Topic: John Richard McCauley (1879-1938)

Topic type:

John Richard McCauley was a veteran of both the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902) and World War I (1914-1918). In 1918 he was badly wounded in France and his left foot was amputated. He was my second cousin once removed's wife's uncle - Debbie McCauley.

John Richard McCauley was born in Rangiora, New Zealand, on 6 April 1879 (reg. 1879/13498). His parents were William Henry and Eliza McCauley (nee McDowell) who married in Canterbury in 1874.

During his early years John was the driver of the coach between Te Puke and Tauranga.

John served with the Ninth Contingent (Service Number: 7207) during the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902). He received the Queen's South Africa Medal with the following clasps:

  • Transvaal.

In 1916 he had a close brush with death as reported in the Te Puke Times on 13 June 1916:

Mr J. McCauley, who has been working on Mr Overton's farm at Pongakawa, had a miraculous escape from death on Sunday evening. He was riding home in the dusk, accompanied by Mr Overton junr., when his horse walked over an old, unused well, 40 feet deep. Feeling the animal falling McCauley scrambled clear, but the horse dropped to the bottom and was killed.

During World War I John's name was drawn from the ballot and he served with the 1NZEF (Service Number: 65828). He embarked from Wellington aboard the Athenic on 31 December 1917 with the 33rd Reinforcements, E Company.

John was wounded in action in France on 25 May 1918. He lost a foot and sustained severe wounds to his shoulder. The Te Puke Times reported on 28 June 1918:

Advice was received by Mrs McCauley senr., from the Defence Department on Wednesday to the effect that her son, Private Jack McCauley, who was recently wounded, had had his left foot amputated. His many friends, however, will be glad to hear that he is progressing favourably.

On 25 July 1919 the Te Puke Times reported his welcome home:

A jolly little evening was spent at the residence of Mr and Mrs McCauley senr. on Tuesday last, when a number of friends met to welcome home Private John McCauley, a soldier who had the misfortune to lose a foot in action at the front, besides sustaining a severe wound in the shoulder. A very pleasant time was passed with songs and musical items, the proceedings being kept going merrily until a late hour. Private McCauley had previously seen service in the Boer war, for which he had received the South African medal.

He was finally discharged as no longer physically fit for war service on 14 August 1919.

John died in Te Puke in 1938 (reg. 1938/25719). He was buried in Te Puke Cemetery.


Cenotaph Database (Auckland War Memorial Museum).

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

Te Puke Times (13 June 1916, p. 2).

Te Puke Times (6 July 1917, p. 3).

Te Puke Times (28 June 1918, p. 2).

Te Puke Times (25 July 1919, p. 3).

The Pioneers, Settlers and Families of Te Puke and District (2011) by Christine Clement.

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion

John Richard McCauley (1879-1938)

Note:Service Number: 65828
First Names:John Richard
Last Name:McCauley
Date of Birth:6 April 1879
Place of Birth:Rangiora
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:1938
Place of death:Te Puke, New Zealand
Place of burial:Te Puke Cemetery
Occupation:Coach Driver
Fathers name:William Henry McCauley
Fathers date of birth:c1850
Fathers place of birth:Belfast, Ireland
Fathers date of death:1926
Fathers place of death:Main Street, Te Puke
Mothers name:Eliza McDowell
Mothers date of birth:c1855
Mothers place of birth:Ireland
Mothers date of death:1929
Mothers place of death:Te Puke
Military Service:South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902) and World War I (1914-1918)