11527 James Lawrence Peterson NZEF
NZEF Wounded Pair - Peterson
The British War Medal and Victory Medal pair issued to James Lawrence Peterson, a Swedish-born veteran of the Swedish Army. Wounded on the Somme in 1916.
Details of the life of James Peterson are sketchy, but his obituary notes that he went to sea at a young age before serving in the Boer War "with the British Forces". Peterson himself makes no such claim on his attestation papers, and this claim has not been verified. His attestation papers do advise that he had served three years with the Swedish Army prior to coming to New Zealand, so perhaps this is what the obituary was referring to. At the time of his enlistment in 1916 Peterson was working as a contractor for Gammons Sawmillers of Tauranga and was residing at Omanawa Falls near Tauranga. He gave his birth date as 1870, but given he was 80 when he died in 1944, it seems he was actually born in 1864.
Peterson served on the Western Front with 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment from late August 1916. During the advance at Flers-Courcelette on 15th September 1916 Peterson suffered a gunshot wound to the buttock. He was evacuated to the UK, and treated at No 1 NZ General Hospital, Brockenhurst. He was subsequently assessed as unfit for further service, and returned to New Zealand in January 1917 for discharge.
After the war Peterson settled at Glenorchy, where he prospected for gold at Oxburn Creek. He died 19th September 1944 at Frankton, having never married and having no family in New Zealand.
Both medals are correctly impressed 11527 PTE. J.L. PETERSON. N.Z.E.F.