FITZGERALD, John Garrett
(Service number 2/2820)

Aliases Fitz, Jack
First Rank Driver Last Rank Driver


Date 15 December 1894 Place of Birth Lyttelton

Enlistment Information

Date 15 November 1915 Age 20 years 11 months
Address at Enlistment Railways, Taumaranui
Occupation Railway employee
Previous Military Experience Railway Engineers No 4 Coy
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs CHAPMAN (mother) [formerly FITZGERALD], King Street, Temuka
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 11 inches. Weight 144 lbs. Chest 35-38 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs all normal. Limbs and chest both well formed. Full movement of joints. Teeth - sufficient, some artificial. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. good bodily and mental health. Artificial teeth. No fits.  

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 10th Reinforcements Details, New Zealand Field Artillery
Date 22 February 1916
Transport Waihora 
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt (31 March 1916)
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Egypt; Eastern Front
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards British War Medal (1914-1920); Victory Medal

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 17 January 1919 Reason No longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service - trench fever and bronchitis.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Admitted to 3rd N.Z. General Hospital, Codford, on 6 December 1916 - bronchitis. 25 January 1917 admitted to Venereal Section, and discharged 28 March 1917. 13 April 1917 admitted to 3rd N.Z.G.H. for gastritis (not severe case). 14 April 1918 evacuated sick. He was then admitted to several hospitals following 'casualties' at Calais, Boulogne, Etaples. 6 May 1918 he was transferred to England and admitted to hospital at Walton-on-Thames. Origin of disability - 9 April 1918 at Ypres - fever, pains, cough, rheumatic, no TB; previous history - bronchitis; anaemia. 6 May 1918 admitted to hospital in England, suffering from a slight attack of trench fever. On 9 August 1918 he was classified as Unfit by the Medical Board - trench fever, bonchitis. Gassed.

Post-war Occupations

Shop owner (general store). Farmer. Taxi proprietor.


Date 16 August 1972 Age 77 yrs
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery Mangere Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

This John Garrett FITZGERALD was a son of Detective Garrett (died 1914 at Timaru) and Nelly Caroline (nee ROBERTS) FITZGERALD. He was baptized Catholic on 30 December 1894 at Lyttelton. The family had come from Lyttelton to Timaru by 1900. Jack was a brother of Bernard Morris Roy FITZGERALD, who also served in WWI. His uncle, Corporal A. W. Roberts, also served in WWI and the South African War. John gave a total of 3 years and 64 days of war service, during which time he was gassed. He aslo suffered a number of illnesses, including trench fever, and spent time in hospitals. Jack was honourably discharged on account of wounds received while on active service. He had commenced duty on 15 November 1915. Prior to Attestation, he had registered at Timaru for compulsory military training. Jack was invalided from France and in May 1917 was convalescent at Hornchurch. He returned to New Zealand in 1918/19 per 'Ulimaroa'. Twice John was punished - 60 days detention at Sling on 24 September 1916, and he forfeited 4 days pay for being absent without leave on 9 July 1917 at Hornchurch. After hospitalization in 1917 he returned to service in France before being evacuated sick in 1918. When he was classified as Unfit in August 1918 he was discharged from hospital and embarked for New Zealand. After the war Jack was a general store shop owner and later a taxi driver. John married Florence Watkin SHEARD in 1923.


Cenotaph Database [31 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0040346) [20 April 2014]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch - Baptism index V.1.2 (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Computer Resources) [27 April 2014]; Timaru Herald, 22 July 1909, 10 February 1914, 13 February 1914, 14 December `1918, Marlborough Express, 18 April 1917, Ashburton Guardian, 9 May 1917, 13 May 1918, Press, 10 May 1917, North Otago Times, 28 May 1917 (Papers Past) [19 & 21 April 2014; 31 May 2014; 15 & 18 September 2014]; Mangere Cemetery records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [11 September 2014]

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