McLEOD, John Duncan
(Service number 1813)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank|
|Date||2 January 1887||Place of Birth||Fairlie|
|Date||7 January 1915||Age||28 years|
|Address at Enlistment|
|Occupation||Engineering survey hand|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Johnina McLEOD (mother), 79 Theodocia Street, Timaru|
|Served with||Australian Imperial Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||4th Reinforcement|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||9th Battalion|
|Date||8 April 1915|
|Transport||Star of England|
|Embarked From||Brisbane, Australia||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||Egyptian; Gallipoli; Western Front|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star; 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
13 November 1915 - Evacuated from Dardenelles with dysentry; Later wounded at Poziers (Somme)
|Date||26 November 1942||Age||55 years|
|Place of Death||Oamaru|
|Notices||Otago Daily Times, 27 November 1942|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Oamaru Old Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Presnyterian Section, Block 194, Plots 94, 95|
|New Zealand Memorials|
John Duncan McLeod was born on 2 January 1887 at Fairlie, the first-born of Malcolm and Johnina (née Bain) McLeod. Along with his siblings, he was educated at Burke’s Pass School. Leaving there at the end of 1899, he went on to Timaru Boys’ High School. John D. McLeod, 14 years 11 months, a Timaru High School pupil, qualified in the scholarship examination, in January 1902. In January 1904 at Timaru John passed the civil Service junior examination. It was early 1905 when some of his siblings transferred from Burke’s Pass to Waimataitai School in Timaru. Their parents having moved to Timaru. On leaving school, John was employed in a solicitor’s office in Timaru. In 1911, however, he was a farm hand at Fairlie.
“Ill-health necessitated a trip to Australia.” (Obituary, Otago Daily Times, 27 November 1942.) He was an engineering survey hand in New South Wales, Australia, when the Great War broke out. He enlisted on 7 January 1915 at Rockhampton, Queensland, naming his mother as next-of-kin – Mrs Johnina McLeod, 79 Theodocia Street, Timaru, New Zealand. Private J. D. McLeod embarked at Brisbane with the 9th Battalaion of the 4th Reinforcement on 8 April 1915 per the “Star of England”.
M Konings recounts John arrived at Suez on 13 May 1915. ”He travelled overland by train to Alexandria, boarded a troop ship on 23/05/15 and landed at Anzac Cove on 27/05/15. His duties at Gallipoli alternated between sentry duty, sapping front line and support trenches, and running messages. JD made frequent visits to the NZ trenches to catch up with old friends from South Canterbury. He was taken off the peninsula with dysentery on 13/11/15 and recuperated on board a hospital ship until eventually taken to Alexandria. He rejoined the Battalion which had arrived from Gallipoli on 5/1/16 and participated in more desert exercises and signal school training until 06/06/16 when the Battalion was shipped to Marseilles and to the Somme. He was eventually wounded in Pozieres on 13/08/1 and sent to England for hospital treatment.”
He was wounded in the second Battle of the Somme. For his service at Gallipoli and in France, he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Having returned to New Zealand after the war, John McLeod settled with his family in the Oamaru district and engaged in farming at Enfield. He married Isabel Margrete Marshall on 31 October 1928 at the Weston Presbyterian Church. He was very active in local affairs, giving his talent and energy to the North Otago Farmers’ Union, the North Otago Primary Production Council, the armed Forces Appeal Board sittings in Oamaru, and represented the Borough and County Councils on the local Rehabilitation Committee. John Duncan McLeod died on 26 November 1942 at Oamaru, after a brief illness. He was buried in the Oamaru Cemetery. His wife and three children survived him; also his mother, two brothers and four sisters. His brother, Malcolm Alexander McLeod, served with the New Zealand forces in the war. Their father had died at John’s residence at Enfield in November 1928.
During the World War One commemorative period M Konings alerted the project that John kept a diary which was later donated to the Alexander Turnball library and featured in a display in 2015. His diary was transcribed online at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzlscant/McLeod_diary_1915.htm and was also posted in real time on Tumbr in 2015 at http://johnduncanmcleod.tumblr.com/ Peter Ireland has also written a blog post exploring McLeod's story for Alexander Turnbull Library at http://natlib.govt.nz/blog/posts/a-queer-mixture-of-men
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [16 April 2021]; SCRoll web submission from M Konings, 30 January 2015; McLeod, J D (Sergeant), fl 1915-1917. McLeod, John Duncan, 1887-1938 : First World War diary. Ref: MS-Papers-1382. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22847648; Alexander Turnbull Library blog - http://natlib.govt.nz/blog/posts/a-queer-mixture-of-men; SCRoll web submission by O Whitehouse, 20 April 2015; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [17 April 2021]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [17 April 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [19 April 2021]; Oamaru Cemetery headstone transcription [17 April 2021]; Timaru Herald, 17 January 1902, 30 July 1915, 7 November 1928, NZ Herald, 23 February 1904, Otago Daily Times, 27 November 1942 [x 2], Press, 27 November 1942 (Papers Past) [19 & 20 April 2021]
Researched and Written by
Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum; Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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