Profile

LOPER, John Wesley
(Service number 2/3571)

Aliases
First Rank Warrant Officer Class 2 Last Rank Warrant Officer

Birth

Date 20 August 1882 Place of Birth Waimate, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

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
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs Honora Loper (wife), 36 Crawford Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Religion Roman Catholic
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

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

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

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian & Western Europe
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

Discharge

Date 9 January 1919 Reason End of war

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Soldier (NZ Permanent Forces)

Death

Date 14 March 1962 Age 78
Place of Death Auckland, New Zealand
Cause
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Waikumete Crematorium
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

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.

Sources

Auckland Museum Cenotaph database (June 2015); Archives NZ (Personal File); Papers Past; NZSG Index V5; NZSG NZ Marriages 1856-1956

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen (SC branch NZSG)

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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