According to his History-Sheet, his occupation was Farm Labourer and his last employer was Robert Clearwater; his last address was given as Mataura; his religion was Presbyterian, and his birth-date was recorded as 19 March 1895. His next of kin was listed as Mrs Alice Clearwater, his Mother, of Terrace View, Mataura, Southland.
On his Attestation Form, dated 13 October, 1915 at Trentham, he gave his birth-place as Portobello. He also says he had passed the 4th Educational Satndard, and was not married. He also said he was a member of G Company, 14th Regiment, presumably a Terttitorial unit.
His physical description said he was 20 years 3 months old; 5 foot 4 7/8 inches (165cm); 10 St 8lbs (67.13Kg); his chest measured 33 1/2 to 36 inches (91.4 cm); his complexion & hair colour wer 'Fair', while his eye-colour was Blue.
As a result of his medical examination, he was classed 'Fit'.
John Thomas's service number was 25/607. Beginning on 13 October 1915, he served 147 days in NZ, 3 years 103 days overseas, for a total of 3 years and 250 days. He served in the Egyptian E.F in 1916, and Western Europe through 1916-18. He was finally discharged on 16 June 1919.
- He was posted to the NZ Rifle Brigade on 11 October 1915, with the rank of Rifleman
- On 15 March 1916 he disembarked from the Mokoia at Suez
- On 7 April 1916 he embarked for France at Alexandria
- 20 June 1916 he was admitted to Hospital
- 30 June 1916 he was discharged to Etaples
- 1 October 1916 he was wounded
- on 14 October 1916 he was admitted to No. 2 General Hospital, Rouen
- On 17 October 1916 he joined the 3rd Battalion, 3rd NZ Rifle Brigade
- On 18 October 1916 he was detached to Hospital, sick
- 29 October 1916 he marched in to Base Camp, Etaples
- 5 November 1916 Rejoined his Unit
- On 15 December 1916 he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion, Otago Regiment and posted to the 14th Company with the rank of Private
- On January 1 1917 he was appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid)
- On 2 April 1917 he was admitted to No. 7 General Hospital (sick)
- Rejoined his Battalion on 20 April 1917
- On 26 April 1917 he was promoted Lance-Corporal
- On 5 June 1917 he was detached to the Reinforcement Camp
- On 19 June 1917 he rejoined the Battalion from the NZ Divisional Reinforcement Camp as a Corporal
- On 20 June 1917 he was appointed Lance Sergeant and rejoined his Unit
- On 31 October 1917 he was appointed Sergeant
- On 9 March 1918 he was nominated to be trained in Officers Cadet unit for a Commission
- On 16 March 1918 he was Detached to England for Officer Training
- Left France for England on 18 March 1918
- From 5 April 1918 he was part of an Officers Training Course
- He completed the course at Cadet Scholl and was posted to 4th NZ Infantry Reserve Brigade for further training on 10 October 1918
- Marched in from Headquarters, London on 13 October 1918
- On 13 November 1918, having completed the course, he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant supernumary to Establishment and posted to the Otago Regiment
- On 3 April 1919 he embarked for NZ on HMS Carpentaria for Demobilization
- On 16 June 1919 he was Discharged and struck off the strength of the NZ Expeditionary Force
- After his return to NZ he was placed on the Retired List, effective from 18 July, 1921.
He was awarded the British War Medal 1914-19 and the Victory Medal.