Topic: William Berridge (1893-1990)

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I was shot through the neck by a Turkish sniper. Fortunately the bullet continued through to the other side and came out of my shoulder. It took me three days crawling down a gully, wounded and trying to avoid the snipers, following a small stream to get back to the safety of our lines. I was moved aboard the battleship Triumph which stood by in a rescue capacity. I lay on the ship’s deck and did not receive any first aid treatment for another three days which I suspect was partly due to severe overcrowding and that they regarded us as only Colonials and therefore expendable.

William Berridge (on the right) with his brother JackWilliam (Bill) Berridge was born in Otumoetai, Tauranga, on 22 May 1893 (reg. 1893/9972). His parents were William Charles and Rosina Berridge (nee Waterreus) who married in Christchurch in 1880.

The family moved to Te Puke and then, in 1892, William Charles Berridge purchased land from the estate of John Lees Faulkner at Otumoetai where William (Bill) Berridge would be born the following year.

Bill attended the Tauranga District High School as a boy. During this time he was in the School Cadet Corps and trained to be a soldier. He later joined the Territorials and reached the rank of Company Sergeant-Major.

At the start of World War I Bill was 21 years of age and working for Bank Australasia in Te Puke as a bank clerk. A few days after the war began, on 17 August 1914, he enlisted from Te Puke and went to a training camp in Auckland.

He joined the 6th Hauraki Regimental Company of the Auckland Infantry Battalion. His younger brother John (born in Otumoetai in 1896) would also serve during the war. The photograph on the right shows William Berridge (on the right) with his brother Jack.

Bill left New Zealand with the Auckland Infantry Battalion on 16 October 1914. Proir to enlisting Palmerston North was the farthest he had been from home. 

He arrived in Suez, Egypt on 3 December 1914 and was amazed at how different it was to New Zealand. While in Egypt he went sightseeing and visited many of the famous tourist attractions including the pyramids.

On 6 April 1915 Bill wrote to his brother Jack, “We leave for the front tomorrow, but where it is I do not know! You will see by the papers where we are fighting.” On 25 April Bill landed with the Hauraki Company at Anzac Cove. On 4 May 1915 he received a gunshot wound to the neck whilst fighting at the Dardanelles. He was eventually taken to Alexandria Military Hospital and then to a camp to recover.

He was able to rejoin his unit at Gallipoli on 25 June 1915, but was invalided back to New Zealand aboard the Willochra on 25 September suffering the effects of his wound and weakness from dysentery. He was granted sick leave between 30 October and 29 December. Medical tests found he was no longer well enough to return to the war and on 12 January 1916 he was discharged from the army and made his home in Tauranga.

William died in Kaitaia in 1990 (reg. 1990/38571).

 

Sources:

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Database (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

Te Puke and District World War One Memorial (2013) by Christine Clement.

The Pioneers, Settlers and Families of Te Puke and District (2011) by Christine Clement.

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William Berridge (1893-1990)


Year:1915
Note:Service Number: 12/316
First Names:William
Last Name:Berridge
Date of Birth:22 May 1893
Place of Birth:Otumoetai, Tauranga
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:1990
Place of death:Kaitaia, New Zealand
Occupation:Bank Clerk
Fathers name:William Charles Berridge
Fathers date of birth:1852
Fathers place of birth:Greenwich, London, England
Fathers date of death:1935
Fathers place of death:Norfolk Island
Mothers name:Rosina Waterreus
Mothers date of birth:1857
Mothers place of birth:Lyttelton, New Zealand
Mothers date of death:1920
Mothers place of death:Rarotonga
Name of sibilings:John Berridge, Arthur Berridge, May Berridge, Kate Berridge, Charles Berridge, and Louisa Berridge
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)