Topic: John Barclay Campbell

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John Barclay Campbell (Service no. 21562) was a First World War soldier with links to New Brighton "Dough" Barclay Campbell was born on 4th November 1891 in New Brighton. He was the son of John Campbell and Ann Campbell (nee Barclay) and they lived at 13 Collingwood Street in New Brighton.The family attended the local Presbyterian Church and John is listed on the church's Roll of Honour. John attended New Brighton School at some point in his schooling and is also on the school's Roll of Honour.

Prior to leaving for the war John had wroked as a moulder (maker of bricks), for R. Buchanan & Sons Christchurch City Foundry, 206-210 St Asaph Street. He had been a member of the Merrivale Football Club and was also involved with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Linwood Lodge.

He belonged to the J Company Coast Defence in Lyttelton and was an active member for 4 years prior to enlisting. J Company paraded at the Christchurch Railway Station on November 14th 1915 and then on to Lyttelton (The Press,12th November 1915). It was in New Brighton that he registered for compulsory military training under the Defence Act.

At 24 years of age he was one of 24 men who registered for compulsory military training on the 23th of November 1915 at the Defence Office, (The Star, 24th November 1915). He wasn’t called up until the 3rd May 1916. A man slight in build, at a height of 5 ft 3in tall with dark hair, fresh complexion and brown eyes. The only health requirement on his medical examination was to have one filling done.

When he was down on final leave in July 1916, he was presented with a watch and silver-mounted pipe on behalf of the New Brighton Presbyterian Church and a safety razor on behalf of the New Brighton Band of Hope Committee.

He came back late from his leave in Featherston on 23rd July 1916 and forfeited 2 days pay.

He embarked on the ship Mokoia HMNZT 62, which left Wellington on the 21st August 1916. It arrived in Plymouth, Devon on 24th October 1916. From here he marched on the 25th October into the Sling Camp (some called it the ANZAC Camp) which was on the Salisbury Plains in Wiltshire.

On the 15th November 1916 he left for France and on the 2nd December 1916 he joined the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 2nd Batallion.

The Battle of Messines (Mesen these days) in Belgium, very near the border of France, began in the early hours of 7th June 1917. Both battalions of the Canterbury Regiment were heavily involved. I would think it likely that Campbell was wounded on the 7th and was taken to No 53 Casualty Clearing Station which was then at Mont de Cats across the border in France and then died the next day on the 8th of June 1917.

John Barclay Campbell is buried in the Bailleul Communal Cemetary Extension, Nord, France in grave site 111.C.291.  He is also memorialised on the family grave Block 35 Plot 320, Linwood Cemtery, Christchurch.

His widowed mother Anne Campbell received his British War Medal on the 30th Sep 1921 and his Victory Medal on the 10th Aug 1922.


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Image sourced from : New Zealand War Graves Project -

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John Barclay Campbell

First Names:John Barclay
Last Name:Campbell
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand