McKillop, John Charles (No. 53841)

McKillop, John Charles

Captain

No. 53841, New Zealand Rifle Brigade, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Died on Saturday 24 July 1920 (aged 46)

Buried:

Masterton Cemetery, New Zealand (Block E. Peg 2718. Path 10)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

New Zealand World War One Roll of Honour

BIOGRAPHY

John Charles McKillop was born on 24 January 1874 in Masterton, New Zealand and he was a son of Charles and Anne McKillop.  He was a career soldier and in civilian life he was a farmer.

He enrolled in Masterton Mounted Rifles on 20 April 1901 and during the South African War he served as a Lieutenant with the 10th New Zealand North Island Contingent.  After service in South Africa he was posted to England and returned to New Zealand in 1903.

On 5 March 1903 he joined the Masterton Mounted Rifle Volunteers and on 19 September 1903 he was awarded the New Zealand Territorial Medal.

He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 4 March 1908 and on 20 December 1912 he transferred to Reserve of Officers.

When he attested in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) on 27 February 1917 he declared that he was single and that his parents were both deceased.  It was noted that he was 5 feet 10½ inches tall.

On 31 December 1917 he was the Officer Commanding troops on board His Majesty’s New Zealand Transport (HMNZT) Ship No. 99 Athenic which sailed from Wellington to Glasgow.  He cited his sister as his next-of-kin and she lived in Goodlands, Masterton.  The ship arrived in Glasgow on 25 February 1918 and Captain McKillop was appointed to the New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

Captain John Charles McKillop went from England to the Western Front with reinforcement troops on 1 May 1918 and in August 1918 he sustained a gunshot wound to the leg.  He returned to England on 27 November 1918 and was pronounced to be no longer fit for active service.

On 6 February 1919 he was awarded the New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal.

He left England for New Zealand on 17 June 1919 and was struck off strength of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) on 20 August 1919.

Captain John Charles McKillop died in New Zealand on 24 July 1920.

It is recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website that Captain John Charles McKillop was the husband of Ethel Constance McKillop of Bangor, Co Down, Ireland and in his service papers it is recorded that his scroll and plaque were sent to his widow in Ireland.

Ethel Constance McKillop (nee Alderdice) was a daughter of William Walter Alderdice and Maggie H Alderdice (nee Sinclair) who were married around 1875.  William Walter Alderdice was a linen commercial traveller and insurance agent and he and Maggie had five children:

Richard (born 21 June 1876)

Catherine Edith (born 1 January 1878)

Walter (born 1 January 1879)

Frederick Howard (born 31 March 1880)

Ethel Constance (born 14 August 1882)

They lived in Holywood Road, Belfast and at Green Haven, 9 Malone Park, Belfast.

Ethel’s brother Walter moved to New Zealand and during the First World War he served as a Trooper (No. 13/962a) with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  Walter Alderdice enlisted on 4 December 1914, went to the Front on 14 February 1915 and was discharged on 7 October 1919.

The marriage between Ethel Constance Alderdice and John Charles McKillop was registered in the first quarter of 1919 in St Martin, London.

After her husband died Ethel placed a headstone on his grave and it bore the following inscription:

Erected by

Ethel McKillop

In memory of her beloved husband

Captain John C McKillop

Who died July 24, 1920

In his 46th year

R.I.P.

Ethel McKillop returned to Ireland and was living in Ballyholme Road, Bangor when she and John Campbell were married on 28 September 1929 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.  Ethel Constance McKillop (nee Alderdice) was 47 and John Campbell (a manufacturer of Hamilton Road, Bangor) was 54.