LAW, John Nicol
(Service number 40707)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 3 April 1887 Place of Birth Forgue, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Enlistment Information

Date 13 November 1916 Age 29 years
Address at Enlistment 8 Merry Street, Waimate
Occupation Shepherd
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Mary LAW (mother), 8 Merry Street, Waimate
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Reinforcements, G Company
Date 13 February 1917
Transport Mokoia
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Rifle Brigade

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 17 April 1918 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Labourer; farmer


Date 7 June 1934 Age 47 years
Place of Death "Rannerdale", Christchurch
Cause Rheumatic fever & rheumatoid arthritis
Notices Press, 8 June 1934; Star, 8 June 1934
Memorial or Cemetery Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference Block 2C RSA, Plot 10
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

John Nicol Law was born on 3 April 1887 at Forgue, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the eldest son of George and Mary (née Nicol) Law. In 1891 young John was a scholar, at home with his family at Forgue, where his father was a blacksmith. It appears that he was a farm worker at Rossie Reformatory at Craig, Angus, in 1901, his parents still at Forgue. In the 1900s the family, except the two eldest daughters who remained in Scotland, came to New Zealand. They may not have all come together. By 1911 John was a ploughman at Waihao Downs. He was a shepherd living at home in Waimate when he enlisted on 13 November 1916 at Timaru. Single and Presbyterian, he named his mother as next-of-kin – Mrs Mary Law, 8 Merry Street, Waimate.

Rifleman J. N. Law embarked with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, departing from Wellington for Plymouth, England, on 13 February 1917 by the “Mokoia”. 40707 J. N. Law, of Waimate, was in a large draft of returned soldiers who arrived at Wellington on 6 March 1918. He was discharged soon after - on 17 April 1918 and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The name of J. Law appeared regularly on the Waimate Daily Advertiser Roll of Honour under the sub-title of Answered the Call.

John Law married Eleanor Mary Ann Atwill in 1919 and their daughter, Edith Mary Webb Law was born the same year. John and Eleanor lived at Waimate. In 1928 John became a hospital patient at Christchurch and remained so until his death. John Nicol Law died on 7 June 1934 at “Rannerdale”, Christchurch. His death was caused by rheumatic fever and rheumatoid arthritis, perhaps resulting from his war service. He was buried in the services section of Bromley Cemetery. Eleanor remarried. George Law, a younger brother of John, also enlisted for war service but was prevented from going overseas by medical conditions. His mother had died in 1929 and his father died in 1944.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [04 July 2022]; 1891 & 1901 Scotland census returns ( [23 July 2022]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [23 July 2022]; Bromley Cemetery headstone transcription (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [23 July 2022]; Bromley Cemetery burial record (Christchurch City Council) [23 July 2022]; NZ Times, 7 March 1918, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 30 May 1918 (Papers Past) [18 September 2019; 23 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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