BARNES, Sydney Mitchell
(Service number 4/679)

First Rank Sapper Last Rank


Date 16 August 1888 Place of Birth

Enlistment Information

Date 15 Aug 1914-31 Dec 1915 Age 35
Address at Enlistment Sutter St, Timaru
Occupation Aeronaut, last employer given as Farmer's Co-op, Timaru).
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs M.A[sic].Barnes (wife), Sutter St, Timaru (Changed to 22 Charles Street, Timaru)
Religion Wesleyan
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 4th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship New Zealand Field Engineers
Date 17 April 1915
Transport HMNZT 21 Willochra, or HMNZT 22 Knight Templar, or HMNZT 23 Waitomo
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian 1915
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, 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 25 September 1915 Reason Medically unfit for active service.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

7 August 1915 - Invalided to New Zealand.

Post-war Occupations


Date Age
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

35 year old Sydney Mitchell Barnes gave his occupation as Aeronaut on enlistment, his last employer being The Canterbury Farmer's Co-operative, Timaru. He recorded that he had previously served in the Second South African (Boer) War with Imperial forces.

Prior to the war he married Mary Elizabeth White in Wellington in 1908, and together he recorded they had four children at the time of his enlistment: Victoria Elizabeth White (b.1907, Wellington); Sylvia Mary (b.1908, Waimate); Sidney Armer Lorenzo (b.1910, Timaru); and Stanley John (b.1914, Christchurch). Another son, Ivor Mitchell (b.1912) had already died in 1914 aged only 2 years old.

Barnes' statement of service notes he was initially assigned to be a driver for the Field Engineers on 9 February 1915. He went on to serve in the Egyptian campaign until being invalided to New Zealand aboard the ‘Tahiti’ in August 1915, then was discharged as medically unfit for further service on 25 September of the same year, due to pre-existing deafness in both ears as a result of his service in the South African War. Even so his 229 days of service included only 81 days in New Zealand. It was only in camp in Zeitoun, Egypt, that his deafness was recorded as deeming him permanently unfit for service (as a result of medical board findings in July 1916).

After the war Barnes initially was listed as intending to return to Timaru, but by the time his medals were issued (in 1922?) he had relocated to Taranaki Street, Wellington.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (August 2014); NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [31 August 2023]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives New Zealand ref. R22272632) [31 August 2023]; SCRoll webs submission by A Barnes, 25 August 2023.

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG; Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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