BENNETT, Herbert John
(Service number 19/12)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 27 February 1870 Place of Birth Pleasant Valley, Canterbury

Enlistment Information

Date (1) 14 January 1915; (2)15 May 1917; (3) 26 March 1918 Age (1) 44 years 10 months; (2) 47 years; (3) 48 years
Address at Enlistment (1) 14 Mulgrave Street, Wellington; (37 Thorndon Quay, Wellington
Occupation (1) Policeman; (2) Soldier; (3) Soldier
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. One child (over 16 in 1918)
Next of Kin (1) Mrs Grace Evaline BENNETT (wife), 14 Mulgrave Street, Wellington; (3) Mrs E. G. BENNETT (wife), 37 Thorndon Quay, Wellington
Religion Church of Englad
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation (1) Samoan Relief Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Infantry
Date (1) 27 March 1915
Transport (1) Talune
Embarked From Destination (1) Apia, Western Samoa
Other Units Served With Permanent Artillery - 3 years; (2) Samoa - 12 months; (3) ASC - 12 months
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

Railway employee


Date 11 October 1923 Age 53 years
Place of Death Masterton
Memorial or Cemetery Archer Street Cemetery, Masterton
Memorial Reference Block L, Plot JB, 2
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Herbert John Bennett was born on 27 February 1870 at Pleasant Valley, Canterbury, the third son in a family of nine sons and two daughters – the family of William and Mary (née Foley) Bennett who had married in 1861 at St Mary’s, Timaru, and settled at Pleasant Valley soon after.. Along with his sblings, Herbert was educated at Pleasant Valley School.He was third in the Standard II Second Division Class List, the prizes being awarded after the children had indulged in different games and pastimes in January 1897. The following year he received a prize for third in Class III, again after the annual treat.

In 1901 Herbert John Bennett was a police constable stationed at Wairoa. Come January 1915 and Trooper Herbert John Bennett was lining up at Trentham for service in Samoa. In February 1916 he was among the men who has succeeded in passing the doctor and was listed with his name, address (14 Mulgrave Street, city), occupation (returned soldier) and branch of service selected (Infantry).

Herbert John Bennett married Gladys Evelyn Boyd on 8 March 1897 in the Napier Wesleyan Church. Their daughter, Gladys Evelyn Boyd, was born on It appears that Herbert Bennett enlisted three times – in 1915 for the Samoan Relief Force, with which he served 283 days; in 1917 to be a Prisoner of War Guard on Somes Island; and again in 1918.

Herbert John Bennett died on 11 October 1923 at the Masterton Hospital, aged 53 years. He was survived by his wife, who died in 1924, and their only daughter. He was buried in Masterton’s Archer Street Cemetery. “The death occurred yesterday afternoon at the Masterton Hospital, where he had been a patient for the past two months, of Mr Herbert John Bennett, aged 53. The deceased was in the police force in Westland before joining the Bailway Department, and at the time of his death he was employed on the permanent way at Woodside. He was a member of one of the Masonic Lodges in Masterton, and was formerly a well-known Forester in New Plymouth. Deceased leaves a wife and one daughter. The funeral will take place to-morrow morning.” (Wairarapa Daily Times. 12 Oct 1923). His mother had died at her North Street residence (“Fairfield Villa”) in 1914 and his father at Christchurch 1923. Both are buried at Geraldine.

Two brothers of Herbert saw World War One service with the New Zealand Forces – Jonathan (Tom) Bennett and Stephen Bennett. Another younger brother – Harold Bennett – served in the South African War. Three of his older sister’s (Catherine Annie Bennett Brown) family also saw service – Eleanor Lawson Brown with Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, James Lawson Brown and William Lawson Brown with the New Zealand Forces; and the oldest son of his oldest brother (William Francis Bennett) served with the New Zealand Forces – Francis Oswald Bennett. Another nephew, Francis Henry Bennett, lost his life in Greece in 1941.


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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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