McMILLAN, John Francis
(Service number 12066)

First Rank Sapper Last Rank Sergeant


Date 21 August 1883 Place of Birth Lake Tekapo

Enlistment Information

Date 12 January 1916 Age 32 years
Address at Enlistment Kimbell, South Canterbury
Occupation Blacksmith
Previous Military Experience Mackenzie Mounted Rifles, South Canterbury. Corps disbanded.
Marital Status Married. Two children
Next of Kin Mrs Ada McMILLAN (wife), Kimbell, South Canterbury; later 133 Evans Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
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 12th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Engineers, No 2 Field Company
Date 1 May 1916
Transport Ulimaroa
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Engineers

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 22 May 1972 Age 88 years
Place of Death Christchurch
Memorial or Cemetery Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference Block 29A, Plot 23
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John Francis McMillan was born on 21 August 1883 at Lake Tekapo, the eldest son of Donald and Margaret Jane (née McDowall) McMillan. Donald McMillan from Ross-shire, Scotland, first came to New Zealand in 1865. Returning in 1868 he settled in the Mackenzie Country. Donald died in 1905 and was buried in Burke’s Pass Cemetery with two children who died in infancy. Margaret Jane McMillan, whose family (parents and three daughters) arrived in New Zealand in the early 1870s and also settled in the Burke’s Pass area, was buried there too when she died in 1930. Along with his surviving siblings, John was educated at Burke’s Pass School.

John Francis McMillan married Ada Charter on 20 October 1904 at Timaru. They had two daughters, both born at Timaru – Mavis Victoria on 24 May 1905 and Margaret Elizabeth on 19 January 1907. A third daughter, Nira Matilda, who was born in 1910, died in 1912 at 21 months. And Jean Aubrey, a post-war baby, died in 1934 at the age of twelve.

John McMillan, a blacksmith of Kimbell, South Canterbury, enlisted on 12 January 1916 at Trentham. Sapper McMillan embarked with the New Zealand Field Engineers of the 12th Reinforcements at Wellington, bound for Suex, Egypt, on 1 May 1916 by the “Ulimaroa”.

J. F. McMillan, of Timaru, where Ada was living, was one of more than 800 men who returned to New Zealand by the “Port Hacking” in August 1919. John Francis McMillan died on 22 May 1972 at Christchurch and was interred in Sydenham Cemetery with his two young daughters and his wife ada who had died in 1962. His sister, Ellen Christina McMillan (Christina), married returned soldier James McConnell in 1921, just before James died as a result of his war service.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [21 May 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [21 May 2021]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [22 May 2021]; Burke’s Pass and Sydenham cemeteries headstone transcriptions [22 May 2021]; Sydenham Cemetery burial record (Christchurch City Council) [22 May 2021]; Timaru Herald, 25 March 1905, 12 July 1912, 11 August 1919, 11 September 1930, Star, 2 November 1934 (Papers Past) [06 September 2014; 22 & 23 May 2021]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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