Topic: Private David Andrew McGill

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A soldier of the Great War killed in action during the fighting for Bapaume.

Private David Andrew McGillDavid Andrew McGill 

David was born at Prebbleton on 4th March 1886, fifth son of Andrew and Helen McGill. Before enlisting he was farming at Prebbleton. He was 5ft 8 ½ in tall with fresh complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.

David enlisted at Christchurch on 14th October 1916 and was assigned to New Zealand Rifle Brigade Reinforcements, G Company. He embarked on board the Waitemata on 19th January 1917 and arrived in Devonport 28th March 1917, marching into Sling Camp the same day. He was taken on the strength of the 3rd Battalion, Auckland Regiment and posted to 16th Company at Codford on 24th April. He left for France on 28th May and had barely arrived when he was wounded in action on 14 June, suffering a severe gun-shot wound to his back. Taken up by the 3rd NZ Field Ambulance on 15 he was admitted to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing station on 16 June. He was admitted to hospital in Boulogne on 17 June and then in Rouen on 24 June before being sent to convalesce at Buchy on June 27. Buchy is a small town 25 km north east of Rouen which Flaubert used as a location in Madame Bovary. During the Great War, Buchy was a name known to hundreds of thousands of British troops: the trains from the Channel to the Front stopped there and it was the site of No. 11 Convalescent Depot. It was 10 August before he was able to return to Etaples and then to re-join his battalion in the field on 29 August. He was detached for a short while to an Australian unit on 18 January 1918 then attached to the XXII Corp Reinforcement camp on 8 February and then transferred again to 3rd WGRB on 21 February. Finally he was attached to the Entrenching Battalion on 17 March. He was evacuated to hospital on 12 May but no illness was noted. He was treated and sent to the convalescent depot on 23 May and discharged to Etaples on 31 May. Finally he arrived back at with the Entrenching Battalion on 17 June. A month later he was sent on leave to England from 17 July until 2 August. On 27 August he was reunited with the Auckland Regiment this time the 2nd Battalion. Serving with them he was killed in action on 1 September 1918. This was the closing day of the battle for Bapaume. He was buried in the Bancourt British Cemetery, I. B. Headstone 9. In New Zealand David is remembered on the Prebbleton War Memorial.


CWGC Cemetery  locale history: Bancourt was occupied by Commonwealth forces in March 1917. It was lost a year later during the German offensive in the spring of 1918, but recaptured by the New Zealand Division (in particular, the 2nd Auckland Battalion) on 30 August 1918. The cemetery was begun by the New Zealand Division in September 1918; the original cemetery is now Plot I, Rows A and B. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields east and south of Bancourt and from certain Allied and German cemeteries, including:- BAPAUME RESERVOIR GERMAN CEMETERY, on the Bapaume Beaulencourt road, containing the graves of twelve soldiers from the United Kingdom buried by a German Field Ambulance in March and April, 1918, and of seven others and three from New Zealand who fell at the end of August, 1918. BAPAUME ROAD CEMETERY, BEAULENCOURT, a500 metres South of the Beaulencourt-Gueudecourt road, containing the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1916. BEAULENCOURT ROAD CEMETERIES, three in number, on the North-East side of Gueudecourt, containing the graves of 88 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the autumn of 1916 or in April, 1917. CLOUDY TRENCH CEMETERY, GUEUDECOURT, containing the graves of 40 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October or November, 1916. The five cemeteries last named were made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. FREMICOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. This Extension was begun by the Germans, who buried in it 1,346 of their own soldiers and 136 officers and men from the United Kingdom who fell in March, 1918. It was taken over in September, 1918, by British and Dominion units, who used it for clearing the battlefields and for fresh burials, and added 94 graves. All the graves have now been removed to other cemeteries. SUNKEN ROAD CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, between Gueudecourt and Le Transloy, made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. It contained the graves of 49 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Australia who fell in October, 1916. The great majority of these graves dated from the winter of 1916-1917, the retreat of March 1918, or the advance of August-September 1918. Bancourt British Cemetery now contains 2,480 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,462 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 43 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to one soldier buried in Bapaume Reservoir German Cemetery, whose grave could not be found on concentration. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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Private David Andrew McGill

First Names:David Andrew
Last Name:McGill
Date of Birth:4th March 1886
Place of Birth:Prebbleton,
Date of Death:1 September 1918
Place of Death:France
Memorial or Cemetery:Bancourt British Cemetery
Age at death:32
User Name:L M Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Farmer
Marital Status:Single
Nominal Roll:52/30
Regiment or Service:Auckland Infantry Regiment
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:14 October 1916
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of Andrew and Helen McGill, of Prebbleton, Christchurch.
Service Number:39084
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:19 January 1917
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Theatres of War:Western Front
Cause of Death:Killed in action