Topic: William David Gold

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action in Egypt.

Gold, W. D.

Lance Corporal William David Gold – 7/335        

William was born at Dunsandel on 21st February 1892, eldest son of William and Johnanna Gold.  He was educated at the Kowai Bush School. Being of a happy and genial disposition, he was extremely popular in the whole district. Before enlisting he was working as a labourer for C. H. Johnson at Kowai Bush. He had previous military experience having served with the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry. He was 5ft 8in tall with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His distinguishing feature was a mole on the left side of his chest.

He was the first in the district to enlist, and remarked, when war was declared, that he would be ready to go in half an hour. The day of his death, August 14th, was the third anniversary of his enlistment.  William enlisted on 20th Aug 1914 at Addington and was assigned to the Canterbury Mounted rifles. He embarked with the Main Body on 16th October 1914 bound for Suez on board Transport no 4. He arrived at Alexandria on 3rd December 1914, after 50 days at sea. He joined the fighting on Gallipoli on 9th May 1915 and was wounded in the hip in fighting on Walkers Ridge on 8th July. He was evacuated by hospital ship Gascon to Tigne Hospital in Malta. During the First World War, Malta served as a "Nurse of the Mediterranean" caring for 2500 officers and 55 400 troops from the Gallipoli campaigns. He returned to the advanced base at Mustapha on board the Ionian on 9 September and then re-joined his unit on Mudros on 15th September. However he fell ill with influenza and was admitted to the Ccasualty Clearing Station and then the 15 Stationary Hospital there on 17th October with enteritis. He was finally well enough to leave Mudros and arrived in Alexandria on 10 January 1916 on board the Ansonia. He re-joined his unit at Zeitoun the next day. He was posted to 1st Mounted Rifles at Hagley Park Camp on 9 March 1916. However his ill health was not over and he had a bad reaction to an inoculation and was sent to hospital at Kantara on 14 July but was back to his unit on the 17th. Next he had a bout of influenza on 5th April but was treated in the field. He was promoted Lance Corporal on 10th May 1917. Sadly only three months later he died of gunshot wounds to his abdomen and left arm received on 12th August. He died on 14th August at the 65th Casualty Clearing station at Rafa, aged 25, and was buried at Rafa by Chaplain Hayes. After the war his body was removed to the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Suez. In New Zealand William is remembered on the Kowai Bush War Memorial.


Cemetery locale history : Kantara War Memorial Cemetery is situated at Kantara East on the eastern side of the Suez Canal, 160 kilometres north-east of Cairo and 50 kilometres south of Port Said. In the early part of the First World War, Kantara was an important point in the defence of Suez against Turkish attacks and marked the starting point of the new railway east towards Sinai and Palestine, begun in January 1916. Kantara developed into a major base and hospital centre and the cemetery was begun in February 1916 for burials from the various hospitals, continuing in use until late 1920. After the Armistice, the cemetery was more than doubled in size when graves were brought in from other cemeteries and desert battlefields, notably those at Rumani, Qatia, El Arish and Rafa. The Second World War again saw Kantara as a hospital centre. No 1 General Hospital was there from July 1941 to December 1945 and two others, Nos 41 and 92, were there in turn for varying periods. One of the major allied medical units in the area, No 8 Polish General Hospital, adjoined the war cemetery. KANTARA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY now contains 1,562 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 110 from the Second World War. There are also 341 war graves of other nationalities in the cemetery, many of them made from the Polish hospital and concentrated in a distinct Polish extension. Near the entrance to the cemetery is the KANTARA MEMORIAL, bearing the names of 16 New Zealand servicemen of the First World War who died in actions at Rumani and Rafa, and who have no known grave. In 1961, nearby Kantara Indian Cemetery became inaccessible and it was decided that the 283 First World War servicemen buried there should instead be commemorated at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery. Panels bearing the names of the dead were affixed to the wall of the cemetery behind the Stone of Remembrance, forming the KANTARA INDIAN CEMETERY MEMORIAL.

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William David Gold

First Names:William David
Last Name:Gold
Date of Birth:21st February 1892
Place of Birth:Dunsandel
Date of Death:14 August 1917
Place of Death:Suez, Egypt
Memorial or Cemetery:Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Suez.
Age at death:25
User Name:Selwyn Library
Occupation before enlisting:Labourer
Marital Status:Single
Nominal Roll:269
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:Kowai Bush
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of William and Johanna Gold, of Kowai Bush, Canterbury.
Service Number:7/335
Rank last held:Lance Corporal
Embarkation:16 October 1914
Place of Embarkation:Lyttelton
Transport:Tahiti or Athenic
Theatres of War:Gallipoli, Palestine
Cause of Death:Killed in action