SULLIVAN, Joseph Richard
(Service number 6/557; 18/34)

First Rank Private; NZ Chaplain Last Rank Corporal


Date 10 December 1889 Place of Birth Bluff, Invercargill

Enlistment Information

Date (1) 1914. (2) 1916 Age
Address at Enlistment 42 High Street, Timaru. Whakatane
Occupation Minister (Methodist Church, Timaru). Minister (N.Z. Govt) (Soldier)
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single. Married. Married Blanche Eleanor PHILLIPS on 7 March 1917 at Southampton, England.
Next of Kin Mrs Sarah LAW (Lau) (mother), care of Wm SULLIVAN, Builder, Whakatane. Mrs J. R. SULLIVAN (wife), 6a Bevois Valley, Southampton, England. 
Religion Methodist
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 16 October 1914
Transport Tahiti or Athenic
Embarked From Lyttelton, Canterbury Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With 2nd South Canterbury Company
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Gallipoli
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; 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 13 August 1915. 29 January 1918. Reason 1915 - Physically unfit result of wounds received in Action. 1918 - Medically unfit.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Wounded at Gallipoli. 5 May 1915 reported wounded; 15 May 1915 in hospital at Heliopolis - two successful operations, one on throat to remove blood clots, the other on chest to remove bullet; broken lower jaw, both jaws to be cemented together for six weeks. 17 June 1915 in Convalescent Camp Helonan. Gun shot wound to neck, bullet passing down throat and injuring vocal chords. 21 June 1915 reported as being in No. 1 General Hospital at Cairo. 9 June (July?) 1915 invalided from Suez to NZ per "Willochra". In July 1915 went into hospital at Wellington.  

Post-war Occupations


Date 12 February 1962 Age 71 yrs
Place of Death Durban, South Africa
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Son of Samuel and Sarah (later Mrs LAU) SULLIVAN. Married Blanche Eleanor PHILLIPS in 1917 in England. Three children. When he volunteered for service in the Expeditionary Force in 1914 he was assistant Methodist minister of Bank Street Methodist Circuit, which appointment had been made in March 1914. He enrolled and passed the examination on 12 August 1914, in a very lively and busy Drill Shed; he was not one of those rejected because they were over age or under age, insufficiently developed, had no experience, or were over weight (the regulation weight was 12 stone). . Discharge in 1918 was in England. Later resident at 492 Windermere Rd, Durban, Natal, South Africa. On 15 May 1915 Joseph wrote a letter to a friend in Timaru from hospital, when he had been wounded by a bullet passing down his throat into his chest and affecting his vocal chords and jaw. He writes in a quite jovial tone and says "I am doing A1." Rev. J. R. Sullivan's name is inscribed on the Wesley Church Roll of Honour in the Bank Street Methodist Church. This Roll of Honour was unveiled at a very impressive service in early June 1915, after an address by the Rev. T. A. Joughin, opening with the words "Sorrow and pride mingle in the duty I have to perform" and while the "Litany for Army and Navy" was sung.


Cenotaph Database [19 December 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK18805 W5553 0110723) [22 April 2014]; Timaru Herald, 5 March 1914, 14 July 1914, 13 August 1914, 6 October 1914, 7 May 1915, 7 June 1915, 21 June 1915, 6 July 1915, 19 July 1915, 4 August 1915, 25 August 1915, 9 October 1915, 13 October 1913, 8 December 1916, 25 January 1918 (Papers Past) [22 April 2014; 01 September 2014]

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