CLEAVE, John Charles
(Service number 35414)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Trooper


Date 25 September 1894 Place of Birth Dunedin

Enlistment Information

Date 7 November 1916 Age 22 years
Address at Enlistment Kowhatu, Hakataramea
Occupation Farm hand
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin R. CLEAVES (father), North-east Valley, Dunedin
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 25th Reinforcements, Mounted Rifles
Date 31 May 1917
Transport Moeraki; transhipped to Port Lincoln at Sydney
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

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

Post-war Occupations



Date 11 February 1965 Age 70 years
Place of Death In an ambulance (Oamaru)
Memorial or Cemetery Cremated Andersons Bay Crematorium, Dunedin; ashes interred Oamaru Lawn Cemetery
Memorial Reference Oamaru - RSA Circle 5, Plot 15
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John Charles Cleave was born on 23 September 1894 at Dunedin, the youngest son of Richard Cleave and his first wife, Isabel née Drake. His mother died on 24 June 1899 at Dunedin, leaving four sons and two daughters, the oldest just fifteen. Some time later his father married again and had four more children. John was probably educated at Upper Junction School near Dunedin, where his younger sister was a pupil before moving to North-East Valley School in 1908. Mr Richard Cleave was elected to the Upper Junction School Committee in 1903. In January 1908 he had been fined for failing to send his two children regularly to Upper Junction School. These two were most likely John and his sister Mary.

In November 1916, John Charles Cleave, waggoner, Haka Estate, Hakataramea, a resident “of nearer South Canterbury”, was drawn in the military ballot for No. 10 district. John Charles Cleaves [sic] enlisted on 7 November 1916 at Timaru. A farm hand for the NZ Land Company, Hakataramea and residing at Kowhatu, Hakataramea, he named his father as next-of-kin – R. Cleaves, North-east Valley, Dunedin. Trooper J. C. Cleaves embarked with the Mounted Rifles of the 25th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington for Suez, Egypt, on 31 May 1917 per the “Moeraki”. He transhipped to the “Port Lincoln” at Sydney. 35414 J. C. Cleave returned to New Zealand by Draft 208, which “was due to arrive shortly”, as of 15 January 1919. The name of J. C. Cleaves [sic] appeared regularly on the Waimate Daily Advertiser Roll of Honour under the sub-title of Answered the Call.

John Charles Cleave married Elizabeth Ann Milne on 12 August 1919 at Oamaru. His brother Joseph Richard Cleave, had married Elizabeth’s sister in 1918. John and Elizabeth lived for many years at Hakataramea before moving to Oamaru. A farmer of Oamaru, John died on 11 February 1965 in an ambulance, aged 70 years. He was cremated at Andersons Bay, Dunedin. His ashes may have been interred at the Oamaru Cemetery where there is a stone inscribed to him. His brother, George Briar Cleave, also serve din World War One. At the sitting of the Military Appeal Board in Timaru on 6 November 1917, it was noted that Joseph Richard Cleave (Hakataramea) had been classed by a Medical Board as C2 (fit only for home service). His appeal was consequently dismissed, and he was to be held for home service. Joseph was another brother. William Richard John Cleave, the son of John and Elizabeth, served in World War Two, as did a nephew, James Henry (Jim) Cleave.


Auckland War Memorial Museumm Cenotaph Database [05 July 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [07 July 2022]; Andersons Bay cremation record (Dunedin City Council) [20 July 2022]; Evening Star, 28 April 1903, 18 January 1908, Oamaru Mail, 25 November 1916, Timaru Herald, 7 November 1917, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 30 May 1918, NZ Times, 15 January 1919 (Papers Past) [18 September 2019; 20 July 2022]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, Teresa Scott, South Canterbury Genealogy Society

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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