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50789 Rifleman William Farquhar Cowie Wilson
A Company 1st Battalion
3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade
5th December 1917

pw63Rifleman William Farquhar Cowie Wilson.jpg

Born in Auckland New Zealand on 24/10/1892. His parents were Robert Cowie Wilson (1860-29/07/1923) and

Agnes Ann Farquhar(1860-1944). They were married on 08/06/1887.

William had 3 brothers, Alcid Frederick Cowie(1890-07/08/1943), Charles Robert Cowie(1898-18/08/1989) and

Norman Edwin Cowie(18/07/1900-09/05/1967).

On 23/06/1915 William married Annie  Brown(1893-19/02/1962) and they had a son, Charles William (07/07/1916-13/11/2003).

He enlisted in Auckland on 21/05/1917 with his medical being conducted the same day. At this time William was employed as a Marine Officer with the Union Steam Ship Company in Auckland, whilst living with his family on Mount Edan Road in Auckland.

Medical Report-

Apparent Age - 25 years, Height - 5ft 71/2 inches, Weight - 188lbs.

Chest Measurement- Minimum - 371/2 inches , Maximum - 40 inches.

Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes - Blue, Colour of Hair - Brown.

Religious Profession - Church of England

Distinctive marks and marks indicating congenital peculiarities or previous disease - Tattoos - Mermaid and Anchor(?) across back of right forearm, butterfly on back of right hand, Annie on front right forearm.

Pityriasis Versicolor (sometimes called tinea versicolor), is a common fungal infection that causes small patches of skin to become scaly and discoloured.

William was posted as a Trooper in 31st New Zealand Mounted Rifles on 31/05/1917, but was transferred just over a week later on 08/06/1917 to 29th Reinforcements as a Private in J Company. That same month saw him promoted to Lance Corporal on 25/06/1917. He was then transferred to J Company in 28th Reinforcements on 26/07/1917 and  promoted to Corporal the same day.

On that same day(26/07/1917), William embarked for England from Wellington abroad HMNZT 90 Ulimaroa. It was not to be until 24/09/1917 that he disembarked in Plymouth, England.

Three days later he was marched into Brocton Camp and he reverted to the rank of Lance Corporal. He was to stay here training for just under a month, before he was sent to France on 23/10/1917,relinquishing his appointment of Lance Corporal on proceeding overseas.

Once his crossing was complete, William marched into Etaples Camp on 26/10/1917, before joining 1st Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade on 02/11/1917 and being posted to A Company.

 Just over  a month later, on 05/12/1917, William was killed in action.

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

Roll of Honour - Auckland Star 27 December 1917 page 2


Corporal W.F.C Wilson


Corporal William Farquhar Cowie Wilson reported killed in action was an officer in the Union Steamship Company prior to enlisting. His wife lives in Grafton Road. He was second son of Captain Robert and Annie Wilson, and Grandson of the late Captain William Farquhar.


Annie, his wife later remarried to James Reid Scurrah(1886-16/04/1952) on 06/06/1923.    


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