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8/1555 Private Thomas Vincent McKnight NZEF

2x Wounded NZEF Trio - 8/1555

  • The 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medal trio to Thomas Vincent McKnight, who was twice wounded in action. He suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder on 8th August 1915 at Chunuk Bair and was wounded a second time on 16th September 1916 at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on the Somme.


    Thomas McKnight was born 7th June 1886 at Hanley, Staffordshire, England. Son of Felix and Anne McKnight (née Courtney).  He was employed as a traveller prior to coming to New Zealand. It is unclear when he came to New Zealand, but it would appear to be circa 1913 based on shipping records from Canada. He enlisted in the NZEF in December 1914, and embarked with the 3rd Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Battalion. He served on Gallipoli from May 1915, and was wounded during the tumultuous battle for Chunuk Bair, 8th August 1915. He was evacuated to Egypt, where he recovered from his wound, but did not return to the peninsula.


    McKnight transferred to France with the New Zealand Division in April 1916, serving in the field at Armentieres. During the second day of the New Zealand Division's attack at Flers-Courcelette, McKnight suffered shrapnel wounds and compound fractures of his left leg which necessitated his evacuation to the UK. He was subsequently declared unfit for further service and returned to New Zealand for discharge. During the attack of the 16th September, McKnight's good friend 8/1575 Thomas Stanley Metcalf was fatally wounded. Auckland's Cenotaph Database has a letter McKnight wrote to Metcalf's parents in December 1916 explaining what happened to their son, expressing his condolences.


    Thomas McKnight left New Zealand in March 1918 on the Ruahine, bound for the UK via New York. Of interest, the shipping records for this voyage give his identifying marks as 'gunshot left foot'. McKnight died 29th April 1935 at North Fathom, Newry,  County Armagh, Ireland.


    All medals are correctly impressed 8/1555 PTE. T.V. McKNIGHT. N.Z.E.F.

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