John Edmond Engel

From auditor to soldier.

John Engel, 1915.John Edmond Engel was from Wellington and joined the Audit Department in March 1915 as an Audit Examiner, Class VII. He joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 25 July 1917, aged 22.

He had been conscripted and appealed against conscription on the grounds of the undue hardship that it would cause his mother. His mother was a widow, with limited income, and John was the eldest of six children.

His appeal was dismissed on the grounds that undue hardship had not been fully established.

John was sent to the United Kingdom in April 1918. After two months in the United Kingdom, he was sent to France as part of the 4th Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade.

In early October 1918, the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, including the 4th Battalion, had engaged the enemy around the town of Le Cateau in northern France. John was wounded during this fighting, on 5 October 1918. He was admitted to hospital on 7 October, suffering from a gunshot wound to the body.

He was evacuated to the United Kingdom, treated at Chelsea Hospital on 17 October 1918, and transferred to Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital on 18 November 1918.

A Medical Board was required to assess wounded soldiers and, for pension purposes, estimate the degree of disability. The degree of disablement for John was estimated at 20%.

John was discharged and returned to New Zealand in June 1919.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He did not rejoin the Audit Department.

John died on 1 July 1955.