SHAM SINGH New Zealand Army WWI

SHAM SINGH New Zealand Army WWI

Sham Singh was a Sikh born about 1878 in the Punjab, India. [1] His mother was Marmo, Village Bootar, Post Office Bootar, District Fairsopore, Punjaub, India. He migrated to New Zealand and at 36 years of age he worked as a labourer and Gear Boy at Pentons. He lived at 16 Tory Place, Wellington when he enlisted at Trentham, New Zealand on the 28 March 1916 as a Private and his Service Number was 16/1553 in the New Zealand Army Infantry. He aged about 38 years and was five foot seven and a half inches tall. Sham was transferred to the Maori Contingent, 4th Rarotongan Contingent at Trentham on the 10th April 1916. He was sent to Narrow Neck Army Camp and four days later he was charged with the offence of being drunk and using obscene language and was confined to barracks for 21 days. He served from 28 March 1916 to 29 April 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds. He re-enlisted on the 11 April 1918 stated he had no permanent address and that his last employer was Mr. Crow (sic. Craw) Flaxmiller, Linton (Note: George Craw was the proprietor of the Flaxmill at Linton, Manawatu. Sham’s next of kin was his mother, Marmo and he also gave the contact name and address of his friend Gundar Singh, State Mine, Dunallie, near Greymouth. It seems by Sham’s Army records that he was only attested in April 1918 and did not embark for overseas duty.  There is no mention of him being discharged after his seconded enlistment attempt and was only recognised for serving for one month from the 28th March 1916 to the 29th of April 1916. He died on the 3 January 1964. [2]

[1] Sham Singh stated on his enlistment forms that he did not know the exact date and place he was born although it was between 1878 – 1880.
[2] Singh, Sham – WWI 16/1553 – Auckland War Memorial Museum Archives.
Singh, Sham – Alien Re-entry Certificate 10/1917. New Zealand Archives.





© Len Kenna & Crystal Jordan 2015 edited Dec. 2016 & June 2017.
“Are Indians an Ethnic Minority?” Vols. 1-5 2008-201

George Craw’s Flaxmill at Linton, Manawatu, NZ where Sham Singh worked. Courtesy Palmerston Nth Library.