WW1 Sapper William Henry Caughey 35533

Sapper William Henry Caughey [1]

William Henry Caughey (Service number 35533) was born 26 December 1889 in Auckland. He was the second eldest son of the department store proprietor Smith and Caughey, Andrew Clarke Caughey and Lucy Hannah Caughey of ‘Rahiri’, Murdoch Road, Mount Albert, Auckland.

His brother Andrew Leonard Caughey (Service number 38829) was also in the First World War. [1] William Henry Caughey attended Prince Albert College, a Methodist-managed school situated on Queen Street, Auckland until it closed in 1906. Although the College had been established in 1850, there were not enough benefactors within reach of Auckland at that time to sustain the educational institution.

In 1907 William Caughey attended Auckland Grammar School. Auckland Grammar School, established in 1869, was open, without fee, to all boys and girls who had gained a Certificate of Proficiency in primary school. (Auckland Girls Grammar School (AGGS) was established in 1888 as a separate educational institution for girls, on the same site as Auckland Grammar School, until it moved in 1909 to its current Howe Street site). [2, 3] William Caughey was a member of the College Rifles Rugby Football Club in Remuera for one year while at AGS.

Sapper William Henry Caughey [2]

After leaving school, he joined his father’s department store as a Director of the firm, Smith and Caughey Limited. The store is one of the oldest still trading department stores in Auckland, founded in 1880 by Marianne Caughey and her husband William Smith. [4] William Caughey enlisted but was discharged from Featherston Camp in April 1916 as medically unfit. He tried again on 12 December 1916, after redressing the situation by going to work on J. Trounson’s farm in the Northern Wairoa for six months, and this time was accepted under the Military’s revised level of fitness. [5] He was 5ft 7inches tall, with brown eyes and black hair.

He embarked for Plymouth, Devon, England on 26 April 1917 on the vessel ‘Tofua’ arriving on 19 July 1917 as a Sapper with the 25th Reinforcements Headquarters, Divisional Signallers, with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. He was sent to the front in Germany with the Divisional Signallers of the 25th Reinforcements and was at the Front until he took ill and was hospitalised in Cologne but died of pneumonia on 16 February 1919, with his brother Andrew Leonard Caughey at his bedside. [6] William Henry Caughey is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Koln, Nordrhein-Westfal, Germany II.D.16.

Caughey William Henry Memorial Hospital Opening Ceremony [3]

There is an obituary to William Henry Caughey in the Auckland Grammar School Chronicle. Second Term, 1919. He is remembered on the following memorials:

• Auckland Grammar School War Memorial, New Zealand

• Roll of Honour, College Rifles, Rugby Union Football & Sports Club, 33 Haast Street, Remuera, Auckland

• Mount Albert War Memorial Hall, 773 New North Road, Mount Albert Auckland 1025

William’s aunt Mrs W H Smith (later Mrs Marion Caughey Preston) donated and opened the William Caughey Memorial Hospital at Wesley College, Paerata in 1927. The hospital had accommodation for 16 patients, with an isolation ward, sun verandah, dispensary, nurses’ quarters and kitchen. [7]