BLACK, Maxwell James
(Service number 22434)

Aliases Birth registered as BLACK Maxwell Spens. Enlisted as BLACK Maxwell James. SPENS-BLACK Maxwell James for most of life.
First Rank Sergeant Last Rank Sergeant


Date 24 June 1895 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment P.O. Ruarimu
Occupation Contractor
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs BLACK (mother), Goldie's Brae, Wellington. Later P.O. Rangitata
Religion Church of England
Medical Information

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 16th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company
Date 21 August 1916
Transport Mokoia
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

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 May 1970 Age 84 years
Place of Death Rotorua
Memorial or Cemetery Cremated; ashes interred Rotorua Cemetery
Memorial Reference RSA Ash Berm, Block 6A, Berm E, Plot 41
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Maxwell James Spens-Black was born on 24 June 1885 at Gleniti, Timaru, the son of Scottish-born Maxwell Spens-Black and his wife, Marie Vivienne (formerly Mrs Shield) MacDonell. Maxwell and Marie married in 1883 in Timaru , where three children were born before they moved to Silverstream in the Mackenzie Country, where three more were born, and where the family lived through the 1890s. It is likely that young Maxwell Black was educated at Silvertstream School, where his father was elected to the school committee in 1896 and again in 1897. Mr Black’s voice was “heard to advantage in ‘The Englishman’” at the Silverstream School Festival held in February 1897. The Black family was living in the Silverstream schoolhouse when it was required for a new master in mid 1899. Mrs Black resigned from the position of serwing mistress at Silverstream School in August 1899.

M. J. Spens-Black enlisted as Maxwell James Black and nominated his mother as next-of-kin – Mrs Black, Goldie’s Brae, Wellington. Private M. J. Black was wounded and admitted to hospital in September 1917. M. J. Black, 22434, returned to New Zealand with Draft 235 due at Wellington on 23 April 1919. His mother was then residing at Rangitata. Maxwell married Muriel Amy Buck on 23 September 1920 at St Stephen’s Church, Lewisham, London, England. Maxwell and Muriel were living at Rotorua when they celebrated their Silver Wedding anniversary. Maxwell died at Rotorua in 1970.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 April 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Deparment of Internal Affairs) [09 April 2020]; Timaru Herald, 4 May 1883; 2 July 1885, 4 May 1896, South Canterbury Times, 15 June 1899, Temuka Leader, 24 August 1899, Evening Post, 15 October 1917, New Zealand Times, 12 April 1919, New Zealand Herald, 26 September 1945 (Papers Past) [09 & 10 April 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [98 April 2020]; Rotorua Cemetery record (Rotorua Lakes Council [09 April 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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