CARR, Owen Patrick
(Service number 17384)

Aliases Owen CARR on enlistment.
First Rank Trooper Last Rank Trooper


Date 14 July 1896 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 10 March 1916 Age 20 years 6 months
Address at Enlistment 162 Wordsworth St, Christchurch
Occupation Labourer (working for his father at Waihao Forks)
Previous Military Experience Garrison Artillery; discharged to enlist.
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Edward CARR (father), Waihao Forks, Waimate
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 9 inches. Weight 142 lbs. Chest measurement 34-38 inches. Complexion fresh. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Sight, hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs all normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Good bodily and mental health. Vaccinated. No slight defects. No fits. Deemed Fit. Two hearts pierced by arrow tattoos on left forearm. Tattoo mark on right forearm.

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 18th Reinforcements, New Zealand Mounted Rifles
Date 5 October 1916
Transport Manuka
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted Rifles

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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

17 November 1916 - admitted to Citadel Military Hospital Citadel,Cairo; 19 November discharged to General Hospital, Alexandria. 26 November 1916 admitted - gonorrhoea; discharged 8 December. June 1917 - admitted to hospital - dysentry. August 1917 & September 1917 - admitted to hospital - diptheria; reported improving.

Post-war Occupations


Date 30 March 1918 Age 21 years 8 months
Place of Death Palestine
Cause Killed in action
Notices Timaru Herald, 3 December 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria. Waimate Old Cemetery - memorial on parents' headstone.
Memorial Reference D. 98. Waimate - Roman Catholic Area, Plots 551 & 552
New Zealand Memorials Timaru Memorial Wall; Temuka RSA Roll of Honour; Temuka War Memorial; St Joseph's Church, Temuka; Waimate War Memorial; St Patrick's (Waimate) Memorial list (under construction May 2014); Arno Roll of Honour.

Biographical Notes

Owen Patrick Carr was born on 14 July 1896 at Temuka, the fourth son and third surviving son of Edward and Sarah (née Dunn) Carr, and was baptised on 2 August 1896 at the Temuka Catholic Church. Edward Carr had come from Tipperary, Ireland, with his parents and married Sarah in 1889 in New Zealand. They lived for many years in the Temuka district, where Mr Carr was a member of the Temuka Football Club’s 1889 team, and a member of the first Temuka Borough Council and the Road Board, as well as being active in athletic circles, before moving to Waihao Forks late in 1908. At Waihao Downs, Mr Carr got involved with forming a hockey club and with the Waimate Racing Club and Waihao Downs School, as well as contributing to the entertainment at Waihao Downs. Owen was educated in Temuka, probably at St Joseph’s.

Owen Carr enlisted on 10 March 1916, aged 20 years 6 months. A labourer working for his father at Waihao Forks, single and Roman Catholic, he nominated his father as next-of-kin – Edward Carr, Waihao Forks, Waimate. He gave his address as 162 Wordsworth Street, Christchurch, the residence of his oldest brother, Ted Carr. Owen stood at 5 feet 9 inches, weighed 142 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 34-38 inches. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His sight, hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs were all normal, his limbs and chest well formed. He had suffered no illnesses, was free of diseases and slight defects. Being vaccinated and in good bodily and mental health, he was deemed Fit. He had tattoos on both arms - two hearts pierced by an arrow on his left forearm and a mark on his right forearm. He had been serving with the Garrison Artillery, and was discharged to enlist, and he had been listed on the Reserve Roll as a gunner at Lyttelton.

Trooper O. Carr embarked with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles of the 18th Reinforcements, leaving Wellington per the “Manuka” for Suez, Egypt, on 5 October 1916. Disembarking on 14 November, he was admitted to the Citadel Military Hospital at Cairo on 17 November 1916 (VD). He was discharged to the 17th General Hospital at Alexandria on 19 November (gonorrhoea), being discharged from there on 8 December. At Alexandria, on 18 December, he was posted to the NZ Mounted Rifles Brigade in the Field, and all his service was to be in Egypt. In June 1917 he was admitted to the Choubra Military Hospital also at Cairo, afflicted with dysentery initially, then with diphtheria. On 11 August he was reported as improving, although it was not until 18 September that he was admitted to the Aotea NZ Convalescent Home, which was run by eight New Zealand nurses at Heliopolis, Egypt. But, on 27 September 1917, Trooper Carr was admitted to the New Zealand Hospital at Port Said – diphtheria? On 8 October he was discharged to duty and in November he was again posted to the Mounted Rifle Brigade from the Training Regiment.

Owen was first reported as ‘missing, believed dead’ after the action at Amman on 30 March 1918. Casualty List No. 823, issued on 8 April, carried this notification. He had not been reported as a Prisoner of War. It was well into April 1918 when Mr Carr, of Waihao Forks, received news that the third of his soldier-sons had given his life for the Allies’ cause. As a result of the finding of a Court of Enquiry held on 28 October 1918, he was declared ‘Killed in Action’. By the evidence of one who was with him on 30 March and who accompanied the burial party over the ground of the action on 20 September 1918, a pair of britches known to belong to Carr, as “they were sewn up the back with string in a peculiar way”, was found on one of several bodies buried in a grave on the battle field. Another found a hat which was recognised as Carr's; moreover, it had his name written inside. There was a bullet hole through the hat at the front, and another at the back. On revisiting the body identified as Carr’s, they found the skull had bullet holes similar to those in the hat. They were positive in their identification and believed that death would have been instantaneous. Trooper Owen Carr was, therefore, killed in action on 30 March 1918 in Palestine, just 21 years 8 months old. It was not until December 1918 that the casualty list reported this information and a death notice appeared. Owen had been buried initially at Amman in the battle ground where he fell, before being interred in the Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery in Syria. Owen was well known and well liked in the Waihao Forks district. He left no will. His medals – British War Medal and Victory Medal – were forwarded to his father, Edward Carr, of Waihao Forks, as were the memorial plaque and scroll.

Mr E. Carr, Owen’s father, received a very touching letter regarding his brother Joe, but also with mention of Owen, from Sergeant-Major K. B. Tennent, M.M., dated 8 April 1918, in the field, Palestine.

“Mr Carr, —Dear Sir,—-I am sending you a small packet belonging to poor Joe, which was given to me by the padre who buried him; and I will give you what particulars I can: The fight at Amman, on the cast of Jordan, lasted four days, and on the last day, after two costly charges, our boys occupied the Hill overlooking the town. The enemy shelled them all day and made three big counter-attacks. . . . . Try as I can, we can get absolutely no information about Owen; he may be a prisoner of war, but we all fear he is dead, too, although no trace could he found. If anything at all crops up, I will let you know at once. What a blow to you it must he!—two sons together! . . . . . Those of us left are proud of these boys; but please believe, we have the deepest sympathy for those at home; especially for you, when not one, but two fine lads have gone. . . . . Please excuse this blunt letter; but you know that I have the deepest sympathy with you all. —Believe me, yours sincerely. KEN. B. TENNENT.”

His brothers Edward Martin Carr and John Joseph Carr were both killed in action in March 1918, Ted on 27th, and Joe on 30th in the Palestine, on the same day and in the same conflict as Owen – the battle of Amman and the capture of Hill, and buried in the same cemetery. Thus their parents lost three sons in a matter of four days. In addition, their uncle John Carr, the youngest brother of their father Edward, was killed in action on 13 August 1918. From April 1918, three names were added to Waimate’s Roll of Honour , under the heading “The Supreme Sacrifice”, published frequently in the Waimate Daily Advertiser – Sergeant J. J. Carr, Lance-Corporal E. M. Carr and Trooper O. P. Carr. These same three names also appeared on the Temuka list of the Roll of Honour published regularly in the Temuka Leader – Sergeant J. J. Carr, Corporal E. M. (Ted) Carr and Private O. Carr.

Early in 1928 Mr Edward Carr, of Waihao Downs, attempted suicide. Surely he had suffered since 1918 when he lost three sons within a few days and his brother just months later. Mr and Mrs Carr had also lost their 19 year old youngest son, Francis Claude Carr, in 1924. His health was not good and he was drinking a little. In 1930, their second youngest son, Raymond Carr, died at 27 years of age. Edward Carr died in 1932, and Sarah in 1953. The three sons of Edward and Sarah Carr are remembered on the Carr family headstone in Waimate Old Cemetery –

“Killed in action – Lance Corporal E. M. Carr 27 March 1917 aged 28.

Srgt J. J. Carr d. 30 March 1918 aged 24.

Trooper O. P. Carr 30 March 1918 aged 21.”

Mary Theresa Carr, sister of Ted, Joe and Owen, married returned serviceman, Alfred Thomas Sullivan, who died in 1927 and was buried at Waimate.

The New Zealand Tablet of 2 May 1918 recorded thus: “Much sympathy is felt throughout the whole district for Mr. and Mrs. Edward Carr, of Waihao Forks, who have suffered an exceptional loss in the death of their three sons, Edward, Joseph, and Owen, killed in action in France. Surely a noble sacrifice for King and Country.” Mrs Burnett of Palmerston North, inserted memorial notices in the Manawatu Times on 23 April 1918, in memory of her three Carr nephews. Mrs Burnett was a sister of their mother Sarah. For many years the family regularly inserted memorial notices for all their sons in the several daily newspapers and in The New Zealand Tablet. On 30 March 1928 they had two sons to mourn –

“In loving memory of Sergeant J. J. Carr (Main Body), killed in action in Palestine, March 30th, 1918; also Trooper O. P. Carr, 18th Reinforcements, killed in Palestine March 30th, 1918. R.I.P.

In a heroes’ grave they sleepeth,

Somewhere in Palestine they fell;

How little we thought when we parted,

It was the last farewell.”

The 1920 Tablet notice marked the great loss suffered by the family –


CARR. — Of your charity pray for the repose of the souls of Edward Martin Carr (N.Z.R.B.), eldest dearly beloved son of Edward and Sarah Carr, who was killed in action in France on March 27, 1918, aged 28 years; Sergt. John Joseph Carr (Main Body), second dearly beloved son of Edward and Sarah Carr, who was killed in action in Palestine on March 30, 1918; aged 24 years; Trooper Owen Patrick Carr (18th Reinforcements), third dearly beloved son of Edward and Carr, who was killed in action in Palestine on March 30, 1918; aged 21 years and 8 months. — R.I.P.

Individual notices for each son were sometimes inserted, by their loving parents, sisters and brothers; sometimes a single notice for all three, always reflecting on the same great loss. The 1932 notice was inserted by their loved ones, Edward Carr, senior, having died only a few days before. And a 1938 notice was inserted by their mother, sisters and brothers in the Press, Mrs Carr having gone to Christchurch to live.

Owen Carr’s name is inscribed on several local memorials - Timaru Memorial Wall, Temuka RSA Roll of Honour, Temuka War Memorial, St Joseph's Church Temuka Memorial, Waimate War Memorial, Arno Roll of Honour – beneath the words “Supreme Sacrifice” and above the words “Erected as a token of Respect”, and St Patrick's (Waimate) Memorial list (under construction May 2014). The St Joseph’s Church, Temuka, Memorial, an “exceedingly beautiful” monument to the memory of those who had fallen in the war, was unveiled after a Memorial Service on 25 April 1922. During the service appropriate music was provided by the choir and an excellent address was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Kennedy. Four months later the Temuka Borough memorial was unveiled before a very large gathering in the domain, including Temuka Territorials and Cadets, Temuka and Geraldine returned soldiers, the Temuka Pipe Band, the Salvation Army Band, the children of the district schools, national and local dignitaries, and local folk. Opening proceedings, the Mayor said “We regret that this occasion has arisen, but having done so we must look back with pride at the actions of those who rose to the call of the Motherland, which was in peril. Many of those brave boys who left these shores did not return, and we have erected this memorial to their memory, . . .” Following hymns and scripture readings, His Excellency the Governor-General formally unveiled the monument and the local M.P. read out the names inscribed thereon. (Carr E. M., Carr J. J., Carr J., Carr, O. P.)

On Anzac Day, 1927, a Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Joseph’s Church, Temuka. The celebrant preached a very stirring sermon based on the Book of Wisdom (Chapter III, Verses 2-5). He pointed out that the Gallipoli campaign and later “gigantic episodes” would remain for all time a wonderful symbol of the age-old courage of men. He reminded the lads present that the enormous sacrifices made by the soldiers of New Zealand and other parts of the Empire were helping them to have brighter and better lives, and that all should render thanks to God, who had delivered them out of the hands of the enemy. They had gathered to commemorate the landing at Gallipoli and also to set aside the day to show their deep and grateful acknowledgement of the services of the men who had fought and died for them on other fields of the great battle-front. “The light of immortality that flashed from the abandoned tomb of the risen Christ lingers on in every mound of Flanders mud and clay, the gullies of Gallipoli, the sands of Palestine and Egypt, on the quiet churchyards in English villages and on God’s acres in New Zealand. . . . . And to-day, before God’s altar, we remember them with the love we bore them and the pride we shall have in them,” he concluded. Before the Dead March was played by the organist, the names were read of those from the Temuka parish who had died “on the field of honour” – among them those of Edward Carr, Owen Carr, John Carr and Joseph Carr.

The Waimate War Memorial, erected in the form of an arch in Victoria Park as a memorial to those of the town and district who gave their lives for the Empire and civilisation in the war of 1914-18, was unveiled on 25 April 1923. Near the top, in bold brass lettering are the numerals 1914-1918, and above the marble slabs bearing the names are two white marble plates one inscribed: “To our Glorious Dead,” and the other: “Their name Liveth for Evermore.” On each side of the archway there are columns of names in black lettering on white marble. Included in the names inscribed are Carr E. M., Carr Jos, and Carr O. P. Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson (Newman Robert Wilson), a Waimate boy, who gave the address, observed that the memorial was the outward expression of the high regard and appreciation they felt for the men and women from the district who had done their job. Before drawing aside the Union Jacks covering the tablets bearing the names of 149 men and three nurses who lost their lives during the war, the speaker quoted Kipling's Recessional, “Lest We Forget.” He then withdrew the flags veiling the memorial, on which was the inscription: “To the glory of God and the honourable memory of the brave souls of Waimate and district who gave their all for us and freedom.” Three volleys were fired, the “Last Post” sounded, a prayer of dedication offered, and wreaths laid in tribute.

His portrait, printed in the Auckland Weekly News in 1918, is attached to his Cenotaph record. There is also a portrait in “Onward – Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force”, Volume 5.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [08 October 2013]; N Z Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0023029) [18 October 2013]; CWGC [09 October 2013]; New Zealand Tablet, 3 June 1892, 2 May 1918, 1 April 1920, 31 March 1921, 29 March 1923, 1 April 1925, Temuka Leader, 28 November 1908, 11 & 23 April 1918, 29 March 1919, 26 April 1922, 12 August 1922, 26 April 1927, 1 September 1932, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 13 October 1911, 29 July 1912, 9, 18 & 23 April 1918, 2 July 1918, Timaru Herald, 10 April 1918, 2 December 1918, 3 December 1918, 30 March 1919, 30 March 1920, 30 March 1921, 30 March 1922, 11 August 1922, 13 November 1922, 29 March 1923, 29 March 1924, 28 March 1925, 30 March 1926, 30 March 1927, 30 March 1928, Ashburton Guardian, 9 April 1918, Press, 12 April 1918, 28 April 1923, 30 March 1938, Manawatu Times, 23 April 1918 (Papers Past) [09 October 2013; 08 June 2014; 20 August 2016; 21 November 2017; 06 & 16 February 2018; 19 June 2018; 02, 03 & 04 May 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [2013]; Headstone transcription Waimate Old Cemetery (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [08 August 2014]; Waimate Cemetery Records (Waimate District Council) [23 August 2014]; Christchurch Catholic Diocese Baptisms Index (CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [19 April 2015]; Timaru Herald, 30 March 1927, 30 March 1932 (Timaru District Library) [01 July 2013; 20 January 2017]; “Onward – Portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force” (held by South Canterbury Branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists); Temuka Through the Years: an informal history (Compiled by Temuka History Book Committee, 2009) [accessed 14 October 2013]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Branch NZSG

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