SEALY, Joseph William
(Service number 7/1037)

First Rank Sergeant Last Rank


Date 27 August 1884 Place of Birth Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date 16 January 1915 Age 30 years
Address at Enlistment Fairlie, Timaru
Occupation Sheep farmer
Previous Military Experience 8th South Canterbury Squadron Canterbury Mounted Rifles, Ashburton Mounted Rifles
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs F. SEALY (mother), Sealy Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information 5 foot 11 inches tall, weight 154 pounds (70kgs), chest 34-36 1/2 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair, teeth fair

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 5th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 13 June 1915
Transport Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Egypt & Balkans (Gallipoli)
Service Medals No
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 10 May 1916 Reason No longer fit for war service on account of illness contracted on active service

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

20 December 1915 - evacuated from ANZAC - admitted to 19th General Hospital, Alexandria ; 24 December with Enteric Fever; 1 January 1916 - transferred to NZ General Hospital, Cairo; 6 March 1916 boarded HospitL Ship Maheno for return to NZ

Post-war Occupations

Sheep Farmer, Station Hand


Date 11 April 1949 Age 64
Place of Death Wellington, New Zealand
Memorial or Cemetery Karori Crematorium
Memorial Reference Record No 8806
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Joseph was born at Ashburton on May 26, 1884, the son of Thomas (1852-1943) and Helen (nee Coutts, 1852-1943) Sealy. His father Thomas was born in County Cork, and had arrived in the Colony, aged nineteen, aboard the ship “Robert Henderson”. In 1875 he set up in Ashburton a seed and nursery business with his brother Joseph. In 1877 at Christchurch, he married Helen, daughter of Mr Alexander Coutts of Aberdeen, and had one son and four daughters. Both brothers were to become very prominent men in the communities where they lived. Young Joseph was educated at the Ashburton Borough School where he passed standard six, and for two years at the High School. After leaving school he worked for his father who was then farming at Carew (Ashburton), and later at Hunter (south of Timaru), where the family were by 1911. Here he had joined the Waimate Hunt Club and enjoyed an active membership.

When Joseph enlisted on January 16, 1915, he was farming in his own right at Fairlie, and nominated his mother Helen as his next of kin. By this time the family were living at Sealy Street, Timaru, but later moved to Eden in Auckland. Sealy Street in Timaru had been named after Edward Percy Sealy (1839-1903) who had come to New Zealand from Bristol, England, in 1859, but it is not know if the two families were related in any way. Joseph entered camp on January 16, 1915, with the rank of Trooper in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles (CMR) but, as he had served with the Ashburton Mounted Rifles, was immediately promoted to Sergeant in C Squadron. He was described as being aged 30 years, single, Presbyterian, 5 foot 11 inches tall, weighing 154 pounds (70 kgs), chest measuring 34-36 ½ inches, of fair complexion, grey eyes, brown hair and his teeth were fair. On June 13, 1915, he left with the 5th Reinforcements aboard HMNZT25 SS Tahiti from Wellington in convoy with HMNZT24 Maunganui and HMNZT26 Aparima, arriving in Egypt on August 1. The convoy also carried Number 2 Stationary Hospital and a total of 2299 persons.

When the CMR first arrived in Egypt they continued training in their mounted rifle role, but by May 1915 they were thrown as infantry support on the Gallipoli Peninsula. In the next four mounts the regiment was to suffer more than half of all its casualties in the war. By September their losses had been so great that they were evacuated to Mudros, going into Sarpi Camp for rest and training. On October 5, 1915, Joseph as part of the 5th Reinforcements, arrived on Mudros to replenish the depleted ranks of the CMR. He was immediately posted to the 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron where, on October 10 he temporarily reverted back to Lance Corporal until re-promoted back to Sergeant the same day. On November 10 the CMR embarked on HMT Osmanich to return to ANZAC Cove where they bivouacked in Waterfall Gully. On 27 November they relieved the Suffolk Yeomanry and part of the 162nd Brigade on the northern side of Aghyl Dere. Here they suffered the flies, sickness, the Turks, and with little shelter in the trenches, had a miserable time in snow. During the night of 19/20 December the final party of the CMR left ANZAC Cove for Lemnos. Joseph’s turn for evacuation came on December 20, when he left on the Hospital Ship Lanfranc (for Lemnos?) On December 22 he embarked on HMT “Hororata” for Egypt, and was admitted to the 19th General Hospital at Alexandria on the 24th suffering from enteric fever. On January 1, 1916, he was transferred to the NZ General Hospital at Cairo, and on March 6, 1916, he was invalided aboard the Hospital Ship “Maheno” from Suez back to NZ, arriving home on April 11. After having served a total of 1 year and 114 days, Joseph was discharged from the army on May 10, 1916, as no longer fit for war service on account of illness contracted on active service. For this service he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

In 1919 he was living at the Dominion Hotel, Timaru, listed as a sheep farmer, in 1928 at the Windsor Hotel, Hastings, working as a shepherd, and from 1935-1949 at 52 Boulcott Street, Wellington, employed as a station hand. With the coming of war agaon on July 15, 1940, at Wellington, Joseph enlisted for service again in World War Two, but was medically graded as Class III, so most probably did not enter camp for service. Joseph died in Wellington on April 11, 1949, aged 64 years, and was cremated at the Karori Crematorium.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [21 October 2016]; Otago Witness, 5 May 1909, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 5 July 1909, 17 January 1910, 6 June 1910, 7 July 1911, Oamaru Mail, 20 August 1909, Timaru Herald, 5 July 1913, 24 March 1914, 24 August 1914, 29 December 1915, 5 April 1916, 1 December 1917, 13 February 1919, Evening Post, 26 January 1915, 19 February 1915, Mataura Ensign, 29 December 1915, Press, 15 April 1916, 29 August 1931, Otago Daily Times, 16 June 1916, Temuka Leader, 7 August 1919 (Papers Past) [22 & 23 October 2016]

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Researched and Written by

Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to


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