BARNES, Sydney Mitchell
(Service number 4/679)
|First Rank||Sapper||Last Rank|
|Date||16 August 1888||Place of Birth|
|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|
|Next of Kin||Mrs M.A[sic].Barnes (wife), Sutter St, Timaru (Changed to 22 Charles Street, Timaru)|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|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|
|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|
|Date||25 September 1915||Reason||Medically unfit for active service.|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
7 August 1915 - Invalided to New Zealand.
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
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.
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG; Tony Rippin, South Canterbury Museum
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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