Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 1994.92 Collection of Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, N2946.1 2016-03-21T00:00:00.000Z 1 2019-10-25T03:36:36.787Z 4E 55 British War Medal, WW1 Medal awarded to 65512 Rifleman William E (Bill) Burgess, NZ Rifle Brigade, WW1 William Burgess (1884-1958) came to NZ aged 16 years circa 1900. He was part of a group of London lads who had decided to emigrate, but Bill was the only one who actually came out. In New Zealand he worked building railways, North and South Islands [probably Main Trunk Line]. He enlisted with the NZ Rifle Brigade in 1917, aged 32 years, and embarked with the 33rd Reinforcements on 31 December 1917. Bill Burgess was badly wounded with shrapnel from a Minenwerfer during the advance after the German breakout in March 1918 [near Bapaume]. The “Minnie” came over and Bill said to his mate “that was a close one”, then looked round and his mate had lost his head, while Bill got hit across his shoulder and chest. He was sent to London for convalesce – near Greenwich. This was where he met his wife, Mabel, and settled back in England. Information from donors British War Medal 1914-20, WW1 Part of mounted medal set of 65512 Rifleman William E (Bill) Burgess, NZ Rifle Brigade, WW1 circular silver medal; plain, straight non-swivelling suspender; with ribbon obverse: coinage head of King George V with the legend GEORGIUS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP: reverse: naked figure of St. George on horseback facing right. The horse is trampling on an eagle shield and cross bones symbolic of death; above the horse’s head is the sun, symbolic of victory. Around the edge are the dates, 1914 and 1918 ribbon: broad orange watered band down the centre, bordered with white, black and blue stripes named on edge: 65512 RFLM. W.E. BURGESS. N.Z.E.F. medal, campaign
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