11/1567 Trooper Arthur Grenville Stevens Jonathan – Auckland Mounted Rifles

Arthur Grenville Stevens Jonathan was born in Porirua on 8th January 1895 the eldest of ten children of
Elizabeth Ann (nee Stevens) and George Grenville Jonathan[i].

Arthur’s father had come out to New Zealand in 1886 with his mother, Emma Meredith and brother Claude Hamilton Jonathan[ii] the family moved out to Porirua in the early 1890’s and became close with the Stevens family.
George Stevens was a farmer in the district and had five daughters all had gone to Porirua School with
Elizabeth (Lizzy) starting in 1881[iii].

On 25th March 1893 Emma Meredith Jonathan married George Stevens, Emma remained in Porirua until her death
in 1937.
On 29th November 1893 George Grenville Jonathan married Elizabeth Ann Stevens the eldest of George Stevens daughters[iv].

George and Lizzy Jonathan moved to Linton by 1895/96 as George is listed as a storekeeper and P.O. agent there in
the NZ Post Office Directory. George and Lizzy and their children later moved up to Kawhia, Waikato where George is
listed as a storekeeper in the area. It is from this Kawhia address  that Arthur enlisted. The 21 year old was working as
a shop assistant for his father and had prior military service being a Corporal in the Waikato Mounted.[v] Arthur had
been studying for a commission but as there were limited positions he left Kawhia for Trentham as a Trooper.

11/1567 Trooper Arthur Grenville Stevens Jonathan entered Trentham camp on the 29th June 1915 as a member of the
6th Reinforcements, Wellington Mounted Rifles. Following basic training the 6th Reinforcements left Wellington on
14th August 1915. On arrival in Egypt on 19 September 1915 the reinforcement underwent training before being
deployed their permanent regiments on 24th November 1915 Trooper Jonathan was transferred to the Auckland
Mounted Rifles[vi].

The Auckland Mounted Rifles were regrouping during December 1915 following their deployment at Gallipoli and were based at the Zeitoun Camp near Cairo. Disease was rife in the area and on 6th January 1916 Trooper Jonathan was admitted to hospital initially with influenza but on the 10th January 1916 he was described as seriously ill with enteric fever.  Following a month in hospital Trooper Jonathan was shipped back to New Zealand for recovery. On the SS Tahiti Trooper Jonathan was assessed by a medical panel as suffering from Typhoid and that he would be unfit for at least six months so was put on a pension of half pay for the period but was discharged from the NZEF on 19th June 1916 as ‘no longer physically on account of illness contracted on active service.’

Arthur returned to live with his parent in Kawhia and while he was optimistic of returning to active service in a couple
of weeks there is no record of him re-enlisting possible he was rejected on medical grounds. On 9th August 1916
A G S Jonathan was appointed as a relieving teacher at Puketurua School, Waikato the start of his teaching career.
Arthur Grenville Stevens Jonathan married Amy Eliza Simpkin in 1921[vii]. The couple moved to North Auckland then
down to Petone, Wellington[viii].

On retirement Arthur and Eliza moved to Upper Hutt where Eliza died in 1958 and Arthur in 1976.

Paperspast Online
Porirua School Jubilee 1873 – 1923
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment Timeline – NZ History Online
Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment Timeline – NZ History Online

NZ Mounted Rifles parade through Cairo 1914 - Australian War Museum 

[i] NZ BDM
[ii]  Mrs G Stevens, 15th March 1937, Evening Post
[iii] Porirua School Classes 1873 – 1923
[iv] NZ BDM
[v] Trooper A G S Jonathan, 4th April 1916, Auckland Star
[vi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 11/1567 Trooper Arthur Grenville Stevens
[vii] NZ BDM
[viii] NZ Electoral Rolls 1900 – 1980: Ancestry

NZ Mounted Brigade Cairo 1914