LOPER, John Wesley
(Service number 2/3571)
|First Rank||Warrant Officer Class 2||Last Rank||Warrant Officer|
|Date||20 August 1882||Place of Birth||Waimate, New Zealand|
|Date||26 March 1916 (seconded from the NZ Permanent Force)||Age||23|
|Address at Enlistment||Mount Cook Barracks, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Occupation||Soldier (Permanent Forces)|
|Previous Military Experience||9663 Trooper Loper 8th NZ Mounted Rifles Boer War, 2nd (South Canterbury) Regiment, & NZ Permanent Forces|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Honora Loper (wife), 36 Crawford Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington|
|Medical Information||5 foot 9 3/4 inches tall, weight 175 lbs, black hair, brown eyes, dark complexion, 36 1/2 inch chest, good teeth|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||11th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||NZ Field Artillery No 3 Battery|
|Date||1 Apr 1916|
|Transport||Tahiti or Maunganui|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||NZ Field Artillery No 3 Battery|
|Campaigns||Egyptian & Western Europe|
|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|
|Date||9 January 1919||Reason||End of war|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
Soldier (NZ Permanent Forces)
|Date||14 March 1962||Age||78|
|Place of Death||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Waikumete Crematorium|
|New Zealand Memorials|
John, eldest son of John & Annie (nee Butler) Loper, was born at Waimate on 20 August 1882. He attended the Waimate School where he gained his 6th standard. In 1906, John was working as a drover/stockman for Mr Hayes, sheep farmer, at Waimate, when he decided to join the New Zealand Permanent Forces. He had previously served in the Boer War with the 8th New Zealand Mounted Rifles (service number 9663) and had been awarded the Queen’s South African Medal with two clasps. He had also been serving as a territorial soldier at Waimate, with the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment.
John enlisted in the New Zealand Permanent Forces on 6 January 1906, at age 23, and served until 26 March 1916, when he was seconded to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) with the rank of Sergeant Major and given new service number 2/3571. He was then described as being 5 foot 9¾ inches tall, weighing 175 lbs, black hair, brown eyes, of dark complexion, chest 36½ inches, good teeth and a Roman Catholic. Having married Honora Emily Brown on 21 February 1913, she was listed as his next of kin and living at 36 Crawford Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington. On 1 April 1916, he left Wellington with the 11th Reinforcements for Suez, Egypt. He embarked as part of No 3 Battery, NZ Field Artillery, aboard either the SS Tahiti or Maunganui. He served in both the Egyptian and Western European theatres before returning to New Zealand on SS Maunganui 12 May 1917. His younger brother, 6/1609, Pvt William Joseph Loper, Canterbury Infantry Battalon, was also serving overseas at this time. John’s NZEF service continued in New Zealand until 9 January 1919, when he was demobbed, and the following day, 10 January, he rejoined the New Zealand Permanent Forces and continued serving until 31 January 1938.
On 18 March 1919, John remarried, this time to Rachael Mary Curteis. In April 1923, he had also taken up the licence of the Marine Hotel, Howick, but in December, transferred the licence to Gustavus Jones. Upon declaration of the Second World War, he again joined up (with another service number, 800353), was promoted to Captain, and employed as an instructor. Finally, on 15 July 1944, he was posted to the reserve of officers.
John's career was recognised with The Queen’s South African Medal with two clasps, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Long & Efficient (Territorial Force) Medal, Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Kings (1935) Silver Jubilee Medal and Member of the British Empire Medal (1943). After World War Two he would also have been awarded further medals for that service.
John died in Auckland on 14 March 1962 and was cremated at the Waikumete Crematorium.
Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015); Archives NZ (Personal File); Papers Past; NZSG Index V5; NZSG NZ Marriages 1856-1956
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Ted Hansen (SC branch NZSG)
Currently Assigned to