Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS

Thomas John LANG


Born: 24 October, 1879

Birthplace: Horsham, Victoria

Parents: Thomas Lang
Mary Coates

Died: 18 July, 1918

Cause: Died from pneumonia and malignant malaria

Place of death: Cario, Egypt

Burial place: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Section O 210, Egypt

Awards and Honours

  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal


2nd reinforcements, New Zealand Army Pay Corps



Regimental Service Number: 15/118 / 15/144

Enlistment date: 25 September, 1914 Wellington, New Zealand

Age at enlistment: 34 years, 10 months

Address at enlistment: Boulcott Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Religion: Church of England

Marital Status: Married

Next of kin: Father: Mr. Thomas Lang
Wife: Mrs.T. J. Lang, C/- High Commission, London, Crossed out: 7 Church Avenue, Haywards Heath, England
28/01/1922 Mrs M. Lang, 109 Park Road, Palmerston North New Zealand

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: 151 pounds
Complexion: Dark
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Dark
Distinctive marks: Artificial teeth (top)

Embarkation ship: Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter..

Rank: Lieutenant

War Service Summary

25/09/1914 - Applied for position of pay clerk to the next New Zealand Expeditionary Force
14/10/1914 - Headquarters, NZ Military Forces request to contact T.J. Lang for appointment to pay clerk; an excellent clerk, Thomas received a telegram at Lands and Survey Department, Wellington, informing him that he had been appointed Pay Clerk Reinforcements provided he was medically fit. To report to Headquarters on Monday, 19th with a view to proceeding to Trentham Camp on Tuesday, via Major Mabin
14/12/1914 - Embarkation date aboard one of three ships which all departed from Wellington on 14 December 1914 with the 2nd New Zealand Reinforcements
05/05/1915 - Married in Cairo
29/01/1916 - Transferred from Alexandria to Cairo, appointed clerk to field cashier
18/02/1916 - Headquarters London
01/08/1916 - In Egypt
08/12/1916 - Admitted to hospital septic arm
29/06/1917 - Promoted to Lieutenant
16/07/1918 - Cairo hospital pneumonia & malaria
18/07/1918 - Died in hospital
18/07/1918 - Buried Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt Section O 210

War Service Commemerated

Killed in action.

Date: 18 July, 1918

Died of illness - pneumonia and malignant malaria.

Buried: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt Section O 210

Additional Information

Names of wife & children:
05/05/1915 - Married Mary Mullins (b. 1884) by Arthur D. Ablan - H.M. Counsel, British Consulate, Cairo. Her father, Samuel John Mullins, was a sheep farmer.

02/04/1916 – Daughter, Kora Kildyard Lang, born at 13 Princes Gate, London.
(See: Kora Lang Society NZ)

Thomas Lang and Mary Coates
30/12/1878 - Marriage Reg. # 4191
1914-1918 - Mangalore, 56 North Street, Ascot Vale
10 Mascoma St., Ascot Vale.
Thomas Lang:
22/10/1852 - Born St. Ives, Cornwall, England
1857 - Arrived Australia aboard Grand Trianon
Head teacher of Melton State School
Mary Coates:
06/06/1853 - Born Port Fairy
1944 - Died

Melton Express
19 August 1916, p. 3

Notes from Sergt. T. J. Lang, of Melton : -----
Still under the Palms. In the Desert.- I am pleased to say that I am in the "pink," and hope to continue so, though I can see it is going a hard old thing with the hot weather and hard tucker. However, I feel very fit, so far. "We have had some fairly cool days lately, at least not extra hot, but this morning the sun came out extra hot, and a "khamseen" sprung up---- a hot desert dind, driving clouds of sand with it. The desert has not got a mark on it now, the thousands of tracks are absolutely obliterated, and one would not think there had ever been a hoof in it. The insides of our tents are all "snowed up" with sand, and one has to dig one's blankets out of a sand heap, sand and flies in everything. I suppose you have seen in the papers that our Brigade made a surprise attack on a Turkish outpost at Bir Sabman. They did very well under the circumstances, only two of the N.Z. were wounded, and that only slightly. There seems to be a general opinion that the Turks will make an attack on the Canal yet, and rumor hath it that there is a high German General with the Turks at their present base. As a reprisal to the attack a German Taube appeared near our lines next morning, and dropped about 10 bombs, one of which landed in the Light Horse Camp, about a mile from us, and a number of men and horses were killed. It was a very lucky shot, just dropping between the head of the horse lines and the officers' tents. The men were all standing to their horses, ready to lead out, and got them in the worst possible position. We had a little more warning, and were able to get our horses off the lines, and scatter in the desert. My horse was very excited, as the machine guns were rattling and rifles cracking all round us. It was quite exciting while it lasted. We got a rumor that the same machine was brought down next morning, at Port Said. We all hope it is true, but the Army is fed on rumors, so we believe things when we see that they are true.

Melton Express
Saturday 9 June 1917, P 2

Much regret is felt at the news that Private Horace Lang, who recently won the Military medal, has been wounded in France. Private Lang is the youngest son of Mr. T. Lang, Head Teacher, Melton State School, who has another son, Sergeant Thomas Lang, operating with the New Zealand Forces in Egypt, and from whom no news has been received since Xmas.

Melton Express
Saturday 11 August 1917 p 2

Sergeant T. J. Lang, who is serving with the New Zealand Forces, has received his Commission as Lieutenant. His brother Horace, who received the Military Medal for bravery in France, is reported missing since May. Both are sons of Mr. T. Lang, Head Teacher at Melton State School.

Melton Express
Saturday 26 January 1918, P 2

Sincere sorrow was felt in Melton on receipt of the news that Private Horace Lang, who has been reported missing since April last, was killed in Action. Great sympathy is felt for Mr. and Mrs. Lang and family. Mr. Lang was Head Teacher for many years at the Melton State School; but retired prior to the Xmas vacation. Another son, Lieut. Thos. J. Lang, is serving, with the New Zealand Forces. The late Private H. Lang was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in Action, early last year.

The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter
August 8 1918, p. 2
LANG.-On the 18th July, at Nasrich Hospital, Cairo, from malaria and pneumonia, after 5 years and 10 months' active service, Lieut. Thomas John Lang, N.Z.M.S., the dearly beloved eldest son of Thomas and Mary Lang, of 56 North st, Ascot Vale, and loved brother of Jessie (Mrs. Barrie), late Maud (Mrs. Measor), Effie (Mrs. March).
Walter, the late Corporal Horace, M.M., and Eva. Brothers united after weary warfare, and duty bravely done. So sadly missed.
-(Father, mother, sisters and brother.)

The Argus,
3 May 1919
LANG.-In loving memory of Corporal Horace, No. 903 (M.M.), killed in action at Bullecourt, on 3rd May,1917, loving son of Thomas and Mary Lang, 56 North street, Ascotvale, and loving brother of late Lieutenant T. J. (died of illness, Cairo). Mrs. C. E, Barrie, late Mrs. B. G. Measor, Mrs. March, Walter, and Eva, and loving uncle of Lionel.
Oh, for the touch of vanished hands, And the sounds of voices still.
-(Inserted by their loving family.)

The Argus
19 July 1920
LANG - In loving memory of our dear son Lieut. Thomas John Lang, who died on 18th July, 1918, at Cairo, Egypt and his brother, Corporal Horace Lang, MM, who was killed in action at Bullecourt on 3rd May, 1917, and our beloved daughter, Maud Mary, who died on 28th June, 1913


Archives New Zealand, National Office, Email: research.archives@dia.govt.nz

for Original personnel file for Thomas John Lang

http://empirecall.pbworks.com/w/page/11620592/Volunteers surnames L

Newspaper accounts
Birth Registration 24/10/1879