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John Thornton Down

Headstone, Otahuhu Holy Trinity Anglican Cemetery Memorial Park. Dark triangle at top New Zealand's 1st VC (photo P. Baker) - No known copyright restrictions

Headstone, Otahuhu Holy Trinity Anglican Cemetery Memorial Park. Dark triangle at top New Zealand's …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Thornton AWMM
  • Surname
    Down AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    2 March 1842 AWMM FulhamLondon AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Victoria Cross (VC) AWMM
    Citation London Gazette 22 September 1864: On 2nd October 1863 at Poutoko (Allens Hill, New Plymouth), New Zealand, Ensign Down and Drummer Dudley Stagpoole volunteered to rescue a wounded comrade from the rebel natives, they succeeded in bringing in this wounded man who was lying about 50 yards from the bush, although the enemy kept up a very heavy fire at short range and from fallen logs close at hand. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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  • Embarkation details

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Died of Sickness, Cause of Death AWMM
    Typhoid Fever AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Died aged 24 years 6 months

    Headstone erected by his brother officers

    The headstone incorrectly states he was the first VC in New Zealand. Victoria Cross not publicly held AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    27 April 1866 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    OtāhuhuAuckland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Holy Trinity Memorial Park (formerly Otahuhu Anglican Cemetery), Church Street & Luke Street, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: Deaths (1866, May 1). Southern Cross, Volume XXII, Issue 2736, p. 4 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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