Service Number 22013
Regiment New Zealand Machine Gun Corps
|D Company, Otago Infantry Battalion
Joseph Aloysius Goss was born on the 27th October 1893 in Leeds, the son of Joseph Goss, a rag merchant, and his wife, Sarah Goss (nee Hennessey). Altogether Joseph and Sarah had seven children, but only 5 survived to 1911 - Mary Eileen Goss, born in 1890 in Leeds; Francis Hennessey Goss, born 1890 in Leeds; Aloysius Goss, born in 1891 in Leeds; Mary Cecilia Goss, born in late 1892 or early 1893 and died in 1893; Marie Cecilia Goss, born in 1895 in Collingham; and Marie Genevieve Goss, born in 1897 in Collingham. The family therefore must have moved from Leeds to Collingham between 1893 and 1895, and they lived at Hill House at the top of Jewitt Lane.
Eileen, Francis and Aloysius all attended the convent school in Clifford and, in 1901, are shown on the census as boarders at the school. By 1911 census, Aloysius is living at Hill House, Collingham and is listed as a commercial student, while his brother Francis is a medical student.
At some time between 1911 and 1916 Aloysius emigrated to New Zealand and there he joined the New Zealand Army in 1916. At the time he gave his occupation as a seaman, but we have not found any details of of his seaman's service.
Joseph Aloysius Goss enlisted on the 4th May 1916 as Private 22013 in 'D' Company of the Otago Infantry Battalion and served in New Zealand from that day until the 20th August 1916. On the 21st August 1916 he embarked in Dunedin for the war in Europe as part of the 16th Reinforcement. The journey was long, and Joseph disembarked in Devonport on the 25th October 1916. He was first posted to the New Zealand (Res) Brigade Group at Sling Camp, near Bulford on Salisbury Plain.
On the 2nd November 1916 Joseph was sent to the Machine Gun Section at Grantham and became part of the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps (NZMGC). Joseph had a few days in hospital (14th-20th March 1917) during his training and things did not always go smoothly for him. On the 29th March 1917, he was awarded seven days detention for being improperly dressed, using obscene language, hesitating to obey and NCO and using threatening language to an NCO.
On completion of training, Joseph left Grantham for France on the 24th April 1917. He would probably have joined a base unit at first, and there may well have been further training, but we next find him joining No. 5 Company, NZMGC on the 2nd June 1917. Only a week later, on the 9th June Joseph was wounded in action with a wound to his right thigh. He was admitted to No. 77 Field Ambulance and passed to No. 11 Casualty Clearing Station (11 C.C.S.). From there the records show he was evacuated by No 4. Ambulance Train to 5 General Hospital in Rouen where he was admitted on the 10th June. Although the wound was described as 'slight', Joseph was evacuated to England on the 12th June by Hospital Ship Panama and was admitted to No 1 New Zealand General Hospital in Brockenhurst. He spent about a week in hospital before being posted discharged to the Machine Gun Depot in Grantham on the 19th June. He spent some time there recovering before being sent back to France, leaving Grantham on the 26th September and arriving a the Machine Gun Brigade Base Depot in Camico in France on the 27th September. On the 10th October he was posted to No. 1 Company NZ MGC.
From the 8th December 1917 to the 17th December Joseph was detached from No. 1 Company and posted to No. 2 Company, returning on the 17th December.
In early 1918, on the 7th February, Joseph was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital suffering from inflammation of the auditory meatus. This illness or injury eventually caused Joseph's discharge from the Army, but in the meantime he was sent back to service, but on the 6th July 1918 he was again admitted to hospital, this time to No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Doullens, and was passed from there to No 1 Australian General Hospital in Rouen. After 10 days, Joseph was discharged to No 2 Convalescence Depot. During his time there Joseph was deprived 3 days pay for overstaying his pass. On the 25th July he was discharged back to Base Depot. His treatment and care at around this time lead to a consideration of whether Joseph was still fit to serve and on the 21st August 1918 his classification was changed to Class Bii and he was sent to the main base at Etaples. Men in Class Bii were deemed fit for overseas labour service, but not for general service. They were deemed able to walk five miles to and from work, and to see and hear sufficiently for ordinary purposes.
On the 23rd October Joseph underwent a Medical Board while at Etaples. He was diagnosed at having chronic otitis media of the left ear. Joseph told the Board that on the 5th July 1918, he was sent from his unit with discharge from his left ear and deafness. He spent a fortnight in No. 1 Australian General Hospital and then in convalescent camp for some months. He was attending an ear specialist nearly two months at No 24 General Hospital, but there had been little improvement. The board found that his right ear was normal, but he had a copious discharge from his left ear which had cleared up to a point. The board recommended that he should be returned to New Zealand.
On the 28th October 1918, Joseph was again reclassified, this time to Class C. Such men were deemed able to serve under service conditions in a garrison at home, and so Joseph was sent back to England. Soon after, on the 30th October 1918, he was taken on the strength of the New Zealand Discharge Depot at Torquay, and after the war ended, on the 19th December 1918, he embarked on Oxfordshire to return to New Zealand.
As mentioned above, Joseph Aloysius Goss returned to New Zealand on board the "Oxfordshire in 1919, and in the New Zealand electoral roll for 1919 gave his address as The Soldiers Club, Auckland and his occupation as 'Returned Soldier'. By 1928 he is listed (twice) as a student at 3 Havelock Street, Auckland, and at Karangahake, Waikato. Joseph married in 1935 to Edith (Jane) Joyce Armstrong, and at the date of the 1935 electoral roll they are living at 54 Great North Road, Auckland W2 and Joseph is a salesman. We do not know what Joseph did during World War 2, but in 1954 he and Edith are listed at 78, Kolmar Road, Papa'toe and he is a land agent. Later, in 1957, he and Edith are again listed at 54 Great North Road.
Joseph Aloysius Goss, of 107, Mountain Road, died on the 24th October 1962 and was cremated on the following day.
Biography last updated 14 May 2021 17:30:04.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 25962
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