MILES, James Edwin
(Service number 72040)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 15 August 1886 Place of Birth Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date 14 September 1917 Age 31 years
Address at Enlistment P.O., Fairlie
Occupation Blacksmith
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single then married
Next of Kin Mrs Pamela MILES (wife), care of Post-office, Fairlie
Religion Church of England
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 38th Reinforcements, A Company
Date 5 June 1918
Transport Remuera
Embarked From Destination Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 20 August 1953 Age 67 years
Place of Death Christchurch
Memorial or Cemetery Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference Block !, Plot 312
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James Edwin Miles, perhaps known as Edwin or Edward, was born on 15 August 1886 at Ashburton, the fourth son of Joseph and Rebecca (née Dockray) Miles. His father died in July 1913 at Ashburton and his mother in October 1915. In 1916 James was listed on the Reserve Rolls as a blacksmith at Fairlie, where he had been living for some years. He enlisted at Timaru on 14 September 1917, when he was single. On 14 November he married Pamela Annan, who was named as his next-of-kin.

Private J. E. Miles embarked with the 38th Reinforcements on 5 June 1918 per the “Remuera”, headed for Liverpool, England. His daughter, Josephine Annie Messines Miles, was born at Fairlie in October 1918. J. E. Miles, 72040, returned to New Zealand aboard the “Chupra”, one of 732 soldiers due at Lyttelton about July 22nd, 1919. James and Pamela lived at Fairlie for many years, retiring to Christchurch in the late 1940s. He died on 20 August 1953 at Christchurch and was buried in Ruru Lawn Cemetery.

Two brothers of James Edwin Miles – John William Miles (known as Jack) and Thomas Albert Miles (known as Tom, and enlisted as Thomas Richard Miles) – were on a holiday visit to Sydney when war broke out. They both enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 27 August 1914 at Randwick, New South Wales. They embarked at Alexandria for Gallipoli on 5 April 1915. On 2 May 1915 both men were reported missing. Subsequently a Court of Enquiry determined that both had been killed in action on 3 May 1915 at Gallipoli. It was in September 1915 that Mrs J. Miles, of Ashburton – their mother who was their nominated next-of-kin – was advised of any casualty, and then the information was erroneous. A year later, their sister Mrs Pogson, received a cable advising of their fate. Harry Miles, the youngest of the six adult sons of Joseph and Rebecca, had embarked with the Tenth Reinforcements of the New Zealand Forces by this time.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [30 April 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [30 April 2021]; Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch, burial records (Christchurch City Council) [01 May 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [02 May 2021]; Hastings Standard, 23 June 1915, Sun, 17 September 1915, Colonist, 20 September 1915, 23 May 1916, Press, 26 May 1916, NZ Times, 4 July 1919 (Papers Past)

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