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52800 Sergeant Thomas Jordan – Wellington Infantry Regiment

Thomas was born in Christchurch on 30th April 1880 the eldest son of Mary (nee Culkeen) and Michael Jordan. Thomas
had an older sister Mary, younger brother Michael and two younger sisters Margaret Mary and Ellen[i].

The family had moved to the Porirua District by 1887 possibly for Michael senior to work on the Manawatu Wellington Railway. The railway company was building a line between Wellington and Palmerston North. Michael snr is listed as a
plate layer living in Tawa in 1897[ii].

Thomas enrolled at the Porirua School in 1888 with his younger brother Michael and two younger sisters Ellen and Margaret also attended the school[iii].

Thomas attended Wellington College where he gained top honours coming fourth in the nationwide junior for 1897[iv]. Thomas then attended Victoria University where he gained a MA in 1902 and a law degree in 1907. While he was at university he also held a position of Assistant Master at Wellington College[v].

In 1907 Thomas left his school position to take up a career as a lawyer and barrister. Thomas practiced in Timaru before moving to Masterton. In 1915 Thomas married Edith Miriam Thornton[vi] the couple had a daughter Frances Patrician Jordan born on 28th January 1917[vii]. Five days later, on 2nd February 1917 Thomas Jordan signed his attestation papers joining the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Thomas Jordan listed that he was a self employed Barrister and Solicitor, married with one child and living at Lansdowne, Masterton. Given that Corporal Jordan had a new baby the army then gave him leave from 8th February to 2nd April 1917.

50800 Temporary Corporal Jordan entered camp on 12th April 1917 with the 31st N C O’s. Temporary Corporal Jordan
was promoted to Temporary Sergeant on 22nd August 1917. In November 1917 T / Sergeant Jordan was transferred to
the Instructional Staff. On 3rd April 1918 T / Sergeant Jordan was promoted to Temporary Company Sergeant Major (CSM) and later transferred to the 42nd Reinforcements and then on 9th July 1918 to the 43rd Reinforcements. On 2nd October 1918 T/ CSM Jordan left with the 43rd Reinforcements sailing to England. The 43rd Reinforcements were still at seas when the news that the Armistice with Germany had been signed on 11th November 1918.

The 43rd Reinforcements arrived in England on 5th December 1918 and as was the normal practice T/CSM Jordan reverted to Temporary Sergeant Jordan and was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment. Temporary Sergeant Jordan was promoted to Sergeant on 31st December 1918 when he was posted to NZEF Head Quarters.

The NZEF was arranging for New Zealand troops to be repatriated. The priority was on those men who had been overseas for a long time or who had skills required to get the economy of now peacetime New Zealand going. It was not until
31st May 1919 the Sergeant Jordan was boarded for shipping back to New Zealand. Sergeant Jordan arrived in New
Zealand on 15th July 1919 when he was given one month’s leave before on 12th August 1919 was discharged
‘ on termination of his period of engagement.’

Thomas Jordan returned to Masterton and his career as a lawyer. Thomas was
elected Mayor of Masterton in 1924 a position he held for 19 years.


​                                                                                               Mayor Thomas Jordan 1936

Thomas Jordan died in Masterton on 7th June 1945.

Thomas Jordan and his younger brother Michael Jordan are commemorated
‘they also served’ on the World War One section of the Porirua School’s Roll of
Honour.[viii]

Notes
Thomas’ younger brother Michael enlisted in the British Army serving on the Western Front
and Macedonian Front as well as serving with the White Russians during the Russian Civil War.

References
Porirua School Jubilee 1873 – 1948
NZ BDM
Paperspast Online
Archway Achives New Zealand Military Files
NZ Who Who

Photos
Thomas Jordan c1936: Paperspast

[i]     NZ BDM
[ii]    Wises Directory- Wellington District
[iii]    Porirua School pupil rolls
[iv]    Scholarship results, 29th January 1898, Christchurch Press
[v]    NZ Who’s Who 1925
[vi]    Marriages, 19th June 1915, Christchurch Sun
[vii]   Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 52800 Sergeant Thomas Jordan
[viii]   Porirua School 1873 – 1948


Porirua   c1900