CAMPBELL, John William
(Service number 36412)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 21 July 1893 Place of Birth Roxburgh (Central Otago)

Enlistment Information

Date 20 September 1916 Age 23 yrs 1 mth
Address at Enlistment Geraldine
Occupation Painter
Previous Military Experience Otago Territorial Regiment - 3 years
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs May CAMPBELL (mother), Valley Road, Geraldin
Religion Methodist (Primitive)
Medical Information Height 5 feet 9 inches. Weight 154 lbs. Chest measurement 31-34 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair dark. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision both good. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - fair condition. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. No distinctive marks.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Reinforcements G Company
Date 19 January 1917
Transport Waitemata
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

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 26 February 1919 Reason Termination of period of engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

In May 1917 admitted to Hospital at Tidworth. 8 April 1918 wounded in the foot. 30 August 1918 wounded in left knee. 2 September 1918 admitted to Stationary Hospital at Rouen, with dysentry; transferred to Brockenhurst, then to Hornchurch.

Post-war Occupations



Date 13 November 1963 Age 69 yrs
Place of Death Geraldine
Notices Timaru Herald, 14 November 1963
Memorial or Cemetery Geraldine Cemetery
Memorial Reference Services Section, Row 503, Plot 4
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John William CAMPBELL was the second son of Malcolm and Margaret (nee McARA) CAMPBELL. He was born on 21 July 1893 at Roxburgh and was educated at Roxburgh School and briefly at Forbury School, Dunedin, before the family moved to Timaru then Geraldine, where John attended the Geraldine D H S. John was one of South Canterbury's quota for the 21st Reinforcements who left for camp on 20 September 1916. They were entertained at luncheon in the Stafford Tea Rooms then assembled at the Drill Shed and were addressed by the Mayor and Rev. Father Herbert. He had been previously farewelled at the decorated Drill Hall, Geraldine, when a great variety of musical entertainment was presented and an address relative to the war was delivered by Dr Paterson (whose duty it was to medically examine recruits). There followed a presentation to John by Major Kennedy, who expressed sympathy to John and his family for the brother and son (Herbert) who had already made the supreme sacrifice. He and the others leaving also received a parcel from the Home and Empire League. While at Trentham in January 1917, John forfeited 1 day's pay for a misdemeanor. On 13 September 1918, the Timaru Herald incorrectly reported that John and a number of other local men had died of wounds; this was correctly reported as Wounded by the Ashburton Guardian. At its September 1918 meeting, the Geraldine D. H. School committee, of which John's father was a member, expressed sympathy with Mr Campbell over John's being wounded. All his service overseas seems to have been in France. John embarked for the return to New Zealand on 24 December 1918 at Plymouth. At discharge he was assessed at well nourished and healthy. On his return John settled again in Geraldine and resumed his trade of painting. He died suddenly in Geraldine on 13 November 1963, survived by an older sister and a younger brother. His older brother, Herbert Malcolm CAMPBELL, was killed in action on 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli. A younger brother, Gilbert Ernest CAMPBELL, was drawn in a ballot but did not get to serve.


Cenotaph Database [12 July 2014]; N Z Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0022380) [15 July 2014]; Headstone image Geraldine Cemetery (Timaru District Council) [12 July 2014]; School Admission Records (Alexandra Branch NZSG, Dunedin Branch NZSG, South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [12 July 2014]; NZ Birth Indexes (DIA historical records) [12 July 2014]; Timaru Herald, 14 November 1963 (Timaru District Library) [16 July 2014]; Timaru Herald, 20 September 1916, 21 September 1916, 7 June 1917, 13 September 1918, 17 September 1918, Ashburton Guardian, 13 September 1918 (Papers Past) [12 July 2014; 19 July 2014]

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