38807 Lance Corporal

  Mervyn Hugh Egerton Gorringe

  10th Company 2nd Battalion

   New Zealand Otago Regiment

  12th December 1917       

Born on 14/08/1877 in Manston, Dorset, England and baptised the following month on 21/09/1877.

His parents were Peter Rollins Gorringe(1842-12/07/1931) and Fanny Eliza Sweet(1846-07/07/1935). They were married on 02/09/1869.

Mervyn had 4 brothers, Lionel Edward Blomfield(1870-1885), Reginald Ernest Pennington(07/09/1871-23/08/1959), Frank Herbert Rollins(1872-30/05/1967) and Clifford Roy McMurdo(26/07/1883-31/12/1952).

He also had a sister, Constance Lucy Muriel(26/07/1883-27/02/1937).

In the 1881 &1891  census', the family were recorded as living at the Rectory in Manston, Dorset as Peter was the rector for the parish.  

Mervyn was educated at Pembroke Lodge, Southbourne, Hampshire and Radley College, Oxford.

He moved to New Zealand in 1895 and settled in Pohangina as a sheep farmer.

On 06/09/1904 He married Margaret Fraser(24/07/1878-29/01/1967) and they had a son, Donald Frank(13/03/1906-02/05/1958).

In the 1911 NZ Electoral Roll, they were recorded as living in Kawhatau Valley, Oroua and Mervyn was still working as a farmer.

He enlisted in Levin on  04/10/1916 having had a medical at Palmerston North on 02/09/1916, details of which are as follows;

Apparent Age - 39 Years, Trade or Occupation - Farmer & Farrier, Height - 6ft 4 1/4 inches, Weight - 12st 10lbs.

Chest Measurement - Minimum - 34 inches, Maximum - 38 1/2 inches.

Mervyn was promoted to Lance Serjeant on 20/01/1917.

He left New Zealand on 26/04/1917 from Wellington aboard HMNZT Tofua, and not disembarking until 20/07/1917 in Devonport, England; then marching into Sling Camp, Wiltshire on the same day, where he reverted to the rank of Lance Corporal.

A week later on 27/07/1917, he was admitted to the 3rd NZ General Hospital at Codford Camp suffering from Synovitis(the medical term for inflammation of the synovial membrane, which lines joints) and stayed here until being discharged on 02/08/1917 to the NZ Company Depot at the Codford Camp.

On 11/11/1917, he joined his battalion(1st) in the field and was posted to 10th Company, before being transferred to 2nd battalion on 20/11/1917.

Mervyn was  killed in action on 12/12/1917.

He was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

Wanganui Herald - 31 December 1917

"Sergeant M.H.E. Gorringe of Ihakara and brother of Mr Herbert Gorringe of Levin, killed in action, went away with the

25th Reinforcements. He was farming at Pohangina many years ago with his brother and afterwards took up extensive holdings near Kawatau, on the Main Trunk line, more recently engaging in sheep farming at Ihakarar. He was a kindly, genial fellow and greatly esteemed by all who knew him. The two brothers married two Misses Fraser, sisters of Mrs D.H. Fielding. Sergeant Gorringe leaves two children, as well as a widow who has been very active in war work."

© 2021 SleepyJoe Studio

Some photos on this site are © SleepyJoe Studio.Please contact me if you wish to use them.