(Service number 23/1562)
|Aliases||Birth registered as John Charles BLANK|
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||17 January 1889||Place of Birth||West Oxford, Canterbury|
|Date||16 October 1915||Age|
|Address at Enlistment||Kaitaia|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||George BLANK (brother), Matiere, Auckland Province|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||3rd Reinforcements, 1st Battalion, E Company|
|Date||8 January 1916|
|Transport||Tahiti or Warrimoo|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Auckland Infantry Regiment|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||12 June 1965||Age|
|Place of Death||Kaitaia|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Kaitaia Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Returned Servicemens Area, Plot 63|
|New Zealand Memorials|
John Blank was born on 17 January 1889 at West Oxford, Canterbury, New Zealand, the youngest son of Carl (aka Charles, Johan Christozon Carl Freddrich) and Augusta (Augusta Caroline Cecilia, née Loff) Blank. Carl and Augusta who married in 1866 in their native Germany, came to New Zealand in the mid-1870s. John’s birth was registered as John Charles Blank, but he enlisted simply as John and married and died as John George Blank. His mother died in May 1891 following the birth of her 15th child. John was educated at West Oxford School, transferring to East Oxford in September 1903. He left school at the end of the 1903 school year. By 1907, John Blank was at Albury, where he played in the local football team through into 1908, at least. In 1910, he was a committee member of the St Andrews Sports Club. His brother Edward Charles Blank who married in 1905, took up residence at St Andrews.
When John enlisted for war service on 16 October 1915, he was a farmer at Kaitaia. Single and of Church of England affiliation, he named one of his brothers as next-of-kin – George Blank, Matiere, Auckland. Rifleman J. Blank embarked with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade of the 3rd Reinforcements, departing from Wellington for Suez, Egypt on 8 January 1916. While John was on active service in France, his oldest brother, Carl August Blank, died at the Grey River Hospital (July 1916) and his father died at Sunnyside, Christchurch (July 1918). Rifleman John Blank was wounded in the legs on 21 September 1916, as advised to his brother, Mr E. Blank, of St Andrews. “Rifleman Blank was well known in the Albury district, as an athlete and footballer.”
After the war John married Mary Parker Smith on 30 August 1930 in Auckland. Mary Smith who was born in England and had also served with the armed forces for four years in the 1914-18 war, before emigrating to New Zealand in 1920. Mary Parker Blank – “a loving wife and mother” - died in September 1945 at the Whangarei Public Hospital. Her funeral took place at St Saviour’s Church, Kaitaia, and she was buried in the churchyard. R.S.A. personnel were bearers and formed a guard of honour to the graveside. She was survived by Jack and four young daughters. John George Blank died on 12 June 1965 at Kaitaia Hospital, aged 76 years. He was buried in the Returned Servicemen’s section of Kaitaia Cemetery, a services plaque marking his grave.
J. Blank’s name is inscribed on the Albury Football Club’s Roll of Honour for the Great War 1914-1919 in the column headed Wounded. At least 69 members of the Albury football Club served in the war, 17 being killed in action.
John's Frank Albert Blank also served in World War One, and another brother, Gustave Carl Heinrich Blank, was listed on the Reserve Rolls.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [11 December 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [12 December 2022]; School Admission record (Waimakariri Branch NZSG) [11 December 2022]; Timaru Herald, 18 July 1907, 16 April 1908, 3 September 1910, 23 October 1916, Dominion 9 October 1916, Northern Advocate, 7 September 1945, Northland Age, 8 & 13 September 1945 (Papers Past) [11 & 12 December 2022]; Kaitaia Cemetery burial record (Far North District Council) [12 December 2022]; Kaitaia Cemetery headstone image (Find A Grave) [12 December 2022]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society
Currently Assigned to
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