GOW, John Graham
(Service number 3/3394)

First Rank Captain Last Rank Captain


Date 29 October 1884 Place of Birth Edinburgh, Scotland

Enlistment Information

Date 3 May 1917 Age 32 years
Address at Enlistment c/o E. COLLIE, Worser Bay, Wellington [father-in-law]
Occupation Medical practitioner
Previous Military Experience Edinburgh University C.T.C. - 3 years - left university; Timaru H.S. Cadets - Lieutenant 6 years
Marital Status Married. Two, three children.
Next of Kin Dr Alice M. GOW (wife), Marine Parade, Worser Bay, Wellington
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 6 feet 1 inch. Weight 156 lbs. Chest measurement 35-38 inches. Complexion ruddy. Eyes hazel. Hair brown-grey. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing & colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Illness - chole-cystitis. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left arm). Good bodily & mental health. No fits. Fit A.

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 28th Reinforcements, New Zealand Medical Corps
Date 7 June 1917
Transport Westralia
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ M C

Military Awards

Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards Military Cross (M.C.)

Award Circumstances and Date

Military Cross (M.C.) - for distinguished services in connection with Military Operations in Egypt and Palestine; awarded January 1920.

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 28 March 1920 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

On 9 February 1919 he was admitted to hospital - sick.

Post-war Occupations

Medical practitioner


Date 2 October 1960 Age 76 years
Place of Death Tapui, Oamaru
Memorial or Cemetery Cremated Andersons Bay Crematorium, Dunedin
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John Graham Gow was the son of James Gibson and Hannah Brocket (nee Cowell, formerly Arkle) Gow. The family arrived in NZ in December 1884 and lived in Timaru, where James Gibson Gow was the chief Inspector of schools in South Canterbury. John Graham Gow was first educated at a private school, then at Timaru Main and Waimataitai schools before going to High School. In 1914 John was a medical student in Dunedin, studying clinical surgery. John's wife, Maysie Alice Marianne Collie, was already qualified in medicine herself when they married on 4 March 1913 at st Mark's Church, Wellington. Two children were born before his enlistment - Edith Marianne Gow, born on 26 January 1915 in Dunedin and James Gibson Gow, born on 20 September 1916 at Westport, Subsequently Anne Graham Gow was born on 16 December 1917 in wellington, and Edward John Gow followed on 2 February 1920. In 1926 John and Maysie agreed to go their separate ways. There was a petition for divorce but it was withdrawn. John Graham returned to New Zealand in April 1919 per 'Kaikoura' and was in a group of six who arrived at Timaru from Christchurch by the express (three of these returning soldiers accompanied by their English brides). In Timaru they were welcomed cordially by the Mayor and commended for their gallant work abroad. On his return to New Zealand John was attached to the Military Hospital at Trentham; he may also have gone to the Waipiata Sanatorium. John remarried in 1955, to Mary Anne Jane Catherwood in Tapui, where they had both been living since the late 1930s. John died at his residence at Tapui (near Oamaru) only five years later in 1960 and was cremated in Dunedin. His wife died in 1959 at Levin and is buried with her parents. Flying Officer James Gibson Gow, a son of John and Maysie, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for meritorious service in the European theatre of war in World War Two.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [12 December 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0046365) [12 December 2013], NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5937 0359450) [30 June 2017]; Evening Post, 6 September 1904, 2 August 1944, Timaru Herald, 2 November 2014; 28 April 1919, 16 February 1920, NZ Truth, 5 December 1929  (Papers Past) [05 November 2013; 13 November 2013; 13 December 2013]; SCRoll web submission by S Murphy, 27 January 2019

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