(Service number 19/62; 11631)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 28 March 1868 (or 1870 or 1871 or 1873) Place of Birth Belfast, Antrim, Ireland

Enlistment Information

Date (1) 13 January 1915; (2) 13 January 1916; (3) 19 January 1918; (4) 21 February 1920 Age (1) 41 years; (2) 45 years; (3) 50 years; (4) 48 years
Address at Enlistment (1) Waimate; (2) People's Palace, Christchurch; (3) Royal Tiger Hotel, Wellington; (4) P.O. Johnsonville
Occupation (1) Labourer; (2) Miner; (3) Labourer; (4) Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin (1) Mrs W. H. SMITH (friend), Cooma, New South Wales, Australia; (2) Alfred E. HICKS (cousin), 62 Poulson Street, Addington, Christchurch; (3) Mrs M. GLEESON (friend), Royal Tiger Hotel, Wellington; (4) Mrs K. REYNOLDS (friend), P.O. Johnsonville
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation (1) New Zealand Expeditionary Force; (2) New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship (1) Samoan Garrison; (2) 12th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company
Date (1) March 1915; (2) 1 May 1916
Transport (2) Ulimaroa
Embarked From (2) Wellington Destination (1) Samoa; (2) Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns (1) Samoan Relief; (2) Weatern 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 (1) 22 November 1915; (2) 15 April 1918 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations



Date 8 June 1941 Age 77 years (BDM); 68 years (gravestone)
Place of Death Wellington
Notices Evening Post, 10 June 1941 (funeral notice)
Memorial or Cemetery Karori Cemetery, Wellington
Memorial Reference Plot Soldiers/B/3/3
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

James Diamond was born on 28 March 1868 (or 1870 or 1871 or 1873) at Belfast, Antrim, Ireland. When he enlisted on 13 January 1915 at Trentham, he was single and a labourer for M. Studholme, Waimate. His given address was Waimate, and his nominated next-of-kin was a friend - Mrs W. H. Smith, Cooma, New South Wales, Australia. He served from 24 March 1915 until 28 October 1915 at Apia, Samoan. This Samoan Garrison was composed of “a body of older men unfit for a vigorous campaign.” On 29 October he was invalided home. Thirty-five members of the Samoan Garrison returned to Auckland by the “Talune” on 7 November 1915. Fourteen of the men had been invalided home, one of them 19/62 Private J. Diamond. He was discharged on 22 November 1915.

James Diamond enlisted again on 13 January 1916 at Trentham. He was then a miner, single and residing at People’s Palace, Christchurch. Yes, he had sevred with the Samoan RRelief Force. His nominated next-of kin was now a cousin – Alfred E. Hicks, 62 Poulson Street, Addington, Christchurch. (Alfred Ernest Hicks, who was born in 1881 in Australia and died in 1939 in New Zealand, also served with the New Zealand Forces.) Private J. Diamond embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion of the 12th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington on 1 May 1916 by the “Ulimaroa”, and disembarking at Suez, Egypt, on 9 June 1916. He was admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital at Codford on 29 October 1917, suffering from myalgia. 11631 J. Diamond, of Trentham Military Camp, returned by Draft 147 (Transport No. 95, “Willochra”), which was expected at Wellington’s Queen’s Wharf on 18 March 1918. Private James Diamond was discharged on 15 April 1918.

But, on 19 April 1918 at Wellington, James Diamond again enlisted. He was single, Presbyterian and a labourer, employed by the NZ Defence Department. His address was Royal Tiger Hotel, Wellington, and his next-of-kin a friend – Mrs M. Gleeson, Royal Tiger hotel, Wellington. His service took effect from 23 April 1918. He attested yet again, on 21 February 1920 at Trentham. A labourer employed by the Defence Department, Featherston, he gave his address as P.O. Johnsonville, and his next-of-kin as yet another friend – Mrs K. Reynolds, P.O. Johnsonville. It was noted that he had served with the Samoan Relief and 12th Reinforcements N.Z.E.F., and had been discharged medically unfit. He was willing to serve in the Temporary Employment Department.

The name of J. Diamond appeared regularly on the Waimate Daily Advertiser Roll of Honour under the sub-title of Answered the Call. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. James Diamond died on 8 June 1941 at Wellington, his age given as 77 years. He was buried at Karori Cemetery, Wellington, in the Soldiers Section, his grave marked by a Services stone.


Auckland War Memorial Museumm Cenotaph Database (x 2) [20 July 2022]; Extracts from Personnel file at Archives NZ [20 July 2022]; Karori Cemetery headstone image & burial record (Wellington City Council) [24 July 2022]; Press, 20 March 1915, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 8 November 1915, 30 May 1918, Evening Post, 8 November 1915, 13 March 1918, 10 June 1941, NZ Herald, 8 November 1915, Dominion, 18 March 1918 (Papers Past) [18 September 2019; 24 & 25 July 2022]

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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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