10/2647 Corporal John (Jack) Richard Hoare – Wellington Infantry Regiment

John Richard Hoare was born in Napier on11th June 1888[i] the son of Minnie (nee Kelsall) and John Lowry Hoare.
John Richard Hoare know as Jack, had two older brothers and two younger brothers and a younger sister. The Hoare
family grew up in Napier but by 1911 had moved to Wellington, J R Hoare is listed as competing in the Maiden Fours at the Wellington Rowing Club.[ii] John was also ‘prominent in football.’[iii]

On 19th April 1915 Jack enlisted in New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) joining the 6th Reinforcements as
10/2647 Private John Richard Hoare, Wellington Infantry Regiment[iv]. Private Hoare’s enlistment papers note he was a single man living with his mother, who is listed as his next of kin. Private Hoare was employed as an engineer with
Stewart Timber Company, Wellington. Private Hoare was promoted to Lance Corporal just before the 6th Reinforcements left for Overseas Service on 14th August 1915. The 6th Reinforcement arrived in Egypt on 19th September 1915 and on 30th September 1915 Lance Corporal Hoare joined the 1st Wellington Infantry Battalion in the Dardanelles.
Lance Corporal Hoare was promoted to Corporal on 1st October 1915 but was evacuated sick from Gallipoli
on 24th October 1915 rejoining the unit on 10th November 1915. Corporal Hoare remained with the Battalion, on the Peninsular, until the evacuation in December 1915.

The NZEF underwent refitting, retraining and reinforcements in Egypt, preparing for action on the Western Front.
Corporal Hoare as a member of the 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment left Egypt on 6th April 1916 for France.
The NZEF was posted to the quiet sector of Armentieres to experience Trench Warfare. There were a number of raids by the NZ Division across No Man’s Land and following one of these raids the German force counter-attacked. From the Wellington Infantry Regiment’s history[v]

          ‘On the 8th July, the enemy made a retaliation against our raids and they selected the vulnerable "Mushroom,"
          which was occupied then by a part of the 1st Battalion. After an intense bombardment about 10 p.m. a party of
          the enemy rushed out opposite the "Mushroom," but were bombed back. An hour later the enemy bombardment
          recommenced, and a large party divided into two attacked "The Mushroom" from both flanks. The 1st Battalion
          had killed a good number in the garrison in "The Mushroom," and the rest were driven into the second line of                          trenches. Lieutenant Kibblewhite, N.Z.M.G. Corps, immediately organised a counter attack; but, before we
          regained possession of "The Mushroom," the Germans succeeded in carrying away their dead and wounded,                          although, on account of the sharpness of the encounter, unable to devote any attention to getting information.
          The 1st Battalion suffered heavily—two officers and 21 other ranks were killed, while three officers and 88 other
          ranks were wounded and three other ranks missing.’

Corporal Hoare was one of those wounded suffering wounds to the chest and
abdomen, he was evacuated to the 13th General Hospital, France then to the
Fulham Military Hospital, England. The wounds were considered serious so
Corporal Hoare was assessed by a Medical Board in England and was graded
as unfit for active service. Arrangements were made to send Corporal Hoare
back on 13th November 1916, to New Zealand. Corporal Hoare arrived in
New Zealand on 20th January 1917 and spent some time in hospital undergoing
treatment. Corporal Hoare was assessed again and on 17th March 1917
discharged ‘no longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds
received in action – internal haemorrhage.’

                                                                 10/2647 Corporal John Richard Hoare 

While Jack was discharged from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force he was
still considered for a Home Services role in the permanent NZ Army. On
31st May 1917 Jack was sent to Trentham Military Camp where he was enlisted
as 10/2647 Probationary Staff Sergeant and started a month’s training as an
instructor. Following successfully probationary training Probationary
Staff Sergeant Hoare was confirmed as Temporary Staff Sergeant Hoare, on
17th July 1917, but was required to undergo another medical examination. Staff Sergeant Hoare requested a posting in
the Wellington District so remained at Trentham until 4th September 1917 when he was appointed as the Clerk in Charge,
Sick and Wounded Soldier’s Records, Napier. The tenure was short as following a period of sick leave, recorded as suffering a ‘haemorrhage from lung’ another medical examination was undertaken. This medical board determined that Temporary Staff Sergeant was not fit for military service either in the Permanent or Territorial Forces and while he was not considered ‘fit for civilian employment’ arrangements were made to discharge him. Temporary Staff Sergeant Hoare was discharged from the NZ Permanent Army on 15th November 1917.

Jack returned to civilian life in the 1919 NZ Electoral roll he is noted as a machinist living in Wellington.

                                                         On 7th January 1920 John Richard Hoare married Rose Ella (Ella) Caroline Mexted, the                                                                     couple made their home in Tawa Flat where Rose’s family farmed. On 16th May 1920 Jack                                                             died, his military records noting ‘internal haemorrhage’ the NZ Army considered that his                                                                 death was contributable to his war service so his widow Ella, in 1920,  was sent his
                                                         service medals. Ella’s address, School Lane, Tawa Flat, Wellington. The Memorial plaque
                                                         and scroll, approved in 1923 were also sent to Ella in 1930[vi].

                                                         Corporal John Richard Hoare is buried in the Porirua Cemetery[vii] as is Ella. 

                                                                 Three of John Richard Hoare’s brothers are also listed as serving in the NZEF

                                                                 Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
                                                                 The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 -1919
                                                                 NZ BDM
                                                                 Paperspast online
                                                                 Porirua City Council Cemetery records
                                                                 NZ War Graves Project

Corporal J R Hoare: Otago Witness
Grave Corporal John Richard Hoare: NZ War Graves Project

[i]    Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/2647 Corporal John Richard Hoare
[ii]   Among the Oarsmen. 23rd December 1911, NZ Times
[iii]  Personal Matters, 17th May 1920, Evening Post
[iv]  Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/2647 Corporal John Richard Hoare
[v]   The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 – 1919: NZ History Online
[vi]  Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 10/2647 Corporal John Richard Hoare
[vii] Porirua City Council Cemetery Records  
Jack and Rose's grave Porirua Cemetery