14/263 Private John Wall – New Zealand Training Unit

John Wall was born in Timaru on 22nd November 1885 the third of four children born to Mary (nee Clancy)  and
William Wall.[i]

On 24th December 1912 John married Alice Marie Wilson.the couple already had one child, Margaret, three others followed, John William (1913), Ellen Marie and Rita Elizabeth (1914) Wall.[ii]

On 16th January 1915 John Wall signed his attestation papers at Trentham Camp, Wellington. The 29 year old had been working as a barman at the Royal Hotel, Timaru prior to volunteering to join the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF).  John’s military papers note he was a married man leaving his wife at 29 York Street, Timaru with four children under five years[iii].

14/263 Private John Wall’s military papers, dated 16th January 1915, record he entered camp as a member of D Company, 4th Reinforcements. Private Wall’s regimental number indicates allotment to the NZ Army Service Corp (ASC) although his papers indicate both ASC and Canterbury Infantry Regiment.

On 18th January 1915 Private John Wall died at the Porirua Asylum where he had been taken from the Trentham Military Camp. Private Wall’s death certificate notes the coroner’s report that he died from Double Pneumonia and Syncope[iv]. There were out breaks of measles in the camp and Private Wall most likely died from complications associated with measles.
Private Wall’s body was shipped back to Timaru and he is buried
in the Timaru Cemetery.

John Wall's grave Timaru 

Alice Marie Wall received a  widows pension follow his death but,
initially, Private Wall was not considered eligible for entry on the
NZ Expeditionary Roll of Honour. The decision  was overturned
and  his memorial plaque and service medal  were made available
to his widow in the 1920’s.

Alice Marie Wall remarried, in 1921, Arthur Frederick Derimus Jones.
Arthur Jones was an ex-serviceman who had served with the
Canterbury Infantry Regiment.

John and Alice’s four children retained the Wall name[v].

John’s older brother Michael Wall is also buried in the Timaru grave.
The number of deaths at Trentham Camp resulted in a enquiry in July 1915 into conditions.

Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Paperspast Onl;ine
NZ BDM Death Certificate 1915/1312 John Wall

John Wall’s grave Timaru: Timaru District Council

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] NZ BDM
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military files: 14/263 Private John Wall
[iv] NZ Death Certificate 1915/1312
[v] NZ BDM
NZ Samoa Expeditionary force landing in Samoa 1915