DALTON, Michael John
(Service number 29228)
|Aliases||John or Jack|
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||29 August 1889||Place of Birth||Temuka, New Zealand|
|Date||27 June 1916||Age||26|
|Address at Enlistment||Cheviot, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mr Francis Patrick Dalton (father) Cheviot, New Zealand|
|Medical Information||5 foot 8 3/4 inches tall, weight 147 lbs, chest 33-37 1/2 inches, fresh complexion, grey eyes, brown hair|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Canterbury Infantry Regiment|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||18th Reinforcements|
|Date||11 October 1916|
|Transport||HMNZT 67 SS Tofua|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Plymouth, Devon, England|
|Other Units Served With||13th Company, Canterbury Infantry Regiment|
|Last Unit Served With||13th Company, Canterbury Infantry Regiment|
|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|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
7-15 February 1917 - 24th General Hospital - Influenza; 7 June 1917 - Gun shot wound to hip - admitted to No 9 Australian Field Hospital; 8 June transferred to 3rd Canadian General Hospital; 25 July transferred to No 24 General Hospital; 3 August transferred to Convalescing Hospital, France - discharged back to unit on 27 October 1917
|Date||13 January 1918||Age||28 years|
|Place of Death||Belgium|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Notices||Christchurch Press 1 February 1918|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Buttes New British Cemetery, NZ Memorial at Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, West Vlaanderen, Belgium|
|Memorial Reference||No known grave|
|New Zealand Memorials||Temuka War Memorial, Cheviot War Memorial, and on his mother's grave, Homeview Cemetery, Hurunui.|
Michael, known by his middle name John (or Jack), was born at Temuka on 20 August 1889, the only son of Francis Patrick (1853-1929) and Ella Elizabeth (1850-1916) Dalton. He was educated initially at Mackenzie and Temuka Schools where his family had farmed. When the family won two ballots of 100 acres each from the Cheviot Estate, when it was being broken up in the 1890s, he continue his education at the Rangiora High School. John was a keen tennis and rugby player and had few equals as a rifle shot.
When he enlisted on 27 June 1916, John was working with his father on the family farm at Cheviot, and nominated him as his next of kin. He was described as being 5 foot 8 ¾ inches tall, aged 25 (but was in fact 26, as he had put his birth date down as 3 August 1890), he weighed 147 pounds, his chest measured 33–37½ inches, and he was Roman Catholic, single, having a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. Private Dalton was posted to C Company, 1st Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment. On 4 August he was promoted to Lance Corporal, and then to Corporal on 4 October.
In September, before he left for overseas service, he became engaged to Miss Amy Petrie, the eldest daughter of the late Mr & Mrs R.D. Petrie of Christchurch. John left Wellington with the 18th Reinforcements on 11 October 1916, aboard HMNZT 67 SS Tofua bound for Plymouth, England. Further training as a machine gunner followed at Sling Camp, where he relinquished his rank and returned to being a Lance Corporal on 29 December. He left for France on 1 February 1917 where he was posted to the 13th Company. Only days later, from 7 to 15 February, he was admitted to the 24th General Hospital with influenza. He again relinquished his rank, returning to being a Private on 14 March 1917. On 7 June 1917, during the battle of Messines Ridge, he received a gunshot wound to the hip and was admitted to No 9 Australian Field Ambulance. The next day he was transferred to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital before, on 25 July, he was again transferred to No 24 General Hospital. He spent a week there before being sent to the Convalescing Hospital in France on 3 August. He re-joined his unit on 27 October, and John transferred from the machine gun section to the sniping division.
On 13 January 1918, during the battle of Polygon Wood, John was killed in action. Having no known grave, his name is inscribed at Buttes New British Cemetery on the New Zealand Memorial at Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. After the war his father was living in Auckland and was sent his medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal along with a scroll and plaque. John’s name is commemorated on the Temuka and Cheviot War Memorials and also on his mother’s grave in the Homeview Cemetery at Hurunui.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database (September 2013); NZ BDM Historical Records at https://bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz; Temuka through the years : an informal history (Temuka History Book Committee, 2009) , p385 mentions Dalton Family; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=60926; New Zealand War Graves Project at http://www.nzwargraves.org.nz/casualties/john-dalton; Ferguson, David “The history of the Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F. 1914-1919” (Whitecombe and Tombs, 1921), courtesy of the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre at http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-WH1-Cant.html; Huruni District Council cemetery records at http://www.hurunui.govt.nz/not-in-the-menu/cemetery-search/Search; "New Zealand Rolls of Honour, Chevioy District" at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~sooty/cheviotROH.html; "The Cheviot Estate" in Star 15 May 1894 p3, "For Women Folk" in Star 26 September 1916 p7, "Roll of Honour" in Evening Post 20 June 1917 p7, "Roll of Honour" in North Otago Times 31 January 1918 p2, "Roll of Honour" in Temuka Leader 7 February 1918 p4, and "Roll of Honour" in Press 14 January 1919 p1 courtesy of Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/;
- Great War Stories - Michael John Dalton - Timaru Herald 5 August 2017.pdf (pdf, 79.1 KB updated 15-Sep-2017)
Researched and Written by
Tony Rippin (South Canterbury Museum); Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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