Frank Thomas Lister

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Gisborne, Cook, New Zealand

General information


Army information

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

Information about death

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


Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Frank Lister was born on 29 May 1889 in Gisborne, New Zealand. He was one of seven children of Albert and Elizabeth Mary Lister.

By 1914 Frank was working as a labourer at Whatatutu, a remote hill area 30 km north of Gisborne. Over the next year he also worked as a motor driver, reflecting the rising number of cars in use.

He enlisted on 14 February 1915 at Trentham into the 5th Reinforcement, service number 10/2209. After four months training at Trentham Camp he embarked on the troop ship Maunganui on 13 June 1915, arriving in Suez, Egypt, on 24 July 1915. The Gallipoli Campaign was underway and the 5th Reinforcement were quickly sent there to boost the New Zealand infantry battalions for the August Offensive. Frank joined the Wellington Battalion.

Frank was wounded during the fighting at Chunuk Bair at Gallipoli on 8 August and was evacuated to Mudros (Lemnos). He rejoined the 1st Battalion of the Wellington Regiment on 5 October 1915 back on Gallipoli for the final two months of the campaign before evacuation to Egypt.

He sailed with the newly-formed New Zealand Division to France in April 1916. He was accidently wounded on 18 June in France and spent two weeks recovering. He was struck down by mumps in February which took him to hospital for three weeks.

The Battle of Messines caused more problems for Frank. He received a gunshot wound to the head on 8 June 1917. He was evacuated to Brockenhurst (NZ) Military Hospital in Hampshire, England on 18 June and spent six weeks there before going to Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital. On 2 August he transferred to Codford Camp where New Zealand soldiers recovered from wounds usually went for retraining.

In October 1917 he was posted to the Employment Company before returning to 1st Wellington Battalion on 9 January 1918. As with many members of the Division Frank was detached to a tunneling group, spending a week with the 3rd Canadian Tunneling Company from 10 January.

On 26 January, 1st Wellington Battalion relieved the 1st Canterbury Battalion in the front line in the Judge sub-sector of Reutel sector, just west of Polygon Wood. Active patrolling was carried out although bright moonlight made this difficult.

Frank Lister was killed on 27 January, the only death of the battalion in this period of front line service. He was buried near the Polygon Butte. He was re-buried in Buttes New British Cemetery, Plot I, Row B, Grave 20.

Files 1

Sources 6

"The Wellington Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 1914-1919", W.A. Cunningham W.A., Treadwell C.A.L, Hanna J.S., The Naval & Military Press,sd, page 242 - 243
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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