87520 Private John Alexander Walker – 47th Reinforcements

John Alexander Walker was born on 26th February 1898 in Wellington the second of six children born to
Louisa Martha (Collins) and James Walker[i].

In 1885 James Walker obtained the lease for a large block of land that stretched from Paremata to Plimmerton, the
block would later be known as the Walker Estate. The family originally lived close to the old Paremata before moving
to Plimmerton in 1910[ii].

Plimmerton School 1904 

John Alexander Walker attended Plimmerton School being
enrolled with his elder sister Helen in 1904[iii].

John then attended St Patricks College, Wellington where
he served in the College Cadets. After college John served
his compulsory military training with the 5th (Wellington)

In 1918 John Alexander Walker turned 20 and was eligible
for enlistment in the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces.
John’s military papers note he was a farmer from
Plimmerton and his mother Mrs Louisa Walker is listed as
his next of kin.

At his medical examination it was noted that he ‘had strained heart two years ago but since that has been well
able to work’ and the assessment was that he showed ‘signs of left cardiac hypertrophy – dullness to the left of
nipple line – says he has no difficulty in carrying out his work as a farmer – no shortness of breath on exertion.’
These symptoms resulted in John being graded as C1 which meant that 'Likely to become fit for service overseas
after special training.'

87520 Private Walker entered military camp on 31st July 1918 as part of C Company C1. Following training
Private Walker underwent another medical examination on the 28th August 1918 where he was assessed as Fit A –
suitable for overseas service. On 19th September 1918 Private Walker was transferred to D Company
47th Reinforcements.

On 6th November 1918 Private Walker was granted Leave without Pay (LWOP) with consent to join the Janaury 1919
draft however with the Armistice signed on 11th November 1918 Private John Alexander Walker was given LWOP
until further orders on demobilistation.

John returned to farming at Plimmerton, he married in 1926 Beryl Catherine D’Arth[v].

John Alexander Walker died in 1972.

Two Plimmerton streets have connections to James Walker family. James Street and St Andrews Street[vi].

Plimmerton School and its Environment 1904 – 1979
Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Plimmerton History

Plimmerton School 1904: Plimmerton School and its Environment 1904 - 1979
Lease : Archives New Zealand 

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Holding the fort at Paremata Barracks: Stuff
[iii] Plimmerton School 1904 - 1979
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 87520 Private John Alexander Walker
[v] NZ BDM
[vi] History of our streets

1860 ​Lease for Paremata / Plimmerton