WALL, John
(Service number 14/263)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 22 November 1885 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment 29 York Street, Timaru
Occupation Barman
Previous Military Experience Nil
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs J. WALL (wife), 29 York Street, Timaru
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Canterbury Infantry
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Rifle Brigade, D Company

Military Awards

Service Medals
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

January 1915 at Porirua Hospital, Wellington - measles, pneumonia

Post-war Occupations


Date 18 January 1915 Age 29 years
Place of Death Porirua Hospital, Wellington (Porirua Asylum)
Cause Died from effects of disease contracted, while training with the NZEF in New Zealand.
Notices Timaru Herald, 20 January 1915
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 23, Plot 370A
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Timaru

Biographical Notes

John Wall, the younger son of Irish-born William and Mary (née Clancey) Wall, of Timaru, was born on 22 November 1885 at Timaru, and baptised in the Catholic Church on 18 December 1885. John’s father who died in 1909, was one of those who risked their lives in helping the crews of the Benveue and the City of Perth, when the two vessels were wrecked at Timaru on May 14th, 1882, and his name is recorded on the wreck monument.

Probably John was educated at the Marist Brothers School, Timaru. He may well have been the J. Wall who featured in athletic events. He won £1.10s for first place in the 100 yards handicap at the St Patrick’s Sports Association meet in March 1899. This was raced in heats and then a final which turned out to be a grand run, Wall just getting home by a breast. He won a further £1.10s in the 200 yards handicap and 10s for third place in the 880 yards flat race. From about 1907 he represented the Celtic Football Club, in the President’s team.

John married Alice Marie Wilson in 1912 at Timaru. They had four children, all born in Timaru - Margaret Mary in 1911, John William in 1912, and twins, Eileen Marie and Rita Elizabeth, in 1914.

When John enlisted he was a barman at the Royal Hotel, Timaru. His next-of-kin was his wife, Mrs J. Wall, of 29 York Street, Timaru, their residence. John never got to leave our shores to serve. He died on 18 January 1915 at Porirua Hospital, Wellington, having been admitted from the Trentham Training Camp. The funeral service for Private John Wall, of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, was held at the Catholic Church followed by burial in the Timaru Cemetery on 22 January. He was accorded a military funeral, the Territorials parading at the Drill Shed and the Defence Department being represented.

From late December 1914 until July 1915 more than 20 men had died at Trentham camp or in hospital in the district. Most of the deaths were due to complications from measles. In fact John died of double pneumonia.

John’s death at just 29 years of age left a young widow, with four little children, the oldest only 3 years old. John was initially deemed ineligible for plaque and scroll, but it appears that they were later sent.

His widow Alice married Arthur Frederick Decimus Jones in 1921. She died in 1943 at Alexandra and is buried there with her parents. John’s older brother, William Wall, who died in 1940 and is buried with John, was listed in the Reserve Rolls. All the children of John and Alice lived to good ages – Margaret Mary Hand died in 2006 at Christchurch and was buried at Alexandra, Eileen Marie Blackie in 1999 and was cremated at Dunedin, and Rita Elizabeth Alcock in 2013 at Invercargill. Their son John William Wall, who held the rank of corporal with the New Zealand Armoured Corps in World War Two, died unmarried in 1984 at Dunedin.

Private John Wall is commemorated on the Timaru War Memorial.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [13 August 2013 & 28 September 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5557 0118265 [27 July 2014]; CWGC [01 August 2014]. Headstone image Timaru Cemetery (Timaru District Council) [15 August 2013]; Timaru Herald, 19 May 1882, 17 March 1899, 8 May 1907, 19 April 1909, 3 June 1909, 20 January 1915, 22 January 1915 [x 2], 9 July 1915, North Otago Times, 21 January 1915, New Zealand Herald, 8 July 1915 (PapersPast) [15 August 2013; 24 September 2013; 24 June 2014; 19 June 2015]; Timaru Herald, 10 July 1915 (South Canterbury Museum) [August 2013]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [2013, 2014]; Baptism Records (Catholic Diocese of Christchurch CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [21 June 2015]; various records relating to the family [2013, 2014, 2015]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC brnach NZSG

Currently Assigned to


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