William Nankervis

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

General information


Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1st Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Wolf Farm, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 3

British War Medal
Military Medal
Medal — 17/12/1917
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Private William Nankervis served in the Auckland Regiment 1st Battalion, “A” Company, part of the 1st New Zealand Brigade, of the New Zealand Division. The Division participated in the Third Battle of Ypres. It was involved in the Battle of Broodseinde on the 4th of October 1917 and attacked the ‘s Graventafel Spur. The 1st Aucklands cleared and consolidated a series of pill-boxes round Aviatik Farm and Dear House. Private William Nankervis went into the attack as a Company stretcher-bearer. He won a Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry in the field. From the 4th October until the Battalion was relieved on the 6th instant he worked ceaselessly evacuating wounded at all times and under the heaviest fire. Furthermore he saved many lives by his prompt and skillful bandaging of the wounded. His work throughout was of the very highest standard, and was carried out at great personal risk. He showed conspicuous devotion to duty and the greatest possible praise is due to him for his work, which showed he is possessed of steadfast courage, splendid endurance and cool organization.
The Division once more attacked on the 12th of October, the First Battle of Passchendaele. It attacked in Wolf Copse and Wolf Farm near the Belle Vue Crest with the 2nd New Zealand and the 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade. The attack was a failure and the New Zealanders suffered a huge amount of casualties. The shattered and battered Battalions were relieved as quickly as possible. On the 16th of October the 1st Auckland relieved the 2nd Otago in the support lines. Three days later the 1st Auckland took over the left front sector with their Battalion Headquarters at Krönprinz Farm. The weary Battalion remained in the line till they were relieved by men of the 3rd Canadian Division in the night of the 23rd-24th of October 1917.
Private William Nankervis was killed in action on the 22nd of October 1917, while the 1st Auckland was in the line on the left of the Divisional sector, at Wolf Farm. He possibly fell due to German shellfire on the New Zealand positions. Private William Nankervis remains weren’t recovered and he is remembered on the New Zealand Apse of the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Sources 6

"The Auckland Regiment N.Z.E.F. 1914-1918", Burton O.E., Christchurch, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd., 1922, pg. 177-181.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 99-101 & 114-116.
Sources used
Auckland Cenotaph
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The Long, Long Trail
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