of Honour
- WWI Doctors from Thames
- Dr George Lapraik
- Military Nurses
- WWI Tunnellers
- WWII Thames ROH
- Slideshow WWI Thames ROH
- Details of Reginald Trevor Smith's life achievements are in his war file