Topic: Charles Walter Allan Lilley (1897-1918)

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Omanawa mill hand Charles Walter Allan Lilley was killed in action at Le Cateau in France on 1 October 1918. Story by Debbie McCauley.

Charles Walter Allan Lilley was born in Dannevirke on 26 May 1897 (folio No. 1897/2599). His parents were Walter and Jane Allan Watt Lilley (nee McKinven) who married in Napier on 6 February 1891.

Charles worked as a mill hand for Gamman's Mill at Omanawa Falls in Tauranga. He was also a member of the 6th Hauraki's.

Charles enlisted to fight during World War I on 1 October of 1916, as part of the 22nd Reinforcements. With him were his brother Herbert James Allan Lilley (1893-1951) and friend John Ellison (1881-1918) who would later marry his sister Florence Jane Elizabeth Allan Lilley (1894-1965) whilst on leave on 3 January 1917.

Before departing for Trentham a social at the Omanawa school house was held for the three men. A large crowd gathered and enjoyed music and dancing until midnight. Presentations were made at supper with each man receiving a watch and hearty applause.

Charles served with the Auckland Infantry Regiment, Ist Battalion (Service No: 38414).

Lance Corporal Charles Walter Allan Lilley was killed in action at Le Cateau in France on 1 October 1918, aged 21. He is remembered on the Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial in the Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Charles's medals were sent to his father Walter at Omanawa Falls in Tauranga.

Charles Walter Allan Lilley (1896-1918)

For more information about the Lilley family see the page on Private John Ellison.


Archives New Zealand: Military personnel file.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Births, Deaths & Marriages Online (New Zealand).


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

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Charles Walter Allan Lilley (1897-1918)

Note:Service Number: 38414
First Names:Charles Walter Allan
Last Name:Lilley
Date of Birth:26 May 1897
Place of Birth:Dannevirke
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:1 October 1918
Place of death:Le Cateau, France
Place of burial:Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Occupation:mill hand
Fathers name:Walter Lilley
Fathers date of birth:1870
Fathers place of birth:Mt. Grey Downs, Canterbury, New Zealand
Fathers date of death: 27 December 1933
Fathers place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Mothers name:Jane Allan Watt McKinven
Mothers date of birth:17 December 1860
Mothers place of birth:Perth, Scotland
Mothers date of death: 31 August 1939
Mothers place of death:Rotorua, New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)