William Patrick Conrick – Compulsory Military Service

William Patrick Conrick was born in 1878 in Bungaree, Victoria, the 5th child of Edmund and Maria Conrick. The
Conrick family was a large Irish Catholic family of 16 children[i].

It is probable that after the death of William’s mother Maria, in 1894, that members of the family moved to the
West Coast of New Zealand and also Porirua. Both William and his father Edmund Conrick are listed as working as
Hospital Attendants at Porirua Hospital in the early 1900’s[ii].

In 1903 William Patrick Conrick married Honarah Ellen Lynch. Honarah Lynch was born and raised in Hokitika,
West Coast. The couple had a number of children all born in the Porirua area[iii].

In 1906 William’s father Edmund died and is buried in the old Porirua cemetery[iv].

In 1911 William left the hospital and started a coach service from the Porirua Railway station to Titahi Bay the NZ Times  carried the following advert[v]:

Conrick’s Coach Service
Take W Conrick’s coach when you leave the train at Porirua, en-route to
Titahi Bay, and you will be greeted with courtesy and civility. Mr Conrick
intends to run his coach (distinguished by the colour BLACK) right
throughout the winter months, so that  residents and visitors should do
their best to encourage his enterprise. Special arrangements can be made
to meet the North and midnight trains and camp parties  wishing to move
their belongings to or from town will receive the lowest quotations.
Telephone or leave your order at the ‘Club House’ or Mrs Auty, the store,
Porirua, and Mr Conrick will spare no pains to meet your demands with prompt

William was joined, in 1915 in Porirua by his younger
brother James Albert Conrick[vi].

William Conrick standing by his coach pulled
by his horse Dolly 

In December 1917 William Patrick Conrick was selected
in the Compulsory Military Ballot for service. William is
listed as a driver and was in Class A, Second Division
indicating that he was a married man with children.

William appealed the selection in April 1918 and was
one of seventy-nine appeals heard by the Third
Wellington Military Service Board[vii].

The appeal of William Patrick Conrick (carrier Porirua) who wrote stating he had eight children
under fourteen years of age was dismissed, as the applicant did not appear, and failed to
enclose in his letter the necessary certificates.

As the war progress and the Allies made gains on the Western Front there was a more sympathetic hearing on 7th November 1918[viii]:
“I think we can allow this appeal without the appellant” said the Chairman of the First Military
Service Board this morning. The case of William Patrick Conrick, railway hand, Porirua, had
been called, and the appellant did not appear. “He has nine children” said the Chairman
“and we should allow the appeal on grounds that he is in Class F.”
On the 24th November 1918 William Patrick Conrick died possibly one of the 28 victims of the Spanish Influenza reported from the Porirua District[ix]. William Patrick Conrick is buried in the old Porirua Cemetery.
Honarah (Norah) Conrick and her children remained in Porirua through to the early 1920’s with one of the children William Patrick Conrick dying in December 1920 and being buried with his father in Porirua Cemetery[x].

41747 Private James Albert Conrick, Wellington Infantry Regiment

Paperspast online
Archway Archives  New Zealand Military Files
NZ History online

William Conrick and his coach: C Williams Collection – Pataka

[i] Ancestry.co : family trees Our Family  
[ii] Wises Directory: Porirua
[iii] NZ BDM
[iv] Porirua City Council Cemetery database
[v] Conrick’s Coach Service, 8th April 1911, New Zealand Times
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 41747 Private James Albert Conrick
[vii] Military Appeals, 16th January 1918, New Zealand Times
[viii] Military Appeals, 7th November 1918, Evening Post
[ix]  North Island influenza pandemic 1918 – 1919: NZ History online.
[x] Death notice, 30th December 1920, Dominion
​​William Patrick Conrick standing beside his coach