O'BOYLE, John Joseph
(Service number 7 /2112)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Private


Date 24 May 1886 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 18 October 1915 Age 28
Address at Enlistment Tycho Flat, Timaru
Occupation Farm Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Miss K. O'Boyle (sister), Timaru, New Zealand
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information 5ft 8in, 154lbs, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 9th Reinforcements Canterbury Mounted Rifles, C Squadron
Date 8 January 1916
Transport HMNZT 37 Maunganui
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal, Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 15 September 1916 Age 30
Place of Death Somme, France
Cause Killed in action
Notices Timaru Herald 15 Dec 1916
Memorial or Cemetery Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France
Memorial Reference VIII. E. 15.
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Taiko War Memorial

Biographical Notes

John Joseph O’Boyle was born in Timaru on 24 May 1886, the son of Mary Jane and Neil O’Boyle. He enlisted on 18 October 1915, aged 28, then a farm labourer living at Tycho Flat, Timaru. His father was elderly by then and his mother had died, so he gave his next of kin as his sister Miss K. O’Boyle of Timaru, later of 300 Tuam St, Christchurch. John was described as single, Roman Catholic, 5ft 8in, and 154lbs, with fair complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair.

John was attached to 9th Reinforcements, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, C Squadron and embarked at Wellington on 8 January 1916 on the Maunganui bound for Suez and Egypt, arriving 12 February. He re-embarked for France on 7 April and joined the campaign on the Somme. He was posted missing on 21 September 1916. Evidence presented by 7/2083, Private Munro of the Canterbury Battalion said in part: “On 15 September O’Boyle was in a working party of which I was a member. When we were returning we picked up two wounded men and O’Boyle was acting as stretcher bearer and I was helping carry the other stretcher. We were under heavy shell fire and when we reached Thistle Dump with the wounded. O’Boyle was missing. We lost several men coming down and I am of the opinion O’Boyle was killed. Pte Gowdy, who was killed subsequently, told me he thought O’Boyle had been blown up by a shell.” 6/166 Cpl Turner, Canterbury Battalion, stated: “On 15 September 1916 I was with O’Boyle returning from working and saw him hit by a shell. Ii am certain he was killed.” The Timaru Herald reported on 15 December 1916: "Advice has been received by his relatives that Trooper J.J. O’Boyle, fifth son of Mr Neil O’Boyle, Tycho Flat, who was previously reported missing, is now reported killed in action on September 15th. Trooper O’Boyle was educated at the Marist Bros’ school; he was 27 years of age, a popular young man, and at the time of his enlistment was farming in the Geraldine district."

John O’Boyle is remembered at the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, France and also on the Taiko War Memorial..


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [August 2013 nd June 2021]; Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (; New Zealand Herald, 14 December 1916, Page 8; Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records [June 2021]

External Links

Related Documents

Researched and Written by

Maree Bowen, SC branch NZSG; Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

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