(Service number 47315)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||25 July 1892||Place of Birth||Upper Waitohi|
|Date||2 February 1917||Age||24 years 6 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Upper Waitohi, Temuka|
|Previous Military Experience||2nd South Canterbury Regiment - serving|
|Next of Kin||John CONNELL (father), Upper Waitohi, Temuka|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 159 lbs. Chest measurement 36-39¼ inches. Complexion fresh. Eyes brown. Hair fair. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Required two fillings in teeth. No illness. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left arm). Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Fit A.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||26th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company|
|Date||9 June 1917|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Devonport, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||21 May 1919||Reason||Termination of period of engagement.|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
8 October 1917 - admitted to Shorncliffe Military Hospital, UK, with VD (gonorrhoea). 30 October transferred to Hornchurch, VD cured; discharged to Codford on 11 December; 24 December 1917 re-admitted to hospital; 15 January 1918 discharged to Command Depot at Codford. 19 March 1918 - admitted to Camp Hospital at Sling – scabies. 5 November 1918, France - gunshot wound to right buttock; not severe case; 6 November evacuated to No 21 Casualty Clearing Station; 7 November admitted to 20th General Hospital at Camiers, France; 9 November transferred to UK by hospital ship; 10 November admitted to Charing Cross Hospital. 1 January 1919 - transferred to Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch; 4 January 1919 sciatica; 11 February to Codford; 25 February discharged - Fit.
|Date||21 July 1991||Age||98 years|
|Place of Death||Timaru|
|Notices||Timaru Herald, 22 July 1991|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Pleasant Point Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Row 16, Plot 320|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Daniel Connell (O’Connell), known as Dan, was the youngest of the eleven children of John Connell and Honora (Nora, née Moore), of Upper Waitohi, Temuka. Born on 25 July 1892 at Upper Waitohi, he was baptised Roman Catholic on 4 September 1892 at Temuka. The Upper Waitohi School opened in 1885, about ten years after Mr and Mrs Connell settled there. Surely young Daniel was educated there along with his ten brothers and sisters. His father served on the Upper Waitohi School Committee and on the Waitohi Library Committee. He also presented a trophy for competition by the Waitohi Morris Tube Club. Michael Connell, a brother of Daniel, died in January 1906, after a very short illness. He was just twenty years old. Was Daniel the D. Connell who won £2 for first place in the Hop, Step and Jump at the Geraldine St Patrick’s sports held in March 1906? Some of his older brothers competed in events. At the annual sports of the South Canterbury Caledonian Society held at Patiti Point on New Year’s Day 1907, D. Connell finished third in the Running Long Jump Handicap. In March 1907 D. Connell was one of the Temuka Football Club’s players “requested to keep in training for the football match, Temuka Juniors v. Merivale Juniors, to be played on the Merivale ground, Christchurch, on Easter Saturday.” D. Connell competed in the Hop, Skip and Jump again at a special sports meeting was held on 24 May 1907 on the Temuka Park grounds in aid of St. Joseph's Church improvement fund, and finished second in the Pole Vault, winning 10 shillings, on the same occasion. “Four competitors in this event gave a very good and long protracted display of pole jumping.” These three events seemed to be his specialties. At the 1908 New Year Caledonian Sports, D Connell’s jump of 19 feet 6 inches, off scratch, was the best in the Running Long Jump. By April 1908 he was competing in cycling events, in which his brothers John (Jack), Richard (Dick) and James (Jim) were very successful, Jack winning national honours. He turned out for the Temuka Football Club again in 1908 and 1909, and for the seniors in 1914. His success continued in the athletic sports, the High Jump being added in 1909 and Putting in 1910 at the Woodbury Labour Day sports. Come December 1913, at the Pleasant Point sports, D. Connell finished second in the Wrestling, another sport enjoyed by his brothers, and third at the Temuka Caledonian sports. In September 1914, Dan and one of his brothers competed for a Waitohi Miniature Rifle Club trophy, both finishing with the same score.
Daniel Connell, a farmer of Upper Waitohi Flat, Geraldine, was drawn for the South Canterbury District in the Military Service ballot in December 1916. That same month he faced a charge in the Supreme Court at Timaru. The jury found him guilty but strongly requested the indulgence of the Court. “Accused was a quiet, hard-working, respectable farmer and had been called up for camp.” The Judge admitted him to probation for 18 months. “The terms of probation were suspended as far as they interfered with his military duties.” A farmer, single, 24 years old, and residing at Upper Waitohi, he nominated his father as next-of kin – Mr John Connell, Upper Waitohi, Temuka. He was examined by the Travelling Medical Board on 2 February 1917 at Timaru. Standing at 5 feet 6 inches, weighing 159 pounds, and with a chest measurement of 36-39¼ inches, he had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and fair hair. His sight, hearing and colour vision were all normal, as were his heart and lungs. His limbs and chest were well formed, and he was free of diseases and defects. He required two fillings in his teeth. Being in good bodily and mental health, he was classed Fit A. He belonged to the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment and had registered for compulsory military training at Temuka.
A “send-off” for the Temuka, Geraldine, and districts’ representatives for the 26th Reinforcements was held on 20 February 1917. The men, their relatives and friends were entertained at afternoon tea by the Ladies’ Patriotic Entertainment Committee. The men were bid farewell with best wishes. “Everyone knew they would do their duty, and when they came back they would get a hearty welcome.” Captain Hawkes (S.A.) said, “The men were going on a journey they never made before; on a journey it was not often given to a man to take. . . . . . . They were going to the front to stand for truth, liberty and righteousness, . . . . .” The men marched in procession to the railway station, headed by the Brass Band, along crowded streets. There the Mayor called for three hearty cheers. Major Kennedy reiterated that the men going away were leaving the civilian life that day to take up the life of a soldier, and that they were going to fight for the freedom of the whole human race. When the men took their seats in the train and left, they were cheered again and again, the Band playing “Soldiers of the King”. One of those who left was Daniel Connell, of Upper Waitohi, one of about 90 South Canterbury men on the train. On 13 April 1917, while Privates D. Connell and Hullen were on final leave they were farewelled at the Waitohi Hall which “proved quite inadequate . . . . . to accommodate the large crowd”. Each soldier was presented with a wristlet watch, suitably inscribed. A musical programme provided excellent entertainment.
On the completion of his New Zealand service, Private Daniel Connell embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Regiment of the 26th Reinforcements, on 9 June 1917 at Wellington per the “Willochra”. After marching in to Sling on 28 August 1917, he was to proceed overseas on 6 November. But on 8 October 1917 he had been admitted to Shorncliffe Military Hospital in England, with VD gonorrhoea. He was transferred to Hornchurch on 30 October. Although the VD was cured and he was discharged to Codford on 11 December, he was again admitted to hospital on 24 December and discharged to the Command Depot at Codford on 15 January 1918. He marched in to Sling again on 15 February 1918, only to be admitted to the Camp Hospital at Sling on 19 March 1918, afflicted with scabies. He proceeded overseas again on 14 April, joining the 1st Battalion Canterbury Regiment.
A hospital and progress report issued on 20 November 1918 named Private D. Connell, 47315, of Temuka, as not a severe case. He had been wounded in action at Mormal Forest in France, suffering a gunshot wound to the right buttock on 5 November. A piece of shell penetrated his body. After being evacuated to the No 21 Casualty Clearing Station on 6 November and to the 20th General Hospital at Camiers in France, on 7 November, he was moved to the UK by hospital ship on 9 November and admitted to Charing Cross Hospital on 10 November. It was 1 January 1919 when he was transferred to the Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch, where he experienced sciatica with no lasting effects. Transferred to Codford on 11 February, he was discharged on 25th.
A Medical Board assembled on 22 January 1919 at Hornchurch, recorded that the bullet wound suffered on Active Service was almost healed and Connell had no permanent disability, perhaps 40% disability for three months. He returned to New Zealand per the “Corinthic” (Draft 236), embarking on 12 March 1919 and arriving at Lyttelton on 22 April 1919. A large crowd turned out to greet the men when the special train from Christchurch arrived at Timaru on 23rd April, and, on the mayor’s call, cheered lustily. The Mayor “assured them of the pride which all those who had stopped at home felt in those who had fought so gallantly for them. They would never be unmindful of the great work which the soldiers had done for them in freeing them from the greatest menace that had ever threatened civilisation.” His advice was that “every soldier should, in his own interest, get into harness again as soon as possible. They had proved able to take their places in the front ranks of the Allies, and he was quite sure that they would be able to take a front place in civil life.” He wished them the very best that could come their way. Although D. Connell was listed as arriving at Timaru, he had actually detrained at Temuka. There was a large crowd at the Temuka Station too, and rousing cheers greeted the soldiers – “one of the finest lot of boys that had reached Temuka.” “The men had been more or less damaged, but they had brought victory with them,” said the Temuka Mayor.
Daniel Connell was finally discharged on 21 May 1919, on the termination of his period of engagement. He headed back to Waitohi and resumed farming. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Daniel was one of 45 returned soldiers who were presented with gold medals at a most memorable gathering organised by the Waitohi Flat Presentation and Memorial Committee and held in the Waitohi schoolroom in November 1919. An enjoyable concert was provided before the returned soldiers, assembled in the front seats, were thanked and welcomed home. All involved were thanked for their kindness and mementoes of the war and the ladies of Waitohi were thanked for the much-valued parcels sent to the front.
In August 1924, Daniel Connell, his brother James, their brother-in-law, Bartholomew Lawlor, and three others were charged with having entered the licensed premises of the Railway Hotel, Pleasant Point, on a Sunday in July. Daniel was one who pleaded not guilty, stating that he had left his overcoat in the hotel the previous night and had returned to get it. On the Sunday morning, after church and breakfast at the hotel, he was going with some of the others to shoot hares. Daniel Connell’s explanation was satisfactory and the charge was dismissed.
Daniel Connell married Ellen Mellon in 1926. Their daughter Marie Ellen Connell, who was born in 1927, attended Upper Waitohi School and the Timaru Convent School. In May 1932, Mr D. Connell was elected to the committee of the Waitohi Public Library. Daniel’s father, John Connell, who had come from Ireland to New Zealand in 1865 and was a long-time resident of Upper Waitohi before retiring to Timaru, died in April 1934 at his Timaru residence, aged 91 years. He was survived by Mrs Connell, six sons and four daughters. Was Daniel one of the four sons who were pall-bearers? Mr Connell named his wife and all his children in his will, including Daniel, paying most of them pecuniary legacies. Mrs Honora Connell, who had come from Ireland to New Zealand at the age of nineteen, died in August 1948, aged 98 years. Her two married daughters lived at Pleasant Point; the two single daughters lived at Timaru; Daniel and two other sons at Waitohi Flat, another at Levels and another at Ashburton, and M. Connell (Maurice/Frank) in Melbourne. Mrs Ellen Connell died on 29 January 1942 at Christchurch, and was buried at Pleasant Point. She was a talented lady, especially in wool quilt making, and contributed much to the Women’s Institute. At the death of his brother John in February 1975 and that of his sister Cicely in July 1977, all their siblings, living and deceased being named on both occasions, Dan was living in Christchurch. He had retired to Christchurch in the 1859s. Long-lived like his parents, Daniel Connell died on 21 July 1991 at Timaru, aged 98 years, and was laid to rest alongside his wife. His stone is inscribed with his service number. He was survived by his only daughter.
Daniel Connell’s brother, Maurice Connell, served as Frank Connell with the Australian Forces. He returned to Australia, married there and died there in 1980, as Maurice Francis Connell. Mr James Connell (brother), of Waitohi, presented a flag which was sold at the conclusion of the Waitohi concert presented in October 1915 by the Point Amateur Theatrical Society, realising £216 for the Sick and Wounded Soldiers’ Fund. The following month, Daniel’s sister, Cecily (Ciceley), was one of those in charge of the Jumble stall at the Waitohi Carnival in aid of the Fund for Sick and Wounded Soldiers and Dependents. In December 1916, James Connell, farmer, of Upper Waitohi, appealed. He had a farm of 280 acres and provided particulars of crop and value. It was all agricultural land and harvest would start about the end of January. “His father was 79 or 80 and the son who lived with him had been drawn in the ballot and did not intend to appeal. As soon as he went, some arrangement would have to be made for carrying on the father’s farm.” The case was adjourned sine die. Was he the same James Connell who was passed as Class C2 (fit only for Home Service) in August 1917? William Connell of Levels – Daniel’s oldest brother, was called up in June 1917 to explain why he had not been up for medical examination. He said he had not received his letter in time. He was told that he treated the matter too lightly and was liable to arrest. In reply, William said he was in the Second Division, in any case, as he had been married since 1912 and had two children. “Well, why did you not say that before? And why did you not take steps to prove it? We can’t take your word for it. We want documentary proof of it. You must go to a little trouble over these things and supply us with a copy of your marriage certificate.” William said he did not know where the certificate was; perhaps his wife had it; he would ask her. He was advised to ask his wife, and if she had not got it, to get another from the Registry Office and forward it to the Board at Christchurch, which he said he would do. A year later he was drawn in the South Canterbury District first ballot for Class C of the Second Division Reserve.
A Roll of Honour of ex-pupils of Upper Waitohi School contains the names of twenty men who served in World War I and three who served in the South African War. Of the twenty, six lost their lives. D. Connell and M. Connell are two of the names inscribed thereon.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [03 April 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0027452) [18 August 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5562 0129243) [06 November 2016]; Pleasant Point Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [03 April 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [03 April 2014]; Catholic Diocese of Christchurch Baptism index (CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [29 May 2015]; Temuka Leader, 18 December 1900, 23 January 1906, 20 March 1906, 3 January 1907, 21 March 1907, 25 May 1907, 4 January 1908, 21 April 1908, 16 June 1908, 19 June 1909, 11 November 1909, 17 & 22 February 1917, 1 May 1917, 12 April 1919, Timaru Herald, 8 January 1909, 14 October 1910, 30 December 1912, 17 & 27 December 1913, 30 September 1914, 19 October 1915, 26 November 1915, 29 December 1916, 30 January 1917, 20 February 1917, 22 June 1917, 1 September 1917, 19 June 1918, 2 December 1918, 12 & 24 April 1919, 10 November 1919, 12 August 1924, 26 May 1932, 4 & 7 April 1934, 13 July 1935, Sun, 15 December 1916, Press, 15 December 1916, 4, 7 & 10 April 1934, 30 January 1942, Star, 15 December 1916, Ashburton Guardian, 7 February 1917, 23 November 1918, 21 August 1948, Nelson Evening Mail, 7 February, 1917, New Zealand Times, 21 November 1918, Evening Post, 29 November 1918, Otago Daily Times, 2 December 1918, 10 April 1919 (Papers Past) [03 April 2014; 25 July 2014; 14 September 2014; 03 July 2015; 24, 27 & 28 August 2020; 28 September 2020; 16 December 2020; 03 & 26 January 2021]; Timaru Herald, 22 July 1991 (Timaru District Library) [28 August 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) 14 April 2015; 01 January 2021]; Timaru Herald, 4 February 1975, 1 August 1977 (Timaru District Library) [28 January 2021]
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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