William Arthur Overend

Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Pays de Galles, Royaume-Uni

Informations générales

Serviteur de la ferme

Informations service militaire

New Zealand
Force armée:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation date:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Canterbury Regiment, 3rd Bn.

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Joiners Rest, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Parcelle: IX
Rangée: AA
Tombe: 10

Distinctions et médailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points d'intérêt 2

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement

Mon histoire

Private William Arthur Overend
William Overend was born in Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales on 10 July 1892, to Henry and Eliza Overend. His father came from Yorkshire. The 1901 English Census shows five children in the family at that date. By the 1911 Census William had left his family and may have already settled in New Zealand. By 1914 the Temuka electorate in Canterbury, New Zealand, shows William as a farm labourer in the Totara Valley, Pleasant Point.
When he enlisted on 30 May 1916 at Trentham he joined the 17th Reinforcement, training at Trentham and Featherston camps. He embarked from Wellington on 25 September 1916 on the troop ship Devon, arriving in Plymouth on 21 November. He went on to Sling Camp for further training but soon left for France on 9 December. He spent several months at Etaples, France, where he forfeited 14 days pay for gambling.
William was posted to the 1st Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment on 14 March 1917. He received a wound in his left arm on 7 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines and was evacuated by 77th Field Ambulance to a hospital in France. Presumably the wound was not serious enough for him to need treatment in England. After recovery he was sent back to Etaples and from there posted to 3rd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment on 15 August 1917.
On 4 October he was attached to the NZ Wing reinforcement camp for three weeks before returning to his battalion. Therefore he missed the battles of Broodseinde and First Passchendaele.
The New Zealand Division was in the Polygon Wood area after the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. Much of the time was spent in wiring, repairing crumbling trenches and improving defences. The landscape was covered with waterlogged shellholes.
Neither the New Zealand Division history or that of the Canterbury Regiment give detailed information for the December 1917-February 1918 period so it is impossible to say with any certainty how William Overend died on 22 November 1917. On the night of 21/22 November, 3rd Canterbury Battalion relieved the 3rd Auckland Battalion at a position called Joiners Rest, at Polygon Wood and it can be presumed he was killed during this event. The opposing German forces generally held higher ground and movement in the New Zealand lines was often observed and shelled or machine-gunned.
The recovery and burial must have been difficult. William is among a group of New Zealand soldiers ‘Believed to be buried in this cemetery’ at Buttes New British Cemetery at Polygon Wood. He is marked at a special memorial in Plot IX, Row AA, Grave 10.

Fichiers 1

Sources 6

"The history of the Canterbury Regiment, NZEF 1914-1919", Ferguson, David, Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1921, pg. 204-208.
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Archives New Zealand
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Auckland Cenotaph
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NZEF Project
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