MCKEE, Owen Joseph Francis
(Service number 24076)

Aliases Owen James Francis
First Rank Last Rank


Date 22 November 1882 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 24 July 1918 Age
Address at Enlistment Waihaorunga,
Occupation Farm labourer/Prisoner
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Owen McKee (father) Waihaorunga
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Stammer, varicose veins

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces (?) Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

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

Post-war Occupations


Date 24 Apri 1968 Age 80
Place of Death Christchurch
Memorial or Cemetery Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials St Patrick's (Waimate) Memorial list (June 2015)

Biographical Notes

One of nine children of Owen Francis and Margaret McKee. Owen (junior) had four brothers who were also called to serve: Joseph Benedict Francis (b.1896), Bernard (b.1894), Cornelius, and Gregory (b.1895) - ll survived the war.

Owen's name was balloted for service in June 1917, but refused to take a medical test. He was court martialled on 8 June 1917 in Christchurch. Once again he refused a medical due to his belief that the ballot was unlawful, and was sentenced to 11 months prison. He was released from Lyttelton Gaol on 16 February 1918 and was sent for another medical on 24 July 1918. This time he agreed to take the medical, but was classed C2. A letter from the examining officer stated that he was unfit for service and, even if classed fit, was probably not worth the trouble sending to camp as he was a "Socialist" and probably would not obey orders. He was sent back to work his farm.

Frequent references to Owen appear in the newspapers as a union organiser and a prolific letter writer to newspapers, especially the Truth.In September 1926 he was arrested for the murder of Duval Earle England. He died in Christchurch in 1968 and is buried with his parents.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database (May 2015); Archives New Zealand; New Zealand BDM Historical Records online; Billion Graves at; Paperspast;

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Liz Shea, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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