(Service number 14131)

Aliases Known as Joe. Born Alfred James GLADWELL
First Rank Corporal Last Rank Corporal


Date 24 September 1895 Place of Birth Mile End Old Town, London, England

Enlistment Information

Date 9 March 1916 Age 20 years
Address at Enlistment C/o Mrs Gunn, Maltby Avenue, Timaru
Occupation Farm labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs A. GUNN (aunt), Maltby Avenue, Timaru
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 5th Reinforcements, 3rd Battalion, G Company
Date 26 June 1916
Transport Tahiti or Maunganui
Embarked From Wellington Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ 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 25 March 1919 Reason No longer physically fit for War Service on account of wounds received in action - gunshot wounds left thigh.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Mechanic; milkman; factory hand; clerk


Date 16 September 1976 Age 80 years 11 months
Place of Death Levin
Memorial or Cemetery Taita Old Cemetery, Lower Hutt
Memorial Reference Block A, Plot 1670
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Joseph McDermott or MacDermott, known as Joe, was born on 24 September 1895 at Mile End Old Town, London, England. But he was born Alfred James Gladwell, the second son of Manasseh and Isabella (née Chapman) Gladwell. Alfred James Gladwell, who was at home at Mile End with his family in 1901 and 1911, was admitted to Essex Street School on 26 January 1903.In 1911 he was working as a tea dealer. Presumably he took the name Joseph McDermott when he came to New Zealand. Interestingly, Joseph MacDermott was the name of his brother-in-law at home in London, the husband of his older sister Isabella Louisa Gladwell.

Joseph McDermott enlisted on 9 March 1916 at Trentham. A farm labourer at Chamberlain, Albury, South Canterbury, single and of Church of England affiliation, he named his aunt as next-of-kin – Mrs A. Gunn, Maltby Avenue, Timaru. His address was Care of Mrs Gunn, Maltby Avenue, Timaru. Mrs Gunn has not been identified. Corporal J. McDermott embarked with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade of the 5th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington on 26 June 1916.

J. McDermott, 14131, embarked at Southampton on 31 July 1918 for transfer to “Marama” at Marseilles. So, he returned to Timaru, New Zealand per the “Marama” (Draft 175), which arrived on 20 September 1918. He was discharged on 25 March 1919, no longer physically fit for War Service on account of wounds received in Action – gunshot wounds to his left thigh. All his service, for which he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, was in Western Europe.

Joseph McDermott married Agnes Rose Dunn on 24 September 1919 at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Timaru. He named his parents as Joseph McDermott and Isabella Chapman. Their first child, Joseph Leslie McDermott, was born on 30 July 1920 at Timaru and baptised on 16 July 1921 at St Mary’s. Little Joseph Leslie died in 1927 at Christchurch. Joseph died on 16 September 1976 at Levin, eight days before his 81st birthday. He was buried at Taita Old Cemetery, Lower Hutt, with his wife Agnes Rose McDermott who had died in September 1967. They were survived by three children. Alfred Thomas McDermott, a nephew of ‘Joseph McDermott’, served with the Merchant Navy in World War Two and lost his life in 1944.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 September 2023]; 1901 & 1911 England census returns ( [11 September 2023]; School Admission record ( [11 September 2023]; England birth index [11 September 2023]; NZ death index (Department of Internal Affairs) [11 September 2023]; Taita Old Cemetery headstone image (Find A Grave) [11 September 2023]; Evening Post, 7 September 1918, Timaru Herald, 11 September 1918 (Papers Past) [11 August 2016; 11 September 2023]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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