Topic: William McKinlay (1893-1918)

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William McKinlay farmed his father's 'Racecourse Farm' at Greerton in Tauranga. He served during World War I, receiving serious injuries to both legs and his left shoulder during the Battle of Passchendaele on 4 October 1917. He returning to New Zealand on on 31 January 1918 to recuperate. William died on 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day), a victim of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Story by Debbie McCauley.

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William McKinlay was born in Scotland on 27 August 1893. He was the eldest son of John Aitchison and Margaret McKinlay (nee Shankland) who married in Scotland on 31 December 1891. John was employed by Tranent Co-op Society from 9 February 1885 until 5 November 1898. The family arrived in New Zealand on board the 'Ionic' in c1906. They lived in Auckland for twelve months before moving Tauranga, farming first at Oropi, followed by Greerton and then Gate Pa.

William was a farmer in Greerton, Tauranga, working for his father who owned the ‘Racecourse Farm’. He was also a Hauraki Regiment Volunteer and was posted to the Tauranga Unit on 18 October 1912.

William enlisted to serve during World War I on 2 April 1917. He was with the Auckland Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion.

He received serious injuries to both legs and his left shoulder during the Battle of Passchendaele on 4 October 1917, embarking for England on 10 October 1917. He returned to New Zealand to recuperate on 31 January 1918. Later in the year William managed to spend a week with relatives in Gate Pa before returning to Auckland.

William fell victim to influenza during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. He died at Auckland Hospital on 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day). William was buried in Waikumete Cemetery.

William McKinlay (1893-1918)


References: Message Board - John Aitchison McKinlay.

Archives New Zealand: Military Personnel File.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Bay of Plenty Times (1937, August 16): Obituary, Mr John Aitchison McKinlay.

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).


This article was archived in August at Perma CC (

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William McKinlay (1893-1918)

Note:Service Number: 44861
First Names:William
Last Name:McKinlay
Date of Birth:27 August 1893
Country of birth:Scotland
Date of death:11 November 1918
Place of death:Auckland Hospital, New Zealand
Place of burial:Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland
Fathers name:John Aitchison McKinlay
Fathers date of birth:23 March 1865
Fathers place of birth:Ormiston, Haddingtonshire, Scotland
Fathers date of death:14 August 1937
Fathers place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Mothers name:Margaret Shankland
Mothers date of birth:c1870
Mothers place of birth:England
Mothers date of death:21 November 1951
Mothers place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)