(Service number 57334)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date *1887 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 16 March 1917 Age 30 years
Address at Enlistment Central Dining Rooms, Dunedin
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs G. (Annie) JACKSON (sister), Temuka. Later of Taylors Road, Addington; then of Studholme Street, Temuka.
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6½ inches. Weight 150 lbs. Chest measurement 34-37 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes brown. Hair dark brown. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing & colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. Illness - 6 years ago - blood poisoning of cut leg. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left). Good bodily & mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Fit. Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 29th Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Regiment, D Company
Date 15 August 1917
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Destination Glasgow, Scotland
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Otago Infantry

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
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 17 September 1919 Reason On termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

7 September 1917 - admitted to Ship’s Hospital (“Ruahine”) - pharyngitis & septic leg ulcer; 23 September - discharged. 28 November 1917 - admitted No.3 NZ General Hospital at Codford – boils; 1 January 1918 - discharged. 23 August 1918 - wounded in action; 24 August - admitted to Casualty Clearing Station; 25 August - admitted to No.19 General Hospital at Camiers, France. Not severe case; slight gunshot wound to right leg; 1 September - transferred to Convalescent Depot; 4 September - discharged. 6 May 1919 - admitted to No.3 NZ General Hospital at Codford – erythema; 17 May - discharged.

Post-war Occupations


Date 18 September 1961 Age 72 years
Place of Death Oamaru
Notices Timaru Herald, 20 September 1961
Memorial or Cemetery Oamaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference Services Section, Block 4, Plot 7
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John McInnes was the oldest son of Scottish-born John McInnes and his wife Jane Ann née Nelson. He was born on 20 December 1884 at Temuka. Sadly, John was so young when his mother died that he did not even know her name. Nor did he know his own birth date. John, senior, and Jane Ann had married in 1881 at Temuka. Jane Ann McInnes died on 31 August 1892 at Arowhenua, just 30 years old and leaving up to six or seven young children. Young John was educated at Temuka School, along with his sisters, Mary Jane, Catherine (Katie) and Ann (Annie), some of them spending time elsewhere at the time of their mother’s death. Two of his younger brothers entered Temuka School in 1902.

John McInnes enlisted on 16 March 1917 at Dunedin, his address given as Central Dining Room, Dunedin. He was a labourer, single and Presbyterian, and named his sister as next-of-kin – Mrs Annie Jackson, Temuka, later of Studholme Street, Temuka. Annie McInnes married George Richard Jackson Griffin in 1911, George belonging to the family who also went by the name of Jackson, as did Annie and George. John McInnes was 5 feet 6½ inches tall, weighed 150 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 34-37 inches. His complexion was dark, his eyes brown and his hair dark brown. His sight, hearing, colour vision, heart and lungs were all normal, his limbs and chest well formed. He had suffered illness six years prior from blood poisoning of a cut leg. Free from diseases, vaccinated, and in good bodily and mental health, he was classified fit A.

Private J. McInnes embarked with the Otago Infantry Regiment of the 29th Reinforcements, departing for Glasgow, Scotland, on 15 August 1917 per the “Ruahine” (Transport No. 92). Admitted to the Ship’s Hospital on 7 September 1917, with pharyngitis and a septic leg ulcer, he was discharged after 17 days. Twice in September on the Transport, he was debited for articles of clothing received. Disembarking at Glasgow on 2 October 1917, he marched into Sling the next day. He was, however, again admitted to hospital – No. 3 New Zealand General Hospital at Codford on 28 November 1917, with boils. He was discharged on 1 January 1918 and again marched into Sling. It was 14 May 1918 when Private McInnes proceeded overseas to France and marched into camp. After joining the Entrenching Battalion on 19 May, he joined the Otago Infantry Regiment on 8 June.

57334 J. McInnes, O.I.R., was wounded in Action on 23 August 1918 and admitted to the Casualty Clearing Station on 24 August, and to No. 19 General Hospital at Camiers, France, on 25 August. Casualty List No. 945 reported his as a not severe case. He had suffered a slight gunshot wound to his right leg. He was transferred to the Convalescent Depot on 1 September and, discharged to Base a few days later, he rejoined his Battalion. He was detached to the United Kingdom from Germany in February 1919. 6 May 1919 saw John McInnes admitted again to No. 3 New Zealand General Hospital at Codford, from Sling, with erythema, and discharged on 17 May.

J. McInnes returned to New Zealand by the “Somerset”, which left Liverpool on 2 July 1919 and was due at Lyttelton about 12 August 1919. A very pleasant trip was experienced during the whole voyage. The men were entertained by the Navy, Y.M.C.A., and the American people in general, during a brief stop-over at Norfolk, Virginia. Although it was at Norfolk Harbour that the troops witnessed a fatal aeroplane collision, very close to their ship. The 2nd Otago Infantry Band was on board the Somerset and provided entertainment during the trip. The Somerset also brought a big English mail. 6000 bags, for the dominion. J. McInnes and seventeen others reached Temuka on 20 August by a special troop train. They were enthusiastically greeted at the station and accorded a great reception at the Post Office.

He had served for more than two years overseas in Western Europe and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was discharged on 17 September 1919, on the termination of his term of engagement. Although he had initially intended to go to Temuka, it is not readily apparent where John lived and what he worked at after the war. He was probably at Oamaru in 1954, and surely a pensioner at the Oamaru Hospital in 1957 and at the Victoria Home in 1960.

John McInnes died on 18 September 1961 at Oamaru, aged 75 years, and was buried in the Oamaru Soldiers Lawn Cemetery, a services plaque marking his grave. His next-of-kin at death was Mr A. McInnes, 87 Maclaggan Street, Dunedin. This was probably his youngest brother Donald who lived at 87 Maclaggan Street for many years through until the late 1960s.

His attestation form suggests that his father was still living in March 1917 (or his fate was unknown to young John). His demise has not been determined. Two brothers of John, junior, also served in World War One – Hugh and Donald.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 August 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0073822) [10 August 2016]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [10 August 2016]; Timaru Herald, 20 September 1961 (Timaru District Library) [09 August 2016]; Oamaru Cemetery burial record (Waitaki District Council) [10 August 2016]; Oamaru Cemetery headstone image (Find A Grave) [07 September 2023]; Evening Post, 7 September 1918, Star, 7 September 1918, NZ Herald, 9 September 1918, Otago Daily Times, 9 September 1918, Press, 9 September 1918, Timaru Herald, 9 September 1918, 8 August 1919, NZ Times, 6 August 1919 (Papers Past) [10 & 11 August 2016; 03 September 201617 December 2017; 16 March 2022; 07 September 2023]

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