James Frederick Lang

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Salt Water Creek Kaiapoi, New Zealand

General information


Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Service number:
 —  Canterbury Regiment, 3rd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: IX
Row: AA
Grave: 16

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

Private James Frederick Lang served in the Canterbury Regiment, Third Battalion, 4th New Zealand Brigade. He was the son of Frederick and Isabella Lang, of Saltwater Creek, Canterbury, New Zealand.

After the Third Battle of Ypres the New Zealand Division held the line in and around Polygon Wood. In early December the Division wanted to improve its positions and tried to take the heights round Polderhoek Chateau. The Division’s battalions relieved each other in the Polygon Wood sector, the main work being improving defenses, repairing trenches and wire. The landscape was water-filled shell holes. The Germans had observation over much of the area so any movement was shelled or machine-gunned.

The 2nd Brigade was replaced by the 4th Brigade on the night of 15/16 December; In this, the 3rd Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment replaced the 1st Canterbury. It was during this period that James Frederick was killed, on the 16th of December 1917, aged 25. He is now in a special memorial grave at Buttes New British Cemetery at Polygon Wood, Plot IX, Row AA, Grave 16.

Files 1

Sources 6

"The history of the Canterbury Regiment N.Z.E.F. : 1914-1919", Ferguson D., Whitcombe and Tombs, 1921, page 218 - 223
Sources used
Auckland cenotaph
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NZ project
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Service Records
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The long, long Trail
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