MAHONEY, John James
(Service number 34524)
|First Rank||Sergeant||Last Rank||Corporal|
|Date||23 May 1894||Place of Birth||Invercargill|
|Date||23 August 1916||Age||22 years|
|Address at Enlistment||C/o Harry Saunders, Race Course, Waimate|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mr Tom MAHONEY (father), 9 Earn Street, Invercargill|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 10 stone 4 lbs. Chest measurement 33-36 inches. Complexion medium. Eyes blue. Hair medium brown. Sight - right eye normal 6/6, left eye sufficient 6/18. Hearing and colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - upper partly artificial, lower fairly good; sent to dentist. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Very small left varicocele. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No fits.Round scar on back of right wrist (old burn). Brown pigmented mark (irregular shap but covering 10-12 square inches) on left chest anteriorly. The varicocele is small & .... "In my opinion he is fit." 24/8/16 Fit.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||24th Reinforcements Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company|
|Date||5 April 1917|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Devonport, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 1st 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
|Date||12 October 1917||Age||23 years|
|Place of Death||In the Field, Belgium|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Notices||Southland Times, 26 October 1917, New Zealand Tablet, 15 November 1917|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Memorial Stone Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill (on father's plot)|
|Memorial Reference||N. Z. Apse, Panel 2. . Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill - Block 6, Plot 45|
|New Zealand Memorials||Albury War Memorial|
John James Mahoney, known as Jack, was born on 23 May 1894 at Invercargill, the eldest son of Timothy (Tom) and Mary (Polly, née Cahill) Mahoney, of 9 Earn Street, Invercargill. He attended St Catherine’s Convent school in Invercargill, where he was awarded a junior prize for writing in 1900. From there he went to the Marist Brothers’ School and on to the Southland High School. Perhaps he was the John Mahoney who gained a senior free place and Civil Service Junior pass for Invercargill in January 1910. In his teens Jack was very much into rowing, successfully filling the spot of coxswain in many regattas. At the Invercargill regatta in February 1909, his Invercargill Railway crew finished in third place in the Maiden Four, 1 mile event and in the Maiden Pair 1 mile. The following month the Railway Rowing Club crew, with J. Mahoney as coxswain, finished in first place in the Maiden Four Race at the Avenal Regatta – a special trophy being competed for annually, and in second place in the Junior Four 1 mile at the Waihola Regatta, winning £2. The Easter Regatta at Queenstown was another good day on the water, with Invercargill Railway winning £3 for first place in the Maiden Double Sculls and the Railway No. 1 crew coming in first to win £6 in the Maiden Four event, Jack Mahoney in the coxswain position for both races.
1910 brought more success in rowing. A trial race was held on 2 February between the Invercargill and Railway Club’s Senior fours to decide which crew would be chosen to represent Southland in the annual contest with Otago for the interprovincial shield. Some 500 spectators turned up to the trial race, such was the local interest. Both crews were finely trained, competent oarsmen in admirable form. After a neck and neck struggle, Invercargill finished well to emerge the winners. At the annual Invercargill Regatta the following week Railway with three firsts and eight seconds was awarded £17.10s of the prize-money. Jack again did his bit as coxswain for the Junior Four, the Senior Four, the Youths’ Four, the Senior Pair and the Senior Double Sculls, all finishing in second place. Further recognition of his talent came at the 1910 annual meeting of the Railway Rowing Club, when he was presented with a trophy donated by committee. It is not clear when exactly Jack moved to the Waimate district – perhaps up to four or five years before enlisting, to engage in farming, after a time working for Searle and Co, Invercargill, and maybe with Darling and McDowell, Oamaru. He may well have been the John Mahoney who was one of the Waimate competitors at the Oamaru show held in November 1914, being highly commended in the Filly 1 year old class and placed first for “Mare or gelding, suitable for town spring dray, and to draw a load of 18 25 cwt, vehicle attached”.
John James Mahoney enlisted on 23 Aug 1916. He listed his occupation as jockey, his address being care of Harry Saunders, Race Course, Waimate,. He was 22 years old, single, Roman Catholic. His nominated next-of-kin was his father Mr Tom Mahoney, 9 Earn Street, Invercargill. John was first rejected as unfit for military service, when he underwent a medical examination in February 1916, on account of his sight. He entered camp as a gunner with the 20th Artillery Reinforcements and was soon promoted to bombardier. But because of continuous delays in sending artillerymen to the front, he applied for a transfer to the infantry. While with the 25th Reinforcements at Trentham in November 1916 he was appointed lance-corporal. In January 1917 Corporal J. J. Mahoney, who had been allocated to the 24th Reinforcements, B Company, was temporarily appointed sergeant. Sergeant J. J. Mahoney embarked on 5 April 1917 (Easter time), per the “Devon”, leaving from Wellington, and destined for Devonport, England. He was serving with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force - 24th Reinforcements Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company. On 23 July 1917 he proceeded overseas from Sling Camp, was transferred to the Canterbury Regiment and joined his battalion in France.
All too soon came that disastrous day – 12 October 1917 at Bellevue Spur, Passchendaele. It was reported in the newspapers of 25 and 26 October that Corporal John James Mahoney, 34524, of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, had been killed in action – yet another victim of the October push. It was reported by the 2nd Anzac Burial Corps that he was buried in the region of Bellevue. His name is inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium and on his parents’ headstone in the Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill. His father died in 1919, his mother living on till 1941. An In Memoriam – “For the Empire’s Cause” was inserted in the Southland Times of 11 October 1919, and the name Mahoney J J is recorded on the Invercargill Cenotaph.
His medals – British War Medal and Victory Medal - were sent to Tom V. Mahoney at 9 Earn Street, Invercargill; likewise the scroll in 1921 and the plaque in 1922. His uncle, Mr T. Cahill, of Oamaru, also received word of the death of his nephew Jack. Jack Mahoney had been a member of the Invercargill Hibernian Band in Invercargill and took a keen interest in sport, as an active member of the Athletic Football Club in addition to the Railway Rowing Club. John James Mahoney was remembered as being of a very kindly disposition and extremely popular with all who were acquainted with him.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [19 August 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0077038) [10 June 2016]; CWGC [20 August 2013]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [19 August 2013]; Headstone image Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill (Invercargill City Council) [20 August 2013]; Southland Times, 25 December 1900, 25 February 1909, 11 & 24 March 1909, 13 April 1909, 17 January 1910, 3 & 10 February 1910, 23 September 1910, 19 August 1912, 26 October 1917 [x 2], 15 & 16 April 1919, 11 October 1919, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 21 November 1914, 25 October 1917, New Zealand Times, 7 November 1916, 8 January 1917, 26 October 1917, Press, 10 January 1917, Hawera & Normanby Star, 25 October 1917, Evening Star, 26 October 1917, North Otago Times, 26 October 1917, Otago Daily Times, 26 October 1917, New Zealand Tablet, 8 November 1917, 15 November 1917 (incl. photo) [x 2], 15 May 1919 (Papers Past) [26 October 2015; 20 August 2016; 02 March 2017; 06 November 2017]; New Zealand Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au); Invercargill Cenotaph (https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/invercargill-cenotaph) [06 November 2017]
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Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
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