(Service number 6/3979)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||15 March 1890||Place of Birth||Glasgow, Scotland|
|Date||16 November 1915||Age||25|
|Address at Enlistment||Winchester|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||W Aitken (brother), care of D.I.C., Kaikoura|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||10th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company|
|Date||4 March 1916|
|Transport||Re-embarked at Suez for France, 13 April 1916 on "Kinfannis"|
|Embarked From||Wellington, NZ||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Service Medals||British War Medal & Victory Medal|
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 November 1918||Age||28|
|Place of Death||Le Quesnoy, France|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Cross Roads Cemetery, Fontaine-au-Bois, Nord, France|
|Memorial Reference||III. C. 13|
|New Zealand Memorials||On Memorial wall, Timaru; Temuka RSA Roll of Honour; Temuka War Memorial; Winchester War Memorial; Chunuk Bair NZ Memorial; Auckland War Memorial Museum, WW1 Hall of Memories|
Son of Walter and Christina Aitken, of Govan, Scotland.
Prior to enlistment he was working as a labourer for J. McInnes at Winchester. He was medically boarded at Temuka by Dr F A Scannell and described as weight 162 lbs, chest 33 inches, height 5 foot 9 1/2 inches, fair hair and complexion and eyes blue. He served from 16 Nov 1915 to 5 Mar 1916 within NZ prior to embarkation on 4 Mar 1916 for Suez, arriving 8 Apr 1916, then onwards to France per "Kinfannis" 13 Apr 1916, arriving 24 Apr 1916.
John suffered being wounded three times prior to his death
- 25 Sep 1916 – Cas. List No.428/16 (GSW to right foot). Embarked on hospital ship "Cambria" for England 30 Sep 1916. Admitted to 2 Gen. Hosp. Chelsea, 30 Sep 1916 and returned to France 27 May 1917.
- 17 Aug 1917 - Cas. List No.650/2 (remained on duty)
- 5 Apr 1918 – Cas. Lis. No.829/5 (gassed).
Aitken’s war medals, scroll and plaque were sent to his NOK Walter Aitken (brother) care Barton Ross Ltd, Hamilton.
A descendant of John's sister-in-law recalls "My grandmother, (wife of John's older brother Walter), always told us he died the day of the armistice but that is probably when they heard the news."
Cenotaph (August 2013); Temuka through the years: an informal history (Temuka History Book Committee, 2009); CWGC; Archives NZ; SCRoll web submission by C Gilbertson, 1 July 2022
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG & Timaru Herald, Ted Hansen
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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