53493 Rifleman William Henry (Harry) Heazlewood – New Zealand Rifle Brigade

William Henry (Harry) Heazlewood was born in Ulverston, Tasmania  on 26th January 1886[i]. Harry was the only son of
Lee Allan and Emily  (nee Smith) Heazlewood, Harry had one younger sister Jessie Campbell Clark Heazlewood[ii].

In 1910 / 1911 Harry immigrated to New Zealand and appears on the New Zealand Electoral Rolls of 1911 employed as
a butcher in Porirua. Harry did move to Pahiatua, Manuwatu[iii] but was a resident of Tawa Flat when he enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). Harry had initially enlisted in June 1916 but had been rejected as unfit due to varicous veins.

On 15th January 1917 Harry was passed a second medical examination his medical records simply noting he had no
varicous veins so was fit for active service. Harry entered Trentham military camp on 13th April 1917 with F Company,
28th Reinforcements. 53493 Private William Henry Heazlewood listed Miss Ellen Thompson (friend) as his next of kin.
It was a requirement in 1917 that an enlisting man needed to have a New Zealand
contact to be notified if the soldier was wounded or killed. During basic training
William Henry Heazlewood married his ‘friend’ Ellen Thompson on 29th May 1917.

William Henry (Harry) and Ellen (Sis) Heazlewood 1917 

On 26th July 1917 53493 Private William Henry Heazlewood left New Zealand for
overseas service with the 28th Reinforcements. On arrival in England
Private Heazlewood was posted on 3rd October 1917 as Rifleman Heazlewood to
the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZRB)  Reserve Battalion. Training was brief as
Rifleman Heazlewood was sent to France on 23rd October 1917 and by
2nd November 1917 was at the front in B Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd NZRB.

Rifleman Heazlewood’s service at the front was brief as on 22nd November 1917
Rifleman Heazlewood was admitted to hospital with a sprained back. The medical
records note that it was in the lumbar region and possible from a previous condition
but that the soldier had done it while performing his duties so was considered an

Rifleman Heazlewood was evacuated to England where he remained in a Military
Hospital until 29th December 1917 when he was transferred to the NZ Convalescent Depot at Hornchurch.  Rifleman Heazlewood remain in the reserves until he was admitted again to hospital in July 1918 with Synovitis he remained there for three weeks and again was sent  to the NZ Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch.

There are no supporting  medical records on file but on the 2nd December 1918 Rifleman Heazlewood was repatriated
to New Zealand and admitted to the Military Hospital at Trentham. In the 1920 returns for the Military District,
Wellington War Relief Association under the un-discharged hospital patients is:

53493 Hazlewood W H – slaughter man – Porirua – Amputation Left Leg.

William Henry Heazlewood was discharged on 20th April 1920 as “no longer fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service.”

Harry initially remained with his wife in Lower Hutt where he is listed as a Billiard Hall Proprietor when he received his Victory and British War Medal.

Harry Heazledwood c 1920

Ellen and Harry had two children, Ellen Jean (1920) and
William Allan Heazlewood (1926)[iv].

By 1928 Harry was again listed as a butcher and was living
with Ellen in Porirua where they remained till Harry’s death
in 1949.

Harry is buried in the old Porirua Cemetery with his wife
Ellen and his daughter Ellen Jean Julian (nee Heazlewood).

Old Porirua Cemetery  - Heazlewood graves 

Archives Tasmania – Lee Allan Heazlewood family
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 53493
Rifleman William Henry Heazlewood

Porirua Grave – Porirua City Council  
Harry and Sis - sent to family in Australia possible wedding photo: Tasmania Archives
Harry Heazlewood: Tasmania Archives 

[i] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 53493 William Henry Heazlewood.
[ii] Tasmania Archives: family Lee Allan Heazlewood
[iii] NZ Electoral Roll 1914
[iv] NZ BDM
Heazlewood family grave Porirua old cemetery