Topic: William White McLaren (1892-1918)

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Omanawa Schoolmaster William White McLaren was killed in action at the Somme in France on 5 April 1918, aged 25. Story by Debbie McCauley.

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William White McLaren was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 8 December 1892. He was the son of George Dickson and Christina Anthony McLaren (nee Morland) who married in Edinburgh in 1890. George's mother, Christian, died in 1905. The family emigrated to New Zealand in c1908.

William worked for the Auckland Educational Board as a schoolmaster at Omanawa School in Tauranga. He joined the Hauraki Regiment as a volunteer on 18 October 1911. 

He enlisted to fight during World War I on 14 October 1916 from Tauranga. It was noted that he has vision issues that were 'perfectly corrected by glasses'.

William served with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 2nd Battalion.

Rifleman William White McLaren was killed in action at the Somme in Northern France on 5 April 1918, aged 25. He was buried in the Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme, France (Ref III A, 10).

William's medals were sent to his mother at the Lower Kaimais in Tauranga.

William White McLaren (1892-1918)

William's parents were buried in the Tauranga Presbyterian Cemetery.



Archives New Zealand: Military Personnel File.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

McLean, Heather (1996). Tauranga Presbyterian Cemetery Headstones.

New Zealand Herald: Public School Teachers - Certificate Examinations (1916, March 1, p. 9).

Titchener, Margaret (2007). White Family History.


This article was archived in August at Perma CC (

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William White McLaren (1892-1918)

Note:Service Number: 46236
First Names:William White
Last Name:McLaren
Date of Birth:8 December 1892
Place of Birth:Edinburgh
Country of birth:Scotland
Date of death:5 April 1918
Place of death:Somme, Northern France, France
Place of burial:Euston Road Cemetery, France
Fathers name:George Dickson McLaren
Fathers date of birth:1867
Fathers place of birth:Edinburgh, Scotland
Fathers date of death:July 1949
Fathers place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Mothers name: Christina Anthony Morland
Mothers date of birth:18 September 1871
Mothers place of birth:Edinburgh, Scotland
Mothers date of death:November 1946
Mothers place of death:Tauranga, New Zealand
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)