BRIGGS, Joseph
(Service number 38931)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 23 September 1896 Place of Birth Woodend, Canterbury, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 5 October 1916 Age 20
Address at Enlistment Waihao Downs, Waimate, New Zealand
Occupation Farm Labourer
Previous Military Experience D Company, 2 South Canterbury Regiment
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin John Briggs (father), Waihao Downs, Waimate
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 5 foot 6 inches tall, weight 11 stone 2 lbs, chest 33 - 36 inches, medium complexion, blue eyes, lt brown hair, dentally fit

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 22nd Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Date 16 February 1917
Transport Navua
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Devonport, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With 2 Company Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western Europe
Service Medals British War Medal and Victory Medal
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

2 October 1917 - Gun shot wound to face - admitted to No3 Australian Field Ambulance, transferred to No12 Gen Hospital Rouen; 25 August 1918 - Gun shot wound to neck and compact fracture to spine - admitted 1st Australian General Hospital Rouen, transferred to Hospital Ship Guildford Castle; Died 28 August 1918 while in transit to England.

Post-war Occupations


Date 28 August 1918 Age 21
Place of Death At sea crossing from France aboard the Hospital Ship Guildford Castle
Cause Died of wounds
Memorial or Cemetery Brockenhurst (St Nicholas) Churchyard, Hampshire, England
Memorial Reference Plot A, Row 4, Grave 19
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Waimate First World War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Joseph was born at Woodend, Canterbury, on 23 September 1896, the second son of a family of five boys and six girls, to John (1864-1941) and Mary Jane (nee Scoon, 1872-1941) Briggs. John had earlier emigrated out from Cumberland, England, and working as a farmer, when he married Mary Jane, born in Rangiora, at Woodend, Canterbury, in 1893. The family later moved to the Waihao Downs district, Waimate.

Joseph was working as a labourer on his father’s farm, when he enlisted at Waimate, aged 20, on 5 October 1916. He was described as being single, Anglican, 5 foot 6 inches tall, weighing 11 stone 2 lbs, his chest measuring 33 – 36 inches, of medium complexion, blue eyes, light brown hair and being dentally fit. He had also had had some service with D Company, 2 South Canterbury Regiment. He was posted to C Company, Canterbury Infantry Regiment and after initial training, was part of the 22nd Reinforcements which left on the Navua from Wellington on 16 February 1917, bound for Devonport, Devon, England. Further training followed at Sling Camp in England before being posted to 2 Company, Canterbury Infantry Regiment in France on 26 May 1917, where the Regiment was at Basseville, preparing for the attack on Passchendaele. He also undertook a short course at the School of Instruction from 11 July until returning to his unit on 19 August.

On 2 October 1917 near Passchendaele, Joseph received a gunshot wound to the face and was admitted to No 3 Australian Field Ambulance and later transferred to No 12 General Hospital at Rouen. By 30 November he was back with his unit at New Hutting Camp, which was half a mile south of Ypres. In December he had 2 ½ weeks leave in England before returning to Ypres on 7 February 1918. On 25 August during the battle of Bapaume, Joseph’s Battalion was involved in the capture of the town and the high ground to the east when he received further gunshot wounds to his neck and a compact fracture of his spine. After a short admittance to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen, he was transferred to England aboard the hospital ship Guildford Castle. Unfortunately he died during the passage aboard ship on 28 August 1918. His body was then taken to Brockenhurst where he was buried in the St Nicholas churchyard in Plot A, Row 4, Grave 19 by New Zealand Chaplain the Reverend E.D. Rice.

After the war Joseph’s medals, the British War Medal and Victory Medal, plus a scroll and plaque were sent to his father at Waimate. His name is commemorated on the Waimate War Memorial Gates.


NZ BDM Historical Records at; Every Man Remebered at®iment=Canterbury+Regiment%2C+N.Z.E.F.&male=1&sortby=surname; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 at®Num=38931&place=; NZ War Graves Project at; Clare Church “New Zealand Graves Brockenhurst”, pages 178–180

External Links

Related Documents

Researched and Written by

Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG & Timaru Herald; Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

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