MILLS, David
(Service number 78581)

Aliases Born Michael LEONE
First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 12 July 1878 Place of Birth Queensland, Australia

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment 6 Butler Street, Timaru
Occupation Transport worker
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs Bertha MILLS (wife), 6 Butler Street, Timaru
Religion Unitarian
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 40th Reinforcements, A Company
Date 10 July 1918
Transport Tahiti
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, 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

Fish merchant


Date 14 July 1946 Age 68 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Cremated
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

David Mills was born on 12 July 1878 in Queensland, Australia, the son of Nicholas and Sarah (née Head) Leone. So who was David Mills? It appears he was born Michael Leone. His father was born in Greece and married Sarah Head from Tipperary, Ireland, in Queensland in 1877. In New Zealand, as David Mills, he married Timaru-born Bertha Clarke, nine years older than David, on 16 April 1906 in Dunedin. By 1911 David and Bertha were living in Timaru and in 1917 he was listed on the World War One Reserve Rolls at Timaru. On enlisting, he was a transport worker and named his wife as next-of-kin. Private D. Mills embarked for Plymouth, England, on 10 July 1918, with the 40th Reinforcements per the “Tahiti”.

Rifleman D. Mills of Timaru returned to New Zealand by the “Somerset” which was due at Lyttelton about 12 August 1919. Bertha died at their Timaru home on 29 June 1926 after a long illness and was buried in the Timaru Cemetery. David and Bertha had no family. In 1927 David married Evelyn Muriel Agar, who was ten years younger than David. Evelyn was to die tragically just four years later. She was killed instantaneously on 15 November 1931 when a large willow tree crashed on to their picnic party in the Waihi riverbed near Geraldine. Evelyn, who left a 3½ year old son, was buried at Lyttelton.

Post war David was a fish merchant at Timaru. David Mills died on 14 July 1946 at Timaru, aged 68. He had drawn up his Will in August 1930, leaving all, after expenses, in trust for his wife, Evelyn Muriel Mills, and if she should predecease him, for any surviving children. He also directed that his body be cremated and that “the cost of and incidental to conveying my remains to the nearest crematorium and cremating such remains be paid out of my estate.” Mary Clarke, married woman of Timaru, provided the affidavit of David Mills’ death.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [20 May 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [20 May 2021]; Queensland, Australia, birth index [21 May 2021]; ref. to probate record (Archives NZ/Family Search) [21 May 2021]; Timaru Herald, 30 July 1919, 30 June 1926, 8 July 1926, 16 & 17 November 1931 (Papers Past) [26 April 2021; 20 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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