George Mitchell (New Zealand politician)

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George Mitchell
DSO
George Mitchell.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Wellington South
In office
17 December 1919 – 7 December 1922
Preceded by Bob Semple
Succeeded by Robert McKeen
Personal details
Born 19 April 1877
Balclutha, New Zealand
Died 16 March 1939(1939-03-16) (aged 61)
Wellington, New Zealand
Resting place Karori Cemetery
Political party Independent Liberal
Military service
Allegiance New Zealand Army
Years of service 1899–1902, 1914-18
Rank British Army (1920-1953) OF-4.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars Boer War
First World War
Awards Ribbon - Distinguished Service Order.png Distinguished Service Order

Lieutenant Colonel George Mitchell DSO (1877–1939) was an Independent Liberal Member of Parliament for Wellington South in New Zealand. He also served with the New Zealand Military Forces in the Boer War and the First World War.

Early life[edit]

George Mitchell was born in Balclutha in 1877.[1] He was a member of the Balclutha Mounted Rifles in 1898.[2]

Military service[edit]

Boer War[edit]

Mitchell served with the 1st and 8th New Zealand Contingents in South Africa 1899–1902. Mitchell was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Transvaal and South Africa 1902 Clasps.[2]

First World War[edit]

Following the outbreak of the First World War, Mitchell volunteered for the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force for service aboard. He was a major in the Southland Regiment and commanding officer of the 3rd Otago Reserve Battalion from 1917–1919, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. Mitchell saw action in Gallipoli and France. He received the DSO in 1918 for distinguished service in the field (France and Flanders). He was awarded the Serbian Order of Karageorge, 4th Class with Swords; 1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal; Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal; and NZ Volunteer Service Medal.[3]

Mitchell was also the officer in charge of conscientious objector Archibald Baxter and responsible for punishing him with Field Punishment No.1.[4]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1919–1922 20th Wellington South Independent Liberal

Mitchell was the sensation of the 1919 election defeating the Labour MP, Bob Semple, who had won the Wellington South electorate in the previous year at a 1918 by-election.[5] Mitchell served for one term until the 1922 election,[6][7] when he was defeated by Labour's Robert McKeen.[8]

After the end of his parliamentary career, Mitchell served on the Wellington City Council for two periods, from 1923 to 1925 and again from 1927 to 1931. He also served on the Wellington Harbour Board from 1921 to 1929 serving as its chair from 1923 to 1925.[9]

Later life[edit]

He was the President of the Returned Soldiers' Association (RSA), an executive member of the War Relief Association and sat on the Wellington College Board of Governors.[10]

Mitchell died 16 March 1939 in Wellington in a private hospital, aged 62. He was survived by his second wife, and five children from his first marriage. He was buried at Karori Cemetery.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Obituary". The Evening Post. CXXVII (64). 17 March 1939. p. 11. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b The New Zealand Roll of Honour, p.751
  3. ^ NZPD, 30 June 1939
  4. ^ Archibald McC L Baxter, H E Holland MP, Armageddon or Calvary, Maoriland Workers Printing and Publishing Company, Brooklyn - Wellington, 1919, pages 75-87
  5. ^ Bassett 1982, p. 25.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 220.
  7. ^ Wood 1996, p. 98.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 215.
  9. ^ Johnson, David (1996). "Members and Officers of the Wellington Harbour Board, Appendix 1". Wellington Harbour. Wellington Maritime Museum Trust. p. 475. ISBN 0958349800. 
  10. ^ The Dominion, 18 March 1939

References[edit]

  • Three Party Politics in New Zealand, 1911-1931 by Michael Bassett (1982, Historical Publications, Auckland)
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
  • Wood, G. Anthony, ed. (1996). Ministers and Members: In the New Zealand Parliament. Dunedin: Otago University Press.