(Service number 15355)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Lance Corporal


Date 2 August 1893 Place of Birth Timaru, South Canterbury, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 4 April 1916 Age 22
Address at Enlistment 60 Richmond Ave, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Occupation Seaman
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs R. Fonseca, (Mother), 36 Selwyn St, Timaru
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 5 foot 8 inches. Florid complexion. Grey/green eyes. Dark Hair. His Medical examination reported he was in good health, noting he had tattoos - a life buoy with Titanic on his left upper arm and a bull dog in a life buoy on his right arm.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation NZ Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 9th Reinforcement, 1st Battalion, E Company
Date 29 July 1916
Transport Ulimaroa
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Devonport, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Western Europe 1916-18
Service Medals British War Medal & 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

30 April 1917 - Wounded in face; 24 August 1917 - Wounded left leg and left hand. Returned to England.

Post-war Occupations


Date 9 September 1918 Age 25
Place of Death Havrincourt, France
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Gouzeacourt New British Cemetery
Memorial Reference Sp.Mem. A 16
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Waimataitai School War Memorial

Biographical Notes

John was the son of Reuben A and Nancy Hannah Fonseca of 36 Selwyn St, Timaru. His siblings were Sarah Ann (b.1891), Isaac (b.1896) and Jessie (b.1908). John worked as a seaman for the Union Steam Ship Company based in Auckland.

While on active service in World War One he was wounded twice. Firstly early in 1917 he was wounded in the face, but was soon sent back to the front. Later that year he was wounded and had a period of convalsecent before being sent back to duty. The next year, on 9 September 1918, he was killed in action.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (September 2013); Archives New Zealand (November 2014. 2017); NZ Birth Deaths and Marriages; SCRoll web submission by D Giles, 16 June 2023

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Janette Clarke, 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.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB