Fallen Comrades

LAWSON, Joseph Johnstone

[The following information is derived from the Personnel File for Joseph Lawson, held by Archives New Zealand.]

Joseph Johnstone Lawson was born 23 August 1893. His History Sheet indicates he was a Clerk, last employed by John Chambers & Son, of Fort Street, Auckland. His last address was Mount Eden Road, Auckland. He cites William J.B. Lawson, of Mt Eden Road as his next-of-kin. He was an Anglican.

He completed his Attestation Form on his first day of service, 20 October, 1914. He was assigned the Regimental / service Number 3/421.

According to that Form, he had passed the Fourth Educational Standard, was not married, and had not been imprisoned or a member of any naval or military force.

He was 21 years & 1 month old at this date. He was 5 foot 7 inches (140 cm) tall, and weighed 140 lbs (63.5Kg). His chest measurements were 32 1/2 inches to 35 inches. His complexion was described as 'Fair', his eyes Blue, and hair colour 'Fair'. His medical examination was 'normal' against all measures.

Sandy's photo of JJ Lawson's gravemarkerHe had a varied service record. It is not clear when or how he got to Egypt, but on 12 April 1915 he embarked per Joslar for the Dardanelles. On 20 August 1915 he was admitted to NZ Field Ambulance, and then admitted to Rest Camp with Enteritis. Two days later he was admitted to hosital on Mudros where he stayed until 11 September 1915 when he was admitted to Convalescent Hospital at Mudros. On 17 October, 1915 he rejoined NZ Field Ambulance.

On 18 December 1915 he was again admitted to Hospital on Mudros, this time with Influenza, but was discharged to duty on 28 December 1915. On 9 January he rejoined Field Ambulance, this time at Moascar (Egypt).

On 27 February, 1916 he transferred to No. 2 Field Ambulance at Moascar. ON 6 April 1916 he embarked per Oceania at Alexandria for France. ON 22 April he was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No. 2 at Marseilles for being Absent without Leave.

On 27 August 1916 he was detached to 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, with whom he served until 19 November when he joined No. 2 Field Ambulance.

On 2 April 1917 he was appointed Temporary Lance Corporal, which promotion was made permanent on 6 April. He was then promoted to Corporal on 1 May 1917.

On 25 June 1917 he was attached to 2nd Battalion Otago Infantry Regiment. On 2 August 1917 he was wounded in action (abdomen & chest), and admitted to No. 3 Field Ambulance; two days later, on 4 August 1917 he was admitted to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, where he died of his wounds later that day. He was buried in MIlitary Cemetery "Trois Arbres", Steenwerck.

He was eligible for the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. These were duly sent to his father.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record for: Lawson, Jospeh Johnstone.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission description of and location map for Trois Arbres Military Cemetery, Steenwerck.

Photos courtesy of The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

See also Auckland Museum's Online Cenotaph for more details.