Second Lieutenant

Fergus Blair McLaren

Additional Information: 

Son of George McLaren and of Hilda McLaren (nee Blair), of Clinton, Otago, New Zealand. M.A., Clerk in Holy Orders.

  • CWGC
  • Pringle (1957)
  • New Zealand Nominal Rolls (WW2)
  • BDM Online

Biographical Notes:

“Included in the casualty list published yesterday was the name of Second-lieutenant (the Rev.) Fergus Blair McLaren, of Dunedin, who was killed in action in Greece. The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand is, as a result, deprived of one of the  finest of its young men. Born in April, 1914, he received his education at the Mornington School, Otago Boys' High School and Otago University, graduating from the University with an M.A. degree in 1937. He then spent three years in the Theological Hall at Knox College, being president of the Theological Students' Association in his final year. When war broke out he abandoned a plan he had made to go to Edinburgh to complete his studies, for he felt compelled to offer his services in what he considered to be the cause of right and of Christendom. In the belief that he could best help his fellows by enlisting as a private, he did so immediately after he had attained ministerial status and been licensed by the Presbytery of Dunedin to preach in the Mornington Church. He was chosen in the Trentham Camp to train for a commission at Trentham. and when he was awarded one was regarded as one of the most promising of the younger officers.
Lieutenant McLaren was highly popular among a wide circle of friends, particularly men and boys in Dunedin and Central Otago. and was justly esteemed for his quiet yet fearless championing of ideals that were held by him to be just and righteous. He was an active member of the Dunedin branch of the Institute of International Affairs and of the Dunedin branch of Toc H*. He had passed through all ranks in the Scout movement from Wolf Cub to Rover Leader and Scoutmaster, and was a recognised authority on Scouting, particularly in its open-air aspects. He was extremely interested in social work, especially in the public works camps, and was W.E.A. tutor during one summer vacation in the Central Otago camps. He was the type of young man that can ill be spared from the world of to-morrow, but he has left a noble and inspiring memory.” [Otago Daily Times, Issue 24606, 14 May 1941, Page 6] [*Toc H is an abbreviation of Talbot House, an international christian organisation - NZWGT]

Public Contributions:

Submitted by: Robert McLeod
Relationship to casualty: Amateur Historian
From the Official War History of the 20th Battalion and Armoured Regiment Page 72: "While the companies were moving independently to their positions a squadron of fighter-bombers made a sudden a... Read More

Personal Tributes:


Service Number: 
Fergus Blair McLaren
Second Lieutenant
Date of Birth:
10 April 1914
Place of Birth:
Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Next of Kin: 
Mrs H McLaren (mother), 19 Blair Street, Mornington, Dunedin
Date of Enlistment:
Not known
Locality on Enlistment: 
19 Blair Street, Mornington, Dunedin
Place of Enlistment: 
Dunedin, New Zealand
Marital Status:
Occupation on Enlistment:
Presbyterian Minister
New Zealand Infantry, 20 Battalion

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Date of Death:
27 April 1941
Day of Death:
Age at Death: 

Embarkation Details

Embarkation Body:
Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)

Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum


Cemetery Reference: 
Face 13.
Cemetery Location: 
Fergus Blair McLaren
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