(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

Enlistment Information

Date 16 October 1915 Age
Address at Enlistment Kaitaia
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin George BLANK (brother), Matiere, Auckland Province
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 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

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 12 June 1965 Age
Place of Death Kaitaia
Cause 76 years
Memorial or Cemetery Kaitaia Cemetery
Memorial Reference Returned Servicemens Area, Plot 63
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

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]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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