(Service number 48288)

Aliases Known as Jack
First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 30 January 1884 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 20 February 1917 Age 33 years
Address at Enlistment Kawhatau, Mangaweka
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. One child.
Next of Kin Miss N. SMITH (sister), Kawhatau, Mangaweka
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 8½ inches. Weight 161 lbs. Complexion fresh. Eyes hazel. Hair brown.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealad Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 33rd Reinforcements, Otago Infantry Regiment, D Company
Date 31 December 1917
Transport Athenic
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Otago Regiment

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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

14 February 1919 admitted to NZ General Hospital, Walton-on-Thames, England - pneumonia

Post-war Occupations


Date 19 February 1919 Age 35 years
Place of Death Walton-on-Thames, England
Cause Died of disease (pneumonia)
Memorial or Cemetery Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking, Surrey, England; Mangaweka Cemetery - memorial on parents' headstone
Memorial Reference II. I. Mangaweka - Lawn Section, Block 1, Plot 2
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John Smith, known as Jack, was born on 30 January 1884 at Timaru, the second son of Scottish-born James Smith and his Irish-born wife, Mary née O’Neill. James and Mary married in 1881 and seven children were born at Timaru. Three more were born in the North Island. John was baptised Roman Catholic on 30 March 1884 at Timaru. His early education was surely at Timaru. His sister Margaret attended Sacred Heart School, Timaru, and both Cornelius and Jane attended Waimataitai School, Timaru, Cornelius having gone there from the Roman Catholic School. He may well be the John Smith who received second prize for Standard III drawing in 1891 at Waimataitai School, and a prize for good attendance. At the end of 1894 the family moved to the North Island, settling at Mangaweka, where Mr Smith took up farming, his sons following him.

John Smith and his brother Cornelius, both farmers at Kawhatau, Mangaweka, were listed on the Reserve Rolls. Both men appealed, John’s appeal being dismissed and one month allowed before he had to go into camp. When Jack enlisted on 20 February 1917, he was single, Roman Catholic, and farming at Kawhatau. John Smith married Julia O’Sullivan on 9 April 1917 at Wellington. Their son, John Bernard Smith, was born at Wellington on 8 June 1918, five months after John embarked for the Front. Private John Smith embarked with the Otago Infantry Regiment on 31 December 1917. He had nominated his sister, Nellie, as next-of-kin. In early September 1918, it was reported that John Smith, of Kawhatau, had been wounded. His injuries, which he suffered in August in France, were serious, necessitating the amputation of an arm. On 14 February 1919, Jack was admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital at Walton-on-Thames, England, suffering with pneumonia. It was expected that he would soon embark for home. Sadly, that was not to be. He was, in fact, dangerously ill, and dying five days later, aged 35 years, he was buried at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, England. The memorial plaque and scroll were sent to next-of-kin on 20 December 1922.

A memorial to Private John Smith is inscribed on his parents’ grave stone in the Mangaweka Cemetery. His brother, Cornelius Smith, who served in World War I, was fortunate to return home. His oldest brother, James Smith, also served in World War I, possibly with the Australian Forces, and he too returned home.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [01 October 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [01 October 2020]; Timaru Herald, 19 December 1891, Taihape Daily Times, 23 & 24 February 1917, Rangitikei Advocate, 6, 7 & 11 September 1918, 1 March 1919 (Papers Past) [01, 02 & 03 October 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [02 & 03 October 2020]; Mangaweka Cemetery headstone image & burial record (Rangitikei District Council) [02 October 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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