76262 Rifleman James (Jim) Sievers – New Zealand Rifle Brigade

The Sievers family originated in what now is Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. In the 1840 Leipzig was within the Kingdom
of Prussia and while the Napoleonic Wars had ended in 1815 there were many factors effecting Germany resulting in
a large scale movement of Germans / Prussians to other lands[i]. Two Sievers brothers arrived in New Zealand in the
1850’s and settled in the Wellington / Makara areas[ii].

James Sievers was second generation New Zealand born Sievers’ the son of Mary Ellen (nee Kelly) and
William Louis Sievers. James (Jim) was born in Wellington on 15th September 1884 the 10th child in the family of fifteen which included 5 females and 10 males[iii].

Jim was educated at the Marist Brothers, Thorndon before going on to become an upholsterer with his own business in Guznee Street, Wellington. In 1918  when he enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces (NZEF)[iv] Jim was living
at 12 Roxburgh Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington.

Jim entered camp on 13th February 1918 as Private James Sievers, 40th Reinforcements, he listed his mother as his next
of kin. Private Sievers was appointed as a temporary Lance Corporal Sievers on 14th May 1918 and departed with the
40th Reinforcements on 10th July 1918.

On arrival in England on 9th September 1918 he was posted to Larkhill and a Composite Battalion before being posted
to the Brockton Military Training Camp. At Brocton L/Corporal Sievers reverted to the ranks, this was normal practice
when NZ Reinforcements reached England. As L/Corporal Sievers had been posted to the NZ Rifle Brigade (NZRB) Depot
he became 76262 Rifleman Sievers on 3rd October 1918.

Rifleman Sievers was still under training when the Armistice was signed so never served on the Western Front remaining
in England as arrangements were made to repatriate the NZEF to New Zealand.

On 8th July 1919 Rifleman was granted two weeks leave prior to being repatriated to New Zealand on 8th August 1919.
It is likely that it was during this time that Rifleman Sievers posed with his two younger brothers and his cousin.

Four Rough Diggers in Liverpool 

Left to Right 
59271 Sergeant Patrick (Dick) Richard Kelly NZ Signal Corp
65495 Gunner Arthur Sievers NZFA
50236 Gunner George Sievers NZFA
67262 Rifleman James (Jim) Sievers  NZRB

Rifleman Sievers returned to New Zealand on 20th September 1919 and was finally discharged from the NZEF on
19th October 1919 ‘ on the completion of period of engagement.’

Jim returned to Wellington but later moved to the Otaki District where he is listed in 1928[v] as a furnisher. Jim also was
a funeral director on the Otaki District.

James (Jim) Sievers died on 27th May 1972 and is buried in the Otaki Cemetery[vi].

Four of George’s brothers were in the NZ Army:–
65495 Gunner Arthur Sievers NZFA
75668 Private Frederick Bernard Sievers – discharged C2
50236 Gunner George Sievers NZFA
80846 Corporal Richard (Dick) Sievers – 50th Reinforcements NZFA

Paperspast Online
Archive New Zealand Military Files
NZ Electoral Rolls
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Records

Four Rough Diggers in Liverpool: Sievers – Brown family

[i] Brown family genealogy – unpublished
[ii] Brown family genealogy – unpublished
[iii] NZ BDM
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 50236 Gunner George Sievers
[v] NZ Electoral Roll – Otaki – 1928
[vi] Otaki Cemetery online records
Four Rough Diggers in Liverpool 1919