NIXON, John Morgan
(Service number 19/201)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||19 December 1871||Place of Birth||Glasgow, Scotland|
|Date||28 March 1905||Age||43|
|Address at Enlistment||Care of Fleck, Edward St, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs A Nixon (wife), 39 Ferguson St, Palmerston North|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Samoan Relief Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Infantry|
|Date||27 March 1915|
|Embarked From||Auckland||Destination||Apia, Western Samoa|
|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
|Date||5 July 1942||Age||70|
|Place of Death||Christchurch|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Bromley, Christchurch|
|Memorial Reference||Block 4E RSA, Plot 8 4E RSA|
|New Zealand Memorials|
John Morgan Nixon was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1871. He emigrated to Canterbury, New Zealand in 1873, arriving on 6 January 1874 with his family. The family took up residence in Christchurch.
Nixon married Alice Beatrice McNulty in Christchurch in 1892, the couple going on to have 12 children between 1892 and 1909. The couple must have struggled to cope with the home or the children – on 10 May 1910 the Christchurch Star reported that John Morgan Nixon had been charged with neglecting to provide for the maintenance of his child, an inmate in an industrial school (an early term for a type of orphanage or home for neglected children). He was ordered to pay 3 shillings a week towards the child’s support. Alice Nixon died in 1911. John’s brother Stephen had died in Palmerston North in 1910, leaving a widow with two children, and in 1912 John married his brother’s widow. The marriage though seems to have broken down quickly.
John joined the Samoan Relief Force in the early stages of the war. The Occupation of Samoa was the takeover – and subsequent administration – of the Pacific colony of German Samoa by New Zealand during World War I. It started in late August 1914 with landings by the Samoa Expeditionary Force from New Zealand. The landings were unopposed and the New Zealanders took possession of Samoa for the New Zealand Government on behalf of King George V. The Samoa Expeditionary Force remained in the country until 1915, while its commander, Colonel Robert Logan, continued to administer Samoa on behalf of the New Zealand Government until 1919. The takeover of Samoa was New Zealand's first military action in World War I. John Nixon, a private in the infantry, embarked on the Talune on 27 March 1915, arriving in Apia, Western Samoa on 3 April. His address then was care of Fleck, Edward St, Timaru, but his next of kin was his second wife Alice in Palmerston North.
The Christchurch Star newspaper reported on 4 January 1916 that Nixon had enlisted for the 12th Reinforcements but there is no army record available to show that he ever went overseas. Then, on 20 April 1917, the Christchurch Sun reported that John Morgan Nixon had pleaded guilty to boarding a moving train at Rakaia. Police said the offence was committed in December 1916 and they had been trying to find him ever since. Nixon had attempted to board the second express at Rakaia while it was moving out of the station and had been dragged a considerable distance between two carriages, having a narrow escape from being klilled. He was convicted, but then discharged as it was pointed out that he was going into camp “next Wednesday”. Again, there is no indication that he actually left the country.
Alice Esther Nixon later divorced John in an undefended action in February 1924, stating that she had married her dead husband’s brother but he had proved to be a heavy drinker. She had previously obtained a separation order in 1914. The decree was granted.
John Nixon died in Christchurch on 5 July 1942 and was buried in Bromley Cemetery.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database [August 2021]; NZBMD; Assorted records at Ancestry.com [August 2021]; Christchurch City Council Cemeteries Database at https://heritage.christchurchcitylibraries.com/Cemeteries/ ; Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Sahiban Kanwal; Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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