Topic: Cecil Sydney Fairs (1888-1915)

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After being wounded at Gallipoli, Tauranga coach driver Cecil Sydney Fairs died of dysentery in Malta on 5 October 1915. Story researched and written by Debbie McCauley.

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Cecil Sydney Fairs (1887-1915)

Cecil Sydney Fairs was born in Auckland on 14 May 1888 (reg. 1888/13705). His parents were Newton and Amelia Fairs (nee Williams) who married in 1879 (reg. 1879/2298).

Cecil worked as a Coach Driver for Mr Finlay of Tauranga. He was also in the 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles.

He enlisted in World War I on 15 August 1914 (Service Number: 13/327) He was a Trooper in the Auckland Mounted Rifles, 4th Squadron.

Cecil took part in the fighting in Gallipoli. He received gunshot wounds to his side and arm on around 7 September 1915. At Anzac Cove he was taken on board the Hospital Ship 'Maheno', his condition described as 'dangerously ill'. 

Cecil wasn't to die of his gunshot wounds however. He died from dysentery in Malta on 5 October 1915 (reg. 1918/37329). He was aged 28.

On 12 October 1915 the Bay of Plenty Times reported:

The death is announced of Trooper C S Fairs, of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, who succumbed to dysentery on the 3rd inst. Deceased had previously been wounded in the fighting at Gallipoli. The late Trooper Fairs - who was popularly known as "Jumbo" - enlisted at Tauranga, having been a member of Mr A Findlays' staff for a long period, in which position he won the confidence of his employer and the esteem of the public. Deceased was possessed of a very kindly nature and his numerous friends in the Bay of Plenty will hear of his death with deep regret. The sympathy of all will be extended to Mrs Fairs, of Auckland, in the loss of a devoted son.

A year later the following memoriam was inserted in the New Zealand Herald by his “loving mother, sisters and brother”:

Fairs – In loving memory of Cecil Sydney Fairs of 4th Waikato, Mounted Rifles who died of wounds in Malta Hospital, October 2 1915 aged 28 years.

Worthy of lasting love was he
From those he left behind
A better brother ne’er could be,
Nor one so true and kind.
He gave his life for his country.

Cecil Sydney Fairs (1887-1915)


Bay of Plenty Times (12 October 1915, p 3).

Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Fiona Kean (Tauranga Heritage Collection).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).


A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC

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Cecil Sydney Fairs (1888-1915)

Note:Service Number: 13/327
First Names:Cecil Sydney
Last Name:Fairs
Date of Birth:14 May 1888
Place of Birth:Auckland
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:5 October 1915
Place of death:Malta (ex Gallipoli, Turkey)
Place of burial:Pieta Military Cemetery (Malta)
Occupation:Coach Driver
Fathers name:Newton Fairs
Mothers name:Amelia Williams
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)