Topic: Stewart Angus Govan (1898-1953)

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Stewart Angus Govan tried to join up on the outbreak of World War I but was rejected as being underage. Two years later he gave his age as a year older and was accepted for service as a gunner at age 19. He was my first cousin thrice removed - Debbie McCauley.

Stewart Angus Govan (1898-1953)Stewart Angus Govan was born in the Coromandel on 25 March 1898 (reg. 1898/4041). His parents were John Alexander and Sarah May Govan (nee McCauley) who married on 1 August 1896 (reg. 1896/1880).

Stewart's occupation before enlisting as a gunner during World War I (1914-1918) was ‘electrician’. He was also a member of the 15th North Auckland Regiment.

On 15 September 1916 Stewart's older brother Joseph was wounded in the abdomen and sent to the New Zealand No. 1 General Hospital in Brockenhurst to recover. He was classified unfit for service on 18 January 1917 and embarked for New Zealand on 17 March 1917. His discharge date was 9 June 1917, the reason given as ‘medically unfit for service due to wounds received in action’. Joseph received three white feathers while convalescing at his mother’s home in Buckland.

Stewart enlisted at Whangarei on 2 July 1917. His enlistement form notes that he was rejected for service two years prior as he was underage, trying to join up age the age of 17. On his enlistment forms he has firstly written his birth year as 1896 which has been crossed out and replaced with1897, which is a year earlier than his actual birth year of 1898. He was nineteen years old when he joined up.

On 22 September 1917 Stewart was admitted to Featherston Hospital suffering from influenza. He was discharged on 24 September.

The following year, on 2 April 1918, he was in trouble for 'overstaying special leave' from Featherston Camp. His punishment was to forfeit four days pay.

Stewart was part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 36th Reinforcements Field Artillery (Service No. 57939). They embarked on 23 April 1918 from Wellington on board the Willochra. On 31 May 1918 they disembarked at Suez and from there marched to the Australian Camp. Stewart was posted to strength at Suez. He then re-embarked on the Ormonde at Alexandria on 4 July 1918.

He was serving in France when, on 16 July 1918, he was sent to a rest camp at Cherbourg suffering from diarrhoea. He was taken on strength again on 27 July.

Stewart once more left for France on 4 October 1918, marching into camp at Etaples on 6 October 1918. He was evacuated to hospital on 12 February 1919. Then he was discharged to his unit on 16 February, rejoining the 3rd Battery.

He departed for London on 28 June 1919 and was discharged from the military three months later on 5 September 1919.

Stewart married Lavinia Dorothy Barchard Ford Shergold (1896-1934) on 28 July 1920 (reg. 1920/6866).

The one child of Stewart Angus Govan:

  1. William Stewart Govan (1921-1984). Born on 2 January 1921. William married Betty Florence Lowe in 1946 (folio: 1946/7334). He died on 26 February 1984 (reg. 1984/30512) and was buried in the Pukekohe Cemetery.

Stewart's father John died at Tuakau on 18 November 1918, a victim of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.

Lavinia died, aged 37, on 26 June 1934 (reg. 1934/5055). She was buried in Hillsborough Cemetery (Area 4, Block 0, Lot No. 153).

Stewart died in Albany, Auckland, aged 55, on 28 March 1953 (reg. 1953/24927). He was buried in Hillsborough Cemetery (Area 4, Block 0, Lot No. 6).



Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

The McCauley Family of Katikati, New Zealand: 1876-2012 (2012) by Debbie McCauley.

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Stewart Angus Govan (1898-1953)

Note:Service Number: 57939
First Names:Stewart Angus
Last Name:Govan
Date of Birth:25 March 1898
Place of Birth:Coromandel
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:28 March 1953
Place of death:Albany, Auckland, New Zealand
Place of burial:Hillsborough Cemetery
Spouses name:Lavinia Dorothy Barchard Ford Shergold
Spouses date of birth:1896
Spouses date of death:26 June 1934
Spouses place of death:New Zealand
Spouses place of burial:Hillsborough Cemetery
Date of marriage:28 July 1920
Fathers name:John Alexander Govan
Fathers date of birth:1873
Fathers place of birth:Thames, New Zealand
Fathers date of death:18 November 1918 ('flu pandemic)
Fathers place of death:Tuakau, Auckland
Mothers name:Sarah May McCauley
Mothers date of birth:10 February 1875
Mothers place of birth:Crossowen, Clogher, County Tyrone, Ireland
Mothers date of death:7 December 1947
Mothers place of death:Tuakau, Auckland
Mothers nationality:Irish
Name of sibilings:Isabelle Olive May Govan, Lillian Laurel Gladys Govan, Jessie Hazel Maud Govan, Colin Campbell Wallace Govan, Pearl Ivy Mavis Govan, Claude Nelson Donald Govan, Joseph Albert McCauley, Joseph Alexander Govan, John Albert Govan, Allan Edric Govan, Albert Norman Kenneth Govan, and George Errol Douglas Govan
Name of the children:William Stewart Govan
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)