Topic: John James Salt (1899-1918)

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New Zealand Railways worker John James Salt enlisted to fight during World War I , even though he was underage at only 17 years old. John was killed in action at √Čtaples in France on 12 September 1918. Story by Debbie McCauley.

John James Salt was born in Tauranga on 22 February 1899 (reg. 1899/5029). His birth notice appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 24 February 1899:

BIRTH. SALT. On February 22nd, at Tauranga; the wife of J. Salt, of a son.

John's parents were Joseph and Clara Luisa Salt (nee Gotch) who married in Tauranga on 5 March 1883 (reg. 1883/364). Joseph was a blacksmith, the same as his father James Salt. The Salt family had arrived in New Zealand on board the 'Armstrong' on 16 February 1865 and settled in Onehunga with James joining the 4th Waikato Regiment. They worked as blacksmith's in Tauranga, advertising as James Salt & Sons. By 1876 the blacksmith's forge had moved to Katikati. It moved back to Tauranga in 1881, but Joseph is listed in the Wises Postal Directories of 1899, 1901, 1905 and 1910 as living in Katikati.

John James Salt worked as a labourer for New Zealand Railways in Paeroa.

When John enlisted to fight during World War I on 7 March 1916 he was underage, being only 17 years old but giving his birth date as 22 February 1896. He served with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion.

John suffered from wounds whilst in London in May and July of 1917.

Corporal John James Salt was killed in action at Étaples in France on 12 September 1918, aged 19 (reg. 1918/81563). He is remembered on the the Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial in Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France.

John's medals were sent to his mother, Clara, in Paeroa.

John James Salt (1899-1918)

Clara died on 3 April 1931 and was buried in Waikumete Cemetery in Auckland. Joseph died on 2 November 1931 and was buried with Clara in Waikumete Cemetery.



Archives New Zealand: Military Personnel File.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Bay of Plenty Times (1899, February 24, p. 2): Birth.

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand)

Clement, Christine & McCormack, Ellen (2012). The Pioneers, Settlers and Families of Katikati and district (p. 261).

Waikumete Cemetery Records Online.


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

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John James Salt (1899-1918)

Note:Service Number: 15086
First Names:John James
Last Name:Salt
Date of Birth:22 February 1899
Place of Birth:Tauranga
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:12 September 1918
Place of death:√Čtaples, France
Place of burial:Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France
Fathers name:Joseph Salt
Fathers date of birth:1857
Fathers place of birth:Walsall, Staffordshire, England
Fathers date of death:2 November 1931
Fathers place of death:Auckland, New Zealand
Mothers name:Clara Louisa Gotch
Mothers date of birth:1864
Mothers place of birth:Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
Mothers date of death:3 April 1931
Mothers place of death:Waihi, New Zealand
Name of sibilings:Joseph Rusden Salt (1884-1950), Adelaide Queenie Goodwin (nee Salt) (1886-1967), Frances Bertha Donovan (nee Salt) (1890-1916), and Esther Clara May Leach (nee Salt) (1897-1977)
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)

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