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Remembered Today:

Rev. C. Tobin

Wayne Saillard

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Any information - and especially a photograph - of this chaplain who was based on Malta between early 1915 and at least late 1916 would be really appreciated.

Thanks & regards


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Hi Wayne,

Have you got a regimental number for this chap. He does not appear in the nominal rolls or in the archway (NZ records) system. A regimental number will deffinitely help.

Are you sure he was NZEF?



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Do you perhaps mean C E O'H Tobin C of E - He was at the British Hopsitals in Malta. 1 Bn Canterbury Regt / 2 NZ General Hospital?

Source: Nominal Roll NZ Chaplains of the (1st) NZDF 1914 - 18

Zack :unsure:

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Sorry for the error. There was another chaplain on Malta at the time by the name of Rev. M. TOBIAS. In my haste, I substituted one for the other.

The chaplain I am looking for is indeed a Rev. C. TOBIN. Are you able to help with information and a photo ?

Thanks & regards


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Surname TOBIN

Given Name Charles Edward O'Hara

Category Nominal Roll Vol. 1

Regimental Number 18/4

Rank Chapl-Capt

Body or Draft Second

Unit or Regiment Chaplain Corps

Marital Status S

Last NZ Address The Vicarage Wellington

Next of Kin Title Mrs Laura

Next of Kin Surname TOBIN

Next of Kin Address Nevis Eleventh Avenue Tauranga


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WOW - So its changed to Tobin,

Well guess what!, I believe you are looking at a relative of mine (I am Grant Tobin). I have been researching my family tree and I believe this chap to be possibly related to my great grandfather William Gregory Tobin.

You may know already, but Capt Tobin died in 1921


Interested in any details you may have!


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I am afraid that I have no information at my end - hence my appeal for help on the Forum. Thanks to your link, I now know where he is buried. I hope he is related to you - as the results of this thread might just be of benefit to you as well.


Do you have a date and location of enlistment for him ?

Are any of the NZ Forum members in the vicinity of Masterton Cemetery ? If so, could they please kindly take a photograph of his grave (Plot 2782) on my behalf ? I am also eager to get a photograph of the man himself if at all possible.

Thanks & regards


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I have a few BWM's to NZ chaplains and there was a TONNE of information on the web about them. I haven't found anything about Rev Tobin though.

It would make sense that he would be practicing in the Masterton area, perhaps parish records?, parish magazine???

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TOBIN, Charles Edward O'Hara

born 14 Apr 1879 New Plymouth New Zealand

died 20 Mar 1921 aged 41 Masterton hospital buried Masterton cemetery

brother to Laura born c1880

brother to Frederica Mary Cecil born c1882

brother to Constance Harriet Georgina born c1887

eldest son of William Henry John TOBIN

died 06 Apr 1914 Exmouth Devon of Tauranga Bay of Plenty

(1881) teacher Ratanui electorate Taranaki

schoolmaster of Waiouiatatini Port Awanui Turanga (later Gisborne)

married 1878 New Zealand

and Laura BROWN;

married c1919 England,

Sarah perhaps died 13 May 1952 buried 15 May 1952 Masterton cemetery (6;266;328)


privately and Auckland University College

E4 teaching certificate

1907-1908 College of S John Evangelist Auckland

1909 grade IV Board Theological Studies

17 Jan 1909 deacon Wellington

18 Dec 1910 Melanesia in Auckland for Wellington (328;308)


c1896 probationer teacher Epsom public school

1899-1902- teacher in charge Taupo public school (266)

17 Jan 1909 assistant (to JOHNSON AM) curate S Mark city and diocese Wellington

16 Oct 1911 vicar Pongaroa

1914 chaplain with New Zealand forces (Gallipoli and Egypt; hospitals Malta; France) World War 1: nominal roll volume 1 18/4 chaplain-captain, second draft, chaplain corps, single, of the vicarage Wellington, next of kin his mother Mrs Laura TOBIN, Nevis Eleventh Avenue Tauranga (354)

Feb 1919 appointed, 25 Sep 1919 licensed principal and chaplain Hikurangi Maori College near Carterton (308)

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The 2nd reinforcements were made up of 1754 ranks, the ships were.

Transport number 13 The Verdila

Transport number 14 The Willochra

transport number 15 The Knight of garter.

They left new Zealand on the 14th of December 1914 and arived Suez, 28th Januray 1915.

Rev Tobin was on board one of these three ships.

regards Aaron.

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I'd like to thank you for the info also!!. I've made some family connections!!.

Can I just add that if anyone has Rev Tobin's medals I would very much like to purchase them!!


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I’ve examined Charles Tobin’s two military files at archives – both are difficult to read and the second file is somewhat fragmentary. Although I’ve tried to replicate the file as accurately as possible some of the documents I can’t read hence the ?. Spelling and use of abbreviations is as shown on the files.

There are 19 documents (A to S). The order of the document below is in the order of the files. I've split the files.

An overview of this man is that he was born on 14th April 1879 in New Plymouth and had previous military service with the Hokianga Mounted Rifle Volunteers (for 3 years until he left district). He was keen to go with the Main Body that left in Oct 1914 but he was ruled medically unfit because he suffered from severe varicose veins in both legs. He had an operation to correct this condition and ended up serving in Malta (12/6/15), France and in England. He was brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable Services rendered in connection with the war. He married Mary Edith Walsh in Lancaster on 23 January 1918. He died at Masterton on 20 March 1921 and was buried in the Masterton Cemetery in plot No 2782. The funeral took place on the 22nd March 1921. The rest of the NZ pals have provided you with the rest of his story.

I hope this helps you some more.

FILE ONE (small i.e. contained the history sheet with attachments)


Agency AABK

Series 18805

Accession W5557

Box / item 4

Record 0114873

A History Sheet

Att 1st Batt CIR

Chaplain 3rd class

Surname: Tobin

Christian Name: Charles Edward O’Hara 18/4

Occupation: Clerk in Holy Orders

Last employer: Anglican Diocese of Wellington

Religion: Anglican

Last NZ Address: The Vicarage Wellington (“Nevis Collage Tauranga” crossed out)

Next of kin: Mrs Laura Tobin, Nevis 11th Avenue Tauranga

Also recorded as next of kin: Mrs M O’Hara Tobin (widow) c/o Mrs Walsh 45 Turret Road Wallasey Cheshire Eng

Period of service

In NZ – years 73 days

Overseas 4 years: 169 days

Total service: 4 years 241 days

Date commenced duty: 28.10.14

Date finally discharged: 25.6.19

Theatres of Operation

Egyptian 1914 – 1915

Western Europe 1914 – 1917

The following table recorded in the following order: Country or Troopship; Date from; Date to:

New Zealand; 28.10.14; 18.9.15

Foreign; 18.9.15; 27.5.19

Ret Rimutaka; 28.5.19; -

New Zealand; 29.5.19; 25.6.19 (Final discharge)

Died at Masterton 20/3/21 was buried in the Masterton Cemetery in plot No 2782. The funeral took place on the 22nd March 1921.

Injuries in or by the Service “SOS of NZEF 25 June 1919 (confirmed G Gazette 10.7.19)”

Medals to Mrs K Tobin (w) c/o Walsh 45 Turret Road Wallasey Cheshire England. Cert to widow 16.12.22

Statement of service

The following table recorded in the following order: Promotions, Reductions, Casualties &c; Rank; Date:

SOS of NZEF with effect from 25.6.19 and has been absorbed into the NZ Cap Dept as Chaplain; 4th class; 17.6.19

Disch in NZ is SOS of NZEF; Rev; 25.6.19 (Authority for entry: List 99 A & P para 45 Ldn 309.19.)

The following table recorded in the following order: Regiment or Corps, Description, Rank; Date:

Chaplains; – ;Chaplain; 28.10.14

2nd Bde Trg Btn; Rep posted to str btn att to Hdqrs; Capt chap; 6.9.16

Captain; Arrived at H quarters; Captain; 24.9.16

1st Batt Canty Regt; Posted to 1st NZ Inf B and attached to; Chaplain; 24.9.16

NZ Chap Dept; Struck off strength of unit in England on duty; Chaplain; 14.9.17

Chap department; at No 2 NZGH W on Thames; 4th class; 3.12.17

1st Btn CIR; Detac to Eng on duty; 4th class; 13.9.17

Hdrs; Taken on strength from NZCD from France; 4th class; 8.11.17

-; On G stght No 2 NZGH Walton on T as Chaplain; 22.7.18

NZ Chaplain’s Dept; Having compl 4 yrs serv in the EF in the rank of C 4th class to be CF 3rd class from 21.11.18; Rev; 21.11.18

Ret to NZ Rimutaka as Chaplain

Special instances of gallant or meritorious conduct: Brought to the notice of the Secty of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the war and published in the Press by the War Office NZEF 086 Lnd 15.4.19

File 2 next.


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FILE NO 2 (larger file)


Agency AABK

Series 18805

Accession W5568

Box / item 76

Record 0136620

B Death notice

TOBIN On March 20, 1921 (after three days’ illness) Reverend Charles Edward O’Hara Tobin, Principal of Hikurangi College at Clareville; aged 42 years. Funeral tomorrow (Tuesday) March 22, at 1.30 pm in St Matthew’s Church, Masterton. Friends please accept this intimation. No flowers.”

Source The Dominion 21 March 1921

C Extract From New Zealand Gazette No 83, 10th July 1919

Chaplain to the Forces 4th class The Reverend Charles Edward O’Hara Tobin. Dated 25th June 1919.

D New Zealand Expeditionary Force (PINK FORM)

Notice of Striking off strength

Reg No 13/4A Rank Rev Surname Tobin Christian name C E O’H

You are hereby notified that you will be struck off the strength of the NZEF with effect from 25th June 1919

A J CROSS Captain

Director of Organisation

Date of Issue 28/5/19

E Form of Leave Notification for Officers (BR Form 195)

Name Tobin C E O’H

Rank Rev


Address Nevis Tauranga

You are granted privilege leave for a period of 28 days after disembarkation from HMNZ Transport RIMUTAKA. You will report for instructions according to the directions hereunder, and will at the same time communicate your address. You will also inform Base Records of your address.

Signed ? A Harper per ?

For Director of Base Records

F Extract from Communique

War Office

27th March 1919

The names of the undermentioned have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable Services rendered in connection with the war. And when applicable an entry will be made in the Records of Service of Officers and other Ranks.

Tobin, Rev C E O’H C to P 4th Class NZ Chaplains Dept

G Extract From New Zealand Gazette No 83, 10th December 1914

New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2nd Reinforcement)

Department of Defence

Wellington 8th December 1914

His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to approve of the following appointment of officers to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2nd Reinforcement) with the ranks set against their respective names, and in cases in which an officer holds in his permanent unit of the Territorial Force a rank different from the rank here set against his name, to approve that he shall hold such latter rank temporarily during the period of his employment with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, and with effect from 21st November 1914:

New Zealand Chaplains

Reverend Charles Edward O’Hara Tobin


FROM Officer Commanding NZ Base

TO Minister of Defence Wgtn

DATE Alexandria, 30th October 1915

Hon J Allen

Minister of Defence


“Lieutenant Colonel Esson, Imtarfa Military Hospital, Malta Red Cross arrangements for sick and wounded excellent. Full stop. Present programme of a similar kind to ours in Egypt. Stop. Have assured that positively no change contemplated. Subsidy more than justified. Full stop. Strongly recommend Tobin New Zealand Representative. Could not get better man.”

Message ends

(Sgd) Officer Commanding

New Zealand Base




I Extract From New Zealand Gazette No 83, 12th November 1914

Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations of Officers of the Territorial Force

Department of Defence

Wellington 7th November 1914

His Excellency the Governor has been please to approve of the appointments, promotions, transfers, and resignations of the undermentioned officers of the Territorial Force:

New Zealand Chaplains Department

Reverend Charles Edward O’Hara Tobin. Dated 17th September 1914.



Regiment or Corps NZ Chaplain’s Department

Charles Edward O’Hara Tobin DOB 14th April 1879

Occupation Clerk in Holy Orders

Rank recommended Chaplain Fourth Class

Dated 17 September 1914

K Telegram stamped 20 Oct 1914 from Tobin to Defence Office Wellington

“Can you tell me when I am to report for Trentham.

Rev Charles Tobin”

L Telegram Replay to Rev Charles Tobin dated 21 10 14

Appointments not yet made you will be advised if selected

Adjutant General

M Letter of support dated 19 10 14 (writing dreadful) (Same person had also written a letter in support on 11 8 14)



19 10 14

The Adjutant General


Dear Sir

With regard to Anglican Chaplains which may be required for the auxiliary Expeditionary Force the Rev Charles Tobin who tells? me of the ? to volunteer his service was I believe promised a place in the second force by Colonel Chaytor. Rev Tobin is one of the clergy of this diocese and in my judgement is eminently fitted to act as Chaplain to the Anglican members of the force. I hope it will be possible not to disappoint his strong desire to serve.

Believe me

Very faithfully yours

P H Wallinghis?

PS Should more than Rev McKenzie Canterbury a good man

NOTE Tobin also applied to get into the first reinforcements. He was advised by E W C Chaytor via telegram on 16 9 14 that “All appointments with Expeditionary Force now filled. Application will be considered for first reinforcements leaving six weeks if you desire.”

N Letter to Colonel Chaytor from Nevis Tauranga 24 Aug 1914

Dear Sir

I telegraphed on the first opportunity the fact that I had failed to pass the medical examination required by the authorities in Auckland, and am very sorry not to have known the requirements earlier, as I could have been ready by the 27th.

The medical officer, Dr Parkes, gave me a very good pass all through except in a single particular which he told me could be remedied by a simple operation, which operation I am undergoing. He told me that in three weeks’ time I should be perfectly fit, so I trust that I may have an opportunity of going with a later contingent.

I am very sorry to have perhaps been unwittingly a cause of embarrassment to you, and must thank you for the trouble you have taken.

I remain

Yours faithfully

Chas E O’Hara Tobin

O Telegram dated 24 Aug 1914 from E W C CHAYTOR

Reference your G S 407 Rev Tobin advises medically unfit accompany main body ask bishop of Auckland to recommend substitute and mention that the Rev Clarkson has volunteered wire name of substitute

P Telegram dated 23 Aug 1914 from Col Major

G S 407 Reverend Clarkson has been doing duty in Camp at request of Bishop Averill and is very popular with all ranks strongly urge that he be appointed Chaplain with the expeditionary force Stop. No Auckland Church of England man has been appointed

Q Attestation

Born New Plymouth

DOB 14th April 1879

Previous military service Hokianga Mounted Rifle Volunteers 3 years Left district

Description of Charles Edward O’Hara Tobin on enlistment

Apparent age: 35 years 4 months

Height: 5 feet 10 inches

Weight: 13 st 2 ½ lbs

Chest: Min 37 Max 41

Complexion: Fair

Colour of eyes: Grey blue

Colour of hair: Brown

Religion: Anglican

Medical examination


Unfit on account of severe varicose veins. Oct 20 1914. Has since been operated upon for varicose veins and can therefore be returned as fit for service in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Signed C E R Bucknell Capt NZMC

Distinctive marks and marks indicating congenital peculiarities or previous disease

One operation scar on right thigh for medical cure of varicose veins and also one of the left thigh and on left calf of leg.

All other medical issues described as “normal.”

R Extract from Marriage Certificate

Wife’s maiden name Mary Edith Walsh

Date of marriage Lancaster 23/1/1918

Place of marriage Lancaster

S Miscellaneous dates

16.6.15 On detachment at Malta 12/6/15

France 24.9.16

8.11.17 to Walton


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Hello Zack,

Please accept my infinate thanks for all the time and trouble you have gone to on my behalf. It is really appreciated.

Fingers crossed, someone might be able to help with photographs of the Rev. TOBIN and his grave.

Thanks & regards


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  • 1 month later...


Some more good news for re this man. At last I’ve located an identified photo of him on page 16 of The History of the Canterbury Regiment NZEF 1914-1919 by Captain David Ferguson MC, printed by Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd 1921. The photo is titled: "Officers of the 1st BN Canterbury Regiment NZEF France, April 22nd 1917". Tobin is sitting front row, second from the left, and is referred to as “Rev C O H Tobin (CF)”. Your library should have a reference copy of this book. Failing that the Naval and Military Press have reprinted it although the photo in their edition is not that great.

Now the only issue is how to get a photo of this photo!!


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This is fantastic news ! However, the libraries on Malta do not usually purchase these types of books. As a result, I am going to have to rely on external help.

Thanks & regards


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Many thanks for the link. I have sent an email and look forward to her reply.



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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest william.tobin

Dear Wayne, cc others who have responded

I am Charles E. O'Hara Tobin's grandson, and if you explain what your interest is in my grandfather, I can perhaps help you with your enquiries. Thanks especially to Zack, who's uncovered all sorts of interesting material in the army records. My father (Charles' only child) died 3 months ago, and I now have an amount of my grandfather's papers in my keeping, but they need sorting out, which will take quite some time. I should say that my grandparents met in Malta, he being with the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces, and she with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service.

I shall be away for ten days, and then will be busy with income tax forms (huh!), but in the meantime I've put a picture of my grandfather, and a photo of his tombstone on line at http://perso.orange.fr/tobin/

Yours sincerely,

William Tobin

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That's wonderful news!

Wayne will be delighted - as I am! It's great to put a face to a name because the only photo of your grandfather we have to date is the regiment group photo and we still await a scanned copy of this from someone in New Zealand. You can obtain an actual copy of your grandfather's military file from National Archives, Wellington, New Zealand. I've included the source reference in my summary on this thread. Great to know the romantic link to Malta.

Thank you!


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