(Service number 6/1631)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 20 February 1894 Place of Birth Kurri Kurri, New South Wales, Australia

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment C/o J. Gray, Glenavy
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin J. NEIL (uncle), Maheno, Otago; also Thos S. CAIRNS, Kaitangata
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

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

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 Age
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

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]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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