(Service number 6/1631)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank|
|Date||20 February 1894||Place of Birth||Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia|
|Address at Enlistment||C/o J. Gray, Glenavy|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||J. NEIL (uncle), Maheno, Otago; also Thos S. CAIRNS, Kaitangata|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||3rd Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Date||14 February 1915|
|Transport||Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Place of Death|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Thomas Mitchell was born on 20 February 1894 at Kuri Kuri Kurri Kurri), New South Wales, Australia, of Scottish parents (Personnel File). As of early 1915, Thomas Mitchell had enlisted with the New Zealand Forces. He was a labourer for J. Gray of Glenavy, with whom he was residing. He named an uncle as next-of-kin – J. Neil, Maheno, Otago. Also named was Thos S. Cairns, Kaitangata. Janet Somerville Mitchell (born in 1856 at Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland) had married John Craig Neill in 1882 in New Zealand, while Annie Mitchell (born in 1853 at Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland) had married Thomas Cairns in 1873 in Lanarkshire and settled in New Zealand by 1880.
Private Thomas Mitchell embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion of the 3rd Reinforcements on 14 February 1915 at Wellington, destined for Suez, Egypt. The newspapers of mid September 1915 carried the report that he was slightly sick, his next-of-kin being his uncle – Mr J. Neil, Maheno. On 8 October he embarked for England. He was admitted, slightly sick, to the First Southern Hospital at Birmingham, his next-of-kin then being Mr Thomas S. Cairns, Kaitangata.
T. Mitchell, 6/1631, returned to New Zealand in 1917, arriving at Auckland on 29 April. “6/1631 Driver Thomas Mitchell. Army Service Corps home service details, was tried by district court-martial on the 23rd inst. on charges of drunkenness and damaging Government property (breaking windows), and was sentenced to seven days’ detention and the stoppage of his pay until the damage was made good.” (Otago Daily Times. 29 July 1918)
What became of Thomas Mitchell? Correspondence between War Veterans in Vancouver, Canada, and New Zealand Army Headquarters suggests that he may have gone to Canada. Two uncles of Thomas did go to Canada from Scotland – Alexander Mitchell and Robert Prentice Mitchell. As well as his aunts – Ann Mitchell Cairns and Janet Somerville Mitchell Neill, another uncle came to New Zealand, David Mitchell. They were from a family of fifteen (eight sons and seven daughters) of Thomas Mitchell and Isabella McFarlane, who died in 1874 and 1881 respectively. Which son was the father of Thomas born in 1894? Probably not Thomas or Alexander, leaving George, James, John or William.
Several cousins of Thomas Mitchell, 6/1631, are known to have served in the Great War. David Mitchell Cairns, George Mitchell Cairns and James Cairns served with the New Zealand Forces, as did William Neill and John Craig Neill, while Thomas Alexander Mitchell and Melvin Roy Mitchell (sons of Robert) served with the Canadian Forces.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [July 2021]; NZ Times, 20 September 1915, 22 October 1915, 5 November 1915, Evening Post, 30 April 1917, Otago Daily Times, 29 July 1918 (Papers Past) [15 July 2021]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
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