COSKERIE, John Elmslie
(Service number 36413)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank


Date 25 January 1878 Place of Birth Christchurch

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Glenavy, Canterbury
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin James COSKERIE (father), Meadowbank, Glenavy, Canterbury
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Reinforcements, G Company
Date 19 January 1917
Transport Waitemata
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
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 9 November 1953 Age 75 years
Place of Death Waimate
Memorial or Cemetery Waimate Lawn Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John Elmslie Coskerie was the son of James and Grace (née Henderson) Coskerie. He was educated at Mayfield and Westerfield schools. In 1930 John married Annie Christina Dickson who survived him by more than 16 years.

The Tawai War Memorial was unveiled in August 1923 at the Tawai School. The proceedings opened with the singing of the National Anthem, followed by various speakers.

It was proposed to place a sheet containing the military history of all those on the Roll of Honour, including the place of death and burial, in a drawer of the memorial, so that in the years to come it would be a permanent record of service of all those who had made the supreme sacrifice.The Rev. J. D. Wilson said he was glad of the opportunity to speak on behalf of the men who came not back to tell the message of those fields on the other side of the world, and also on behalf of the men who came back, but were too diffident to tell of the things they had seen enacted in the world tragedy. He never lost an opportunity to tell of the men and women, their brothers and sisters, who played such heroic parts in the western world and the middle of the Far East. Those men and women gave their very best in the harrowing days of 1914-18. “We forgot our little class distinctions, our political and religious differences, and remembered only that we were all equal sons and daughters of the Empire.” He then unveiled the memorial, “To the glory of God, and in memory of the men from Tawai District who made the great sacrifice.” The prayer of dedication was said, the Benediction was pronounced, and the singing of Rule Britannia and the National Anthem concluded the ceremony. The memorial, which is a very beautiful piece of work, contains twenty-two names, including Cosker [Coskerie] J. In the centre is the inscription: “The supreme sacrifice,” and under an emblem of laurel leaves five names, and the inscription: “They died that we might live.”


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 February 2020); NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [11 February 2020]; School Admission record [10 February 2020]; Waimate Lawn Cemetery headstone transcription [11 February 2020]; Timaru Herald, 24 August 1923 (Papers Past) [09 February 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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