BARRY, Michael
(Service number 34781)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 22 May 1879 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Waiau, North Canterbury
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mr M. BARRY (father), C/- Mr J. W. Warren, Greendale, Canterbury
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
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 Age
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Michael Barry was born on 22 May 1879 at Timaru, the older son and the second child of Irish parents, Michael and Mary Barry. He was baptised Roman Catholic on 1 June 1879 at Timaru. He had three sisters – Kathleen (Catherine), born in 1877, Johanna in 1881 and Nora in about 1885. His only brother, Robert, was born in 1883 and died in 1885 at Christchurch. Mary Comfort Barry, the wife of Michael, died on 2 February 1886 at Christchurch, aged 30 years. She appears to be the mother of Michael and his sisters. Michael Barry, senior, married Constance Turnbull in 1887.

In early October 1887, four children – Catherine Barry (9½), Michael Barry (8), Johanna Barry (5) and Norah Barry (½) – “were charged with being neglected”. The waifs were found by the local Timaru priest in and empty house without food, fire or beds. The police sergeant stated that the father “was a worthless character and away from home and the other night the step-mother beat them and turned them out”. Since then they had been living in the empty house. The children were remanded to the Immigration Barracks. On being charged with deserting his children, Michael Barry said that he had never deserted them, rather he had taken them away from his wife (their step-mother) because she treated them badly. The magistrate agreed to send them to the Nelson Industrial School, provided the father contribute to their keep, and discharged the father. Michael Barry was admitted to St Mary’s Nelson Boys Institution on 11 October 1887, and probably remained there until 1893. On the same date his three sisters were admitted to St Mary’s Nelson Girls School, Catherine and little Norah being still there in 1893. Michael and Constance divorced in 1901.

Michael Barry was called up in 1916 and enlisted at Kaiapoi. He was a labourer for the Waiau County Council, single and Roman Catholic. He named his father, Mr M. Barry, as next-of-kin. He reenlisted in 1918, having been discharged from the 20th Reinforcements N.Z.E.F. as unfit.

What became of Michael Barry, 34781, born in 1879 at Timaru?


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [11 April 2021]; Press, 3 February 1886, South Canterbury Times, 6 & 10 October 1887, Timaru Herald, 7 October 1887, Lyttelton Times, 12 October 1887 (Papers Past) [23 April 2021]; Industrial School Nominal Rolls (NZSG indexes) [23 April 2021]

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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