Topic: JENKINS, William (Bill) Robert

Topic type:

Letters from World War 1

L. Corp. W. R. Jenkins


Bill (William) Jenkins came from Westport. His parents owned a farm at Sergeants Hill. 

Bill’s older brother Ted was already in the army and Bill wanted to be there too. He was too young to enlist without parental permission. Much against Annie’s wishes, Robert signed his permission for Bill to enlist.

Ted was gassed in the war and Bill was killed. His Military Personnel File is available on Archway New Zealand.

The related images tell of Bill's experience of the War through the letters that he sent home as well as some photographs. His father Robert and mother Annie Jenkins held the letters that were sent by Bill.

When Ted was demobbed from the Armed Forces, his parents moved into town and left Ted to run the farm. When Robert and Annie died, the letters were passed on to Bill’s sister Catherine.

Catherine suffered a number of strokes which left her an invalid and when her husband died, her daughter Beverly took over her mother's care, and the letters came into her possession. Bev, her husband Gordon and their children, plus Catherine moved to Taupo in 1973.

Bill Jenkins 61

Bev’s daughter Robyn now has the letters in her care and has kindly allowed them to be shared on Kete Taupo.

JENKINS, William (Bill) Robert

Sources:Cenotaph Database, Archives New Zealand
First Names:William Robert
Last Name:Jenkins
Other Known Names:Bill
Date of Birth:18 August 1897
Date of Death:5 April 1918
Cause of Death:Killed in action.
Place of Death:Mailly-Maillet, Somme, France
Age at Death:22
Place Enlisted:Wellington, New Zealand.
Occupation before enlistment:Labourer
Regiment or Service:13th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company; New Zealand Machine Gun Corps.
Service Number:24175
Place of Embarkation:Wellington, New Zealand
Date of Embarkation:27 May 1916
Vessel:Willochra or Tofua
Place of Arrival Overseas:Plymouth or Devonport, England
Overseas Memorial:Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Wars:World War 1