18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Charles Herbert Isaacson – Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Charles Herbert Isaacson was born in Melbourne, Australia on the 8th August 1872.[i]

Charles Herbert Isaacson was educated at Cambridge University by 1903 he was based in the Manawatu  and was
the officiating minister at a wedding at St Thomas’, Sandon.[ii]

On the 21st June 1904 Charles Herbert Isaacson married Emily Herbert in St Andrews’ Anglican Church, Bulls,
Manawatu.[iii] The couple moved to the Pahiatua District, Wairarapa officiating at weddings through to 1913[iv] when the couple moved to Paremata, Wellington. The Rev C H Isaacson is recorded as officiated at weddings in Pauatahanui in 1914  and Plimmerton 1915[v]

On the 18th October 1915 the Dominion newspaper listed 43 men who were the latest recruits listed among them was Charles Herbert Isaacson, clergyman. The Hawera and Normanby Star, reported on the 19th October 1915 that Rev C H Issacson, Anglican Minister, has enlisted at Wellington as a private.[vi]

The Evening Post 2nd February 1916 reported that Chaplain-Captain C H Isaacson, Anglican, reported at Trentham Camp for duty. On the 1st April 1916 Captain Isaacson sailed with the 11th Reinforcements, New Zealand Chaplains’ Department, New Zealand Expeditionary Force[vii].

18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Charles Herbert Isaacson arrived in Egypt in May 1916 and was attached to the NZ Mounted Training Head Quarters until November 1916 when he was posted to the Canterbury Mounted Rifles. While Chaplain Isaacson was with the NZMTHQ on the 23rd September 1916 he was admitted to hospital suffering heat stroke and spend two weeks recovering.

Military records are full of changes for unit or rank but they give no indication if Chaplain went with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles during their campaign through the Sinai Desert and then in Palestine but it is probable that he moved
with the regiment.

On the 15th December 1917 the New Zealand Chaplains Department recorded that 18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Isaacson
was appointed to the Assistant Principle, Church of England Chaplain for the NZEF in the Middle East.

On the 15th December 1918 Chaplain Isaacson boarded ‘ On Duty’ the troopship Malta  returning with 400 other
members of the NZEF. On reaching New Zealand 18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Charles Herbert Isaacson was discharge from the NZEF ‘ on termination of his period of engagement.’ A confidential report noting that Chaplain Isaacson was a very hard working and conscientious chaplain.

Reverent Isaacson returned to the Wellington Anglican Dioceses and in 1920 when he received his campaign medals was living with his wife at ‘The Vicarage, Johnsonville, Wellington’[viii].

Reverent Isaacson continued to serve in the Territorial’s 1922 when he was placed on the Reserves List with the rank of Chaplain 2nd Class (Lieutenant Colonel). The Reverent Isaacson attended the annual reunion of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles and as Padre paid the “Tribute to the Fallen.”[ix]   

Reverent Charles Herbert Isaacson continue to serve the Church of England up until his death on the 1st April 1965, Emily Isaacson died in 1942, there were no children.

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand

NZ Chaplain leadding a religious service in France 

[i] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Charles Herbert Isaacson
[ii] Marriage, 22nd May 1903, Fielding Star.
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Charles Herbert Isaacson
[iv] Personal, 8 October 1912, Manawatu Times
[v] Marriage Lock-Miller, 18th September 1915, Evening Post.
[vi] Personal, 19th October 1915, Hawera and Normanby Star
[vii] Auckland Cenotaph online database
[viii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 18/37 Chaplain 4th Class Charles Herbert Isaacson
[ix] Annual Reunion, 13th August 1924, Christchurch Press

Church Service 'In the Field '