LCpl. Thomas Aitken

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LCpl. Thomas Aitken

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: September 15, 1916 (31)
Battle of the Somme, Somme, France (World War I: Died of Wounds)
Place of Burial: Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France
Immediate Family:

Brother of W. Aitken and Alexander Aitken

Occupation: Theological Student [Knox College] | Otago Infantry Regiment
Find A Grave ID: 15292502
Service No: WWI 8/2831
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About LCpl. Thomas Aitken

L/Corporal in OIR, file number 8/2831. Brother of Mr. W. Aitken, of Green St., North East Valley, Dunedin. Next of kin: Alexander Aitken (brother & executor), Shoal Bay Road, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand. Address before enlistment: Knox College, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Thomas Aitken, who seems to have been known to other students as “Tam”, entered Knox College in 1909 and began study towards a BA degree from the University of Otago. He never finished his degree, instead taking a year off in 1912 and returning to Auckland. He returned to Knox in 1913 and changed direction, studying divinity in preparation for a career in the Presbyterian ministry. Over the summer of 1914/15 he was working as a home missionary in Hunua, near Auckland. This was a common summer activity for students preparing for the ministry. Possibly at this point he enlisted as he does not appear to have returned to Knox in 1915. Source: Knox College (18 May 2021).

Knox College, established in 1909, is a Presbyterian residential college affiliated with the University of Otago. The Knox College war memorials are housed in the Ross Chapel, which was opened on 8 June 1913. They include a three-panel stained-glass window which was dedicated to 27 former students who had lost their lives during the First World War on Anzac Day 1923. Their names and those of 161 other students are listed on a brass tablet entitled ‘Roll of Knox College Students Called to the Colours 1914-1918’. Source:


  1. Cenotaph:
  2. Knox College (2021, May 18). Personal communication.
  3. Knox College war memorials,, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Apr-2020.
  4. New Zealand and World War One Roll of Honour: / Ref 2.4.2021.
  5. Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand (Dunedin, November 1914). Report of the Theological Committee, Appendix VI.
  6. Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand (Auckland, November 1915). Report of the Theological Committee, Appendix IX.
  7. Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand (Wellington, November 1916). Report of the Theological Committee, Appendix VIII.
  8. Pukekohe & Waiuku Times (13 January 1914, p. 3).
  9. Pukekohe & Waiuku Times (13 October 1916, p. 3).
  10. The Knox Collegian, No. 2 (October, 1911).
  11. The Knox Collegian, No. 3 (October, 1912).
  12. The Knox Collegian, No. 4 (October, 1913).
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LCpl. Thomas Aitken's Timeline

September 17, 1884
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
September 15, 1916
Age 31
Somme, France
September 15, 1916
Age 31
Longueval, Somme, France