(Service number 14063)
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Rifleman|
|Date||13 April 1893||Place of Birth||Waituna, Waimate|
|Date||8 March 1916||Age||23 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Waituna|
|Previous Military Experience||2nd South Canterbury Regiment|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Helena CAMPBELL (mother), Waituna, Waimate|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 7 inches. Weight 11 st 6 lbs (160 lbs). Chest measurement 34-37 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes grey. Hair light brown. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing and colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - artificial upper, 8 out lower. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccination mark. Good bodily and mental health. No fits. Detailed note attached to heart condition - problem in pulmonary area [see Personnel Record]. Fit.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||5th Reinforcements 3rd Battalion, G Company|
|Date||26 June 1916|
|Embarked From||Wellington, N.Z.||Destination||Devonport, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 4th Battalion|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
11 April 1917 - admitted to No. 7 General Hospital at St Omer, with mumps; 14 April 1917 - admitted to No. 3 N.Z Field Ambulance; 8 May 1917 - admitted to hospital in France; 6 October 1917 - to Military Hospital on Leave; 26 October 1917 - admitted to hospital at Rouen; 7 December 1917 - admitted to No. 3 Field Ambulance, and on 8 December rfecorded that at No. 10 C.C.S. he died of wounds due to compound fracture of legs.
|Date||7 December 1917||Age||24 years|
|Place of Death||Belgium|
|Cause||Died of wounds received in action in the field in France or Belgium - gunshot wounds to both legs.|
|Notices||Waimate Daily Advertiser, 18 December 1917|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlanderen, Belgium; Waimate Old Cemetery (memorial on parents' headstone)|
|Memorial Reference||XXVII. D. 7A. Presbyterian area, Plot 44|
|New Zealand Memorials||Timaru Memorial Wall; Waimate War Memorial; Waituna War Memorial.|
James Campbell (14063) was the second son of Robert and Helena (née Westphall) Campbell, of Waituna, Waimate, South Canterbury, and a member of a well-known Waituna family. Jim was born on 13 April 1893 at Waituna and was educated at the Waituna School, where his father served on the committee. In December 1901 James and his brother John both got a mention at the Waituna School annual picnic and prize-giving, James coming second equal in Standard I. After games, refreshments, the hosting of the recently acquired flag and the singing of a verse of the National Anthem, the prizes were awarded by the Rev. G. Barclay. Perhaps James was the J. Campbell on White Squall at the opening meet of the Waimate Hunt which took place at the Kennels, Waituna, in mid April 1913.
His older brother John Robert Campbell died of wounds received in action in 1915 at Gallipoli. James left Waimate by the first express on 8 March 1916 and enlisted at Trentham. His nominated next-of-kin was his mother and his religion Presbyterian. He was passed fit, though a detailed note was filed relating to a heart condition. Before departing the men were treated to a send-off. They marched through the streets of Waimate, the brass Band playing martial airs and a huge red ensign leading the way. The deputy-Mayor addressed them: “. . . . We are all glad and proud to be present and witness the beginning of the great sacrifice you are making – a sacrifice that means severing for a while the connection with the land you love so well. We recognise that nothing but the call of duty would cause men to give so much, as you are doing. We honour you for your readiness to sacrifice personal and business relationships in response to the call from the heart of the Empire for more men. . . . . . . The British have ever fought for the preservation of the rights of mankind. You all knew what your comrades, “Heroes of Anzac”, who have gone before, have done. . . . . .” James knew only too well what the Heroes of Anzac had done. Now his family was destined to be one which would again sustain great loss, as were the families of three others of the eleven men who left Waimate that day.
He then embarked on the “Tahiti” for Devonport, England with the Rifle Brigade on 26 June 1916, some twelve months after his brother had died. After leaving school he had worked about home for some time; when he enlisted he had been working as a teamster for Mr Hertslet at “Adendale”, Hook, for six years. The annual meeting of the Waimate Scottish Society was held on 26 June. The report noted that the society’s ranks had been depleted by the departure of many of the younger members for the front, though the society was proud that they had responded to the call of duty. Among the names recorded on the Roll of Honour was that of J. Campbell, a member and the son of a member.
Although there was an irregularity in the area of his heart, the heart was deemd 'normal' and James was declared fit for service. In October 1916 he joined the battalion from Sling and was posted to A Company at Rouen. On 11 April 1917 he was admitted to No. 7 General Hospital at St Omer, with mumps. Two further hospital admissions occurred in May and October 1917.
Suffering from what was to be the fatal blow, James was admitted to the No. 3 Field Ambulance on 7 December 1917, on which date he died of gunshot wounds to both legs, wounds which caused compound fractures and were received in action in the field at Polygon Wood in Ypres, Belgium. Twenty-five year old James was the second son of Robert and Helena Campbell to make the supreme sacrifice. He was one of 17 men who had died of wounds, whose names appeared on the casualty listed issued on 17 December 1917. Rifleman James Campbell was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery at Poperinge, Belgium. He and his brother John Robert are also remembered on their parents’ headstone in the Waimate Old Cemetery, their father dying in 1924 and their mother in 1946. His name is inscribed on the Timaru Memorial Wall as well as the Waimate and Waituna War Memorials.
Jim Campbell was a bright, intelligent young man, whose loss was felt by many. He was a much valued employee, acknowledged for his unassuming nature and faithful service; and he was described as 'deservedly popular'. His medals were sent to his mother, still living at Waituna, and the plaque and scroll to his father in 1921. And in 1918, 1919, and 1920, an In Memoriam notice – For the Empire’s Cause – was inserted in the Otago Daily Times by his parents, brothers and sisters. The Waimate Daily Advertiser also carried In Memoriam notices on 7 December 1918 and 6 December 1919. The name of Jas. Campbell appeared initially under “Answered the Call” in the Roll of Honour published regularly in the Waimate Daily Advertiser, and from late 1917 under “The Supreme Sacrifice”.
On Arbour Day 1918, an impressive ceremony to honour fighting and fallen heroes was held at Waituna. After the Union Jack was hoisted by a senior pupil and the National Anthem sung, the school committee planted 26 oak trees in honour of ex-pupils of the school who had gone to the war. Addressing the gathering, the Mayor of Waimate quoted Kipling – “A soul goes out on the wind; and dies for England’s sake.” The planting of these trees would teach the children to come, in later years, that the sons of Waituna of to-day had taken a hand in this great war, and had been true to the character of the British people, he said. Another speaker eulogised the splendid nature of the memorial, observing that “the planting of the trees so closely indicated the happy idea that our lads were fighting shoulder to shoulder.” Special trees were selected and planted at the head of the line in memory of those who had fallen, and in every instance a relative was called upon to plant the tree, Robert Campbell planting the trees in memory of his sons. The Mayor declared each tree “well and truly laid”, and a card was attached to the tree with the name of the man it represented. Brass tablets were to be placed permanently at the foot of the trees of the six fallen soldiers – two of those being the Campbell brothers. Mrs Campbell was one of the ladies who liberally and ably assisted the Committee in a very successful day.
Another memorial tree planting was carried out at Woodlands in October 1919. The Mayor paid a high tribute to the fallen ones whom they were called together to honour that day. “The memory of their deeds would last forever and the tree they planted that day and the memorial to be erected later would serve as an emblem of their heroism.” Mrs Campbell and Mrs Stewart planted a tree in memory of John and James Campbell and Lochiel Stewart. Miss A. Campbell (sister) took a turn at the spade, as did children from Waituna School and others.
Cenotaph Database [28 October 2013]; CWGC [25 March 2014]; N Z Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0022315) [09 January 2014]; Timaru Herald, 27 April 1893, 19 April 1913, 18 December 1917, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 14 December 1901, 7 & 8 March 1916, 27 June 1916, 7 February 1917, 18 December 1917 [x 2], 20 December 1917, 7 December 1918, 6 December 1919, Oamaru Mail, 27 June 1916, Otago Daily Times, 19 December 1917, 07 December 1918, 25 October 1919, 06 December 1919, 07 December 1920, 10 October 1924, Evening Post, 18 & 22 December 1917, Otago Witness, 26 December 1917 (Papers Past) [25 March 2014; 01 April 2014, 21 July 2014; 19 August 2014; 06 July 2015; 30 June 2016; 20 December 2017, 02 January 2017]; Headstone transcription Waimate Cemetery (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [25 March 2014]; Burial record Waimate Cemetery (Waimate District Council) [25 March 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [06 July 2015]; Waimate Presbyterian marriage record (South Canterbury Museum) [07 July 2015]
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
Tell us more
Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!