Topic: Purvis Ford Armstrong

Topic type:

From research done in 2009 by Wairarapa College Year 12 history assignment on Wairarapa soldiers who died in World War One.

Full name: Purvis Ford Armstrong

Date of Birth: 1893
Serial number: 18581
Occupation before enlistment: Schoolmaster
First known rank: Second Lieutenant
Embarkation date: 15 November 1916
Place of embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Body on embarkation: New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Embarkation unit: 10th Reinforcements 3rd Battalion, G Company
Last unit served: 4th Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Rank last held: Lieutenant
Place of death: Somme, France
Date of Death: 6 April 1918
Cause of death: Killed in action
Cemetery name: Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France

Biographical notes:

In memoriam, 1914-1918, Wanganui Collegiate School "Was appointed on the staff here at the beginning of 1915. Born in 1893 at Greytown, Wairarapa, he went to Wellington College, where he distinguished himself in both work and games. After spending only one year here he enlisted, entering camp at the commencement of 1916 as N.C.O. with the 15th Reinforcements, and gaining a commission, he sailed with the 19th Contingent in November. He wrote very fully of the voyage home, camp life in England, and battalion football matches, but after crossing to France, beyond saying he was on the front line, little is known of his military career. On arrival in England, he was posted to the 3rd Otago Battalion, and crossed to France in May, 1917, taking part in nearly all the fighting in which his battalion was engaged. When the 4th Brigade was broken up, he was transferred to the 3rd N.Z. Rifle Brigade, and after a short leave rejoined and proceeded to the front line on the evening of April 5th, 1918. Early the next morning, he was killed by a sniper. Mr Armstrong was an excellent mathematician, and a great acquisition to the School at the time of his appointment."

Was missing in action on 6 April 1918 and declared killed 9 April 1918, body never found. "We buried this officer's body about 80 yards along old front line trench from Serre Road in Colincamps sector on the left of the Railway Line about 200 yards in front of the Sugar refinery on the corner of Serre and Euston Roads." On exhumation of the grave no body could be found, a memorial cross was erected in the area. His body was to be exhumed for re-internment in Euston Road British War Cemetery at Colincamps.

Obituary: Wairarapa Daily Times, 18 April 1918.

Student researcher: Emma Dew




Purvis Ford Armstrong

First Names:Purvis Ford
Last Name:Armstrong
Place of Birth:Greytown, Wairarapa, New Zealand