61783 Private John Wingrove Rixon

John Wingrove Rixon’s birth is recorded in the March 1872 register for Wycombe District, Buckinghamshire, England[i]
the son of John and Jane Rixon.[ii]  John Wingrove Rixon married Emma (Emmie) Louisa Kilby in 1896 and the couple had, Phyllis Wingrove Rixon her birth registered in March 1900.[iii]

John and Emmie immigrated to New Zealand arriving in Wellington on 23rd November 1909[iv]  the newspaper noting
that there were two Rixon girls onboard, Phyllis and her sister.

The 23rd May 1910 issue of the Taranaki Daily Mail carried a report on the sale of the Roydon Estate. Lot 2 consisting of
131 acres plus a fine homestead and outbuildings was purchased by Mr J W Rixon. Mr Rixon held the property for four years the Taranaki Herald on 4th July 1914 reporting that Mr J W Rixon had already sold his farm but listing the sale of the animals and equipment from the farm.

By April 1915 the Rixon family had moved to Levin purchasing a mixed sheep and cattle farm in the area.[v]  Levin was
on the Palmerston North to Wellington Railway line a large number of Horowhenua families came by train to Plimmerton
to enjoy holidays.  It is possible that John & Emmie came down
to Plimmerton and would have known about 75 Motuahara
Road house built by Mr G A Troup.   

                                       Turville House, Plimmerton  2017 

In preparation for volunteering for the New Zealand
Expeditionary Force (NZEF) John had sold his farm and on
22nd May 1917[vi] there was a sale to sell the remaining
sheep and cattle from the farm. Also in preparation for John
serving overseas Emmie leased from April 1917, 75 Motuhara
Road, Plimmerton. The Rixon family had immigrated from
Turville, Buckenhamshire and started to use 'Turville House'
at this stage. 

John’s military service is dated  from 20th April 1917 but he was given three months to complete financial arrangements entering Trentham Military Camp on 25th July 1917 as Private John Wingrove Rixon, 30th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Regiment[vii]. ​Private Rixon is listed as a married sheep farmer of Plimmerton, his next of kin Mr E.L. Rixon, Turville, Plimmerton. Private Rixon’s his enlistment papers note his next of kin, Mrs E L Rixon, Turville, Plimmerton.

During basic training Private Rixon, on 21st August 1917 was promoted to Temporary Corporal Rixon and sailed with the 30th Reinforcements leaving Wellington on 13th October 1917. The 30th Reinforcements arrived in England on 9th December 1917 and was marched into Sling Military Camp. As was normal practice Temporary Corporal Rixon lost the
rank but was confirmed as Lance Corporal  Rixon on arrival in Sling. Lance Corporal  was posted to B Company,
4th Reserve Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment .  While undergoing training at Sling Private Rixon on
8th February 1918 was admitted to hospital with influenza and did not return to Sling Camp until 30th April 1918. On
5th June 1918 Lance Corporal Rixon reverted to Private Rixon, at his own request, and was sent to the Machine Gun Training School, Grantham Military Camp. Following training Private Rixon was sent to France on 1st October 1918
joining D Company, NZ Machine Gun Corp on 10th October 1918. The  Machine Gun Corps as part of the New Zealand Division were involved pushing back German Forces. On 4th November 1918 New Zealand Forces were committed to the capture of the ancient French Fortress town, Le Quesnoy.  On the first day of the battle Private Rixon was wounded by shrapnel possibly from German shelling as two other D Company Machine Gunners were killed and another three dying
of their wounds.
Private Rixon was removed by Field Ambulance to the 38th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) with a Gunshot Wound (GSW)
to the right arm. Following assessment and treatment Private Rixon was evacuated to the 4th General Hospital on 5th November 1919 and then by sea to England. Private Rixon was admitted to the Red Cross Military Hospital, London where shrapnel was removed from a “simple flesh wound” it was estimated that Private Rixon would be for action within a month.[viii]
Private Rixon was moved from the Red Cross Hospital on 20th December 1918 to the NZ Convalescent Hospital then on 11th February 1919 to the Codford Depot to wait for his return to New Zealand.
Private Rixon left England on 11th March 1919 arriving in
New Zealand on 30th April 1919 and was given a month’s leave
before being discharged “ on termination of period of engagement’
on 27th May 1919.

John returned to civilian life and his family in Plimmerton.  
On 19th October 1920 Turville House, Plimmerton was offered for
sale. [ix] The Rixon family returned to farming and in 1935 were
based in Mangapai, Whangarei where they remained until 1950
when both John and Emmie died and are buried in the local cemetery.

                                                      Rixon's  Grave Mangapai Cemetery 

There are some differences in dates of birth and marriage between UK BDM
and NZEF forms. It is possibly a clerical error or an adjustment to ensure John
was not overage.
Marriage 1839 John Rixon, farmer of Turville to Fanny Bradbury (nee Wingrove) [x]daughter of a gentleman.

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
With the Machine Gunners in France and Palestine: NZETC

Capture of the walls of Le Quesnoy” NZ History online
Turville House: Dom Post
Rixon Graves: Billion Graves

[i]      Free UK BDM
[ii]    Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 61783 Private John Wingrove Rixon
[iii]   Free UK BDM
[iv]   A population afloat – arrival of the
[v]    Duck Sale Mrs J W Rixon, 24th April 1915, Horowhenua Chronicle
[vi]   Special Autumn Stock Sale – Levin, 22nd May 1917, Dominion
[vii]  Archives New Zealand Military Files: 61783 Private John Wingrove Rixon
[viii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 61783 Private John Wingrove Rixon
[ix]   Gentleman’s Residence, 19th October 1920, Dominion
[x]    Wingrove.org.nz  
Capture of the walls  of Le Quesnoy