Topic: James Passfield (1896-1969)

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Katikati man James Passfield served in World War I (1914-1918) and was wounded on the Etaples front in 1917. He was my second cousin once removed - Debbie McCauley.

James Passfield (1896-1969)Does this article look wrong? Click here for an archived version.

James Passfield was born in Katikati on 16 February 1896 (reg. 1896/14334). He was the twin brother of John Passfield who died at eight weeks of age on 18 April 1896 and was buried in Katikati Cemetery

Their parents were Ernest Newet Tyler (1860-1930) and Elizabeth Passfield (nee Barraclough) (c1878-1944) who married in Katikati in 1894.

In 1917 James was working as a Butcher for Johnston Brothers in Katikati before enlisting in World War I. He was also a member of the 6th Hauraki Regiment. Like many young men, he gave his age as one year older, stating his birthdate was 16 February 1895.

He may have been motivated to join up by the experience of his older brother, Henry Ernest Passfield, who was wounded at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

James embarked from Wellington on 14 March 1917 (Service No. 40630) as part of the 23rd Reinforcements Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company aboard the Ruapehu. There were a total of 2,094 troops aboard. During the voyage James contracted German Measles. He was admitted to the ship's hospital on 6 May 1917, being discharged on 18 May. The Ruapehu arrived in Devonport, England, on 21 May 1917.

The Ruapehu had originally been built in Scotland for the New Zealand Shipping Co, Ltd. (NZSSCo). She was launched on 21 February 1901 and delivered to the NZSSCo in London on 18 April, departing on her maiden voyage to Wellington, New Zealand, on 5 December. During World War I the Ruapehu was seconded by the British Admiralty and became a troop ship, transporting troops from all around the world. 

On disembarking in England, James and the other troops were sent to Sling Camp (also known as Anzac Camp), arriving there on 21 May 1917. This World War I camp for New Zealanders had wooden huts and was situated beside the town of Bulford on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England.

James was posted to France on 21 June 1917 and by 23 June was in Etaples. He was wounded in action on 16 November 1917, receiving a severe gunshot wound to his upper left arm. On 6 December James was on his way back to England aboard the hospital ship Warilda, being admitted to Bathurst House Hospital in London on 8 December.

James Passfield (1896-1969)

James Passfield, far left in WWI hospital.

From his military record it appears that James forfeited one days pay for overstaying his leave whilst a patient in hospital on 30 January 1918. On 31 January he was admitted to Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital, a camp for convalescent New Zealand soldiers.

By 16 April 1918 James must have recovered from his wounds as he was sent to Grantham to train with the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps. The following month, on 2 May 1918, James suffered another bout of German Measles and was hospitalised. He was discharged on 7 June.

James was sent to France on 1 October 1918, arriving in camp at Camiers on 3 October. He was posted to 'B' Company on 16 October 1918.

On 27 May 1919 James departed from London for New Zealand aboard the Tahiti. He was discharged on 1 August 1919.

In 1942 James married Dorothy Maud Young. Dorothy was born on 25 April 1918. They had two children together:

  1. Peter Passfield.
  2. Douglas Passfield.

James died in Hamilton on 11 January 1969 (reg. 1969/27121). He was buried in Hamilton Park Cemetery on 14 January 1969.

Dorothy died on 14 July 1988 (reg. 1998/13649).



Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Record (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Deanne Grigsby.

Hamilton Cemetery Records Online.

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).


How to cite this page: McCauley, Debbie (2013). James Passfield (1896-1969). Retrieved from (Tauranga Memories, last updated: *insert date*). In-text citation: (McCauley, 2013).

A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC

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James Passfield (1896-1969)

Note:Service Number: 40630
First Names:James
Last Name:Passfield
Date of Birth:16 February 1896
Place of Birth:Katikati
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:11 January 1969
Place of death:Hamilton
Place of burial:Hamilton Park Cemetery
Spouses name:Dorothy Maud Young
Spouses date of birth:25 April 1918
Spouses date of death:14 July 1988
Date of marriage:1942
Fathers name:Ernest Newet Tyler Passfield
Fathers date of birth:21 October 1860
Fathers place of birth:Eltham, Kent, England
Fathers date of death:25 January 1930
Fathers place of death:Waihi, New Zealand
Mothers name:Elizabeth Barraclough
Mothers date of birth:c1878
Mothers place of birth:Katikati
Mothers date of death:23 November 1944
Mothers place of death:Auckland
Name of sibilings:Henry Ernest Passfield , Alice Rachel Amelia Passfield , Charlotte Elizabeth Passfield , Jessie Jean Passfield , and Mary Ann Margaret Passfield
Name of the children:Peter Passfield and Douglas Passfield
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)