Merlin Owen Pasco

Additional Information: 

Son of Solomon and Agnes Pasco; brother of Mrs. H. J. Werner, of Rewanui, Greymouth, New Zealand. Native of Kumara, New Zealand.

  • CWGC
  • Archives New Zealand

Biographical Notes:

“KILLED IN ACTION. QUARTER-MASTER MERLIN OWEN PASCOE. Private advice was received in Queenstown during the week of the death in act on in France, on 6th August, of Quarter-Master Merlin Owen Pascoe, a well known Queenstown young man. Q.M. Pascoe was born at Kumara, West Coast, 25 years ago, being a son of the late Solomon C. Pascoe. When a lad of eight years he came from the coast to Queenstown, to live with his uncle, the late John Harris Pascoe. Towards the close of his school life he entered the employ of Mr L. Hotop, there after becoming a member of the staff of the Lake Wakatip Mail. For some time, however, before he left Queenstown he was in the service of Mr F. St. Omer. When war broke out he volunteered but was turned down. Nothing daunted, he took passage to Australia and volunteered again from there, leaving with the Second Australian Division in the Signalling Corps. He went through the Gallipoli campaign and took part in the historical evacuation. He also spent some time in Egypt, whence he was transferred to France. What might be called a veteran of the fight he was never once wounded, though he had many hair breadth escapes. He knew no fear and was always full of hope. But now the labourer's task is over; for him the battle day is past, and the news of his death will be received with deep regret in this community and district where he was so well-known and highly respected.
The late Quarter-master M. 0. Pascoe was an uncommon type of lad. From his early years he became greatly interested in research work. His chief interest was centred in things entomological, a study of the lepidoptera of the Dominion claiming all his spare hours. Before he left Queenstown he had in his possession a very fine collection of butterflies and moths, many of the specimens being; the only ones of their kind in New Zealand. Naturally to such a student, the land off the Pharoahs presented a rich field for other branches of research in which he was deeply interested, and there he acquired a fine store of information which he would most assuredly have put to good use had he been spared to outlive the preheat state of nations. Deceased soldier was also a first-class knight of the camera and during his period of service in the Peninsula and elsewhere he took a line series of views of historic interest and, moreover, kept a a interesting diary of events and experiences in those far off fields of Gallipoli, Egypt and France. In character, Merlin Owen Pascoe was straight, strong and true - true in his actions, his speech and his opinions. His hands and heart were in rhythm with the high conception he held of what was honest and of good report. To the feet of every young man the moonbeam’s silver path comes across the mere and the hand clothed in samite rises from its bosom and offers to each Excalibur. Merlin Pascoe was one of those who, in Tennyson’s poetic imagery, “rowed across, took it, and wore it like a king.”
Deceased soldier had a brother on active service, but he was seriously wounded some time since and was invalided to New Zealand. A sister, Mrs H. Werner, lives at Rewanui. To them the people of the Wakatipu offer sincere sympathy in their irreparable loss.” [Lake Wakatip Mail, Issue 3302, 27 August 1918, p 5]

Public Contributions:

Merlin Owen Pasco (AKA Pascoe) was a young but influential entomologist who collected many specimens in and around Otago before volunteering to fight. He discovered a number of species of moths &... Read More

Personal Tributes:


Service Number: 
Merlin Owen Pasco
Name variation:
Date of Birth:
07 April 1892
Place of Birth:
WTC, Kumara,
Date of Enlistment:
01 January 1914
Armed Force: 
Australian Engineers, 4 Divisional Signal Company

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Killed in action
Date of Death:
06 August 1918
Day of Death:
Age at Death: 

Embarkation Details

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


Cemetery Reference: 
II. F. 48.
Cemetery Location: 
Merlin Owen Pasco
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