QSA (1) SA02 (S.S.M. Instr. J. Coleman, 2nd Regt. 10th N.Z. Cont.);
New Zealand (Permanent Militia) LS&GC (No. 171 1/C Gunner J. Coleman, N.Z.P.M. 1895);
New Zealand LS&GC, V.R. (No. 171 Bombr. Joseph Coleman, No. 1 Service Coy. N.Z.P.M. (1900));
Army MSM GV (Staff Serg. Major J. Coleman, (W.O.) NZ. Perm’t Staff, 1911);
New Zealand MSM GV, 4th issue, robed bust (Staff Serg. Major J. Coleman, (W.O.) N.Z. Perm’t Staff, 1911)
The recipient is known to have been issued with a replacement New Zealand L.S. & G.C. - the above is the original. He is also known to have been issued with a replacement New Zealand M.S.M. - the above is the replacement; the original medal is known to exist. The New Zealand (Permanent Militia) L.S. & G.C. Medal instituted in 1887 and discontinued in 1898 was of the same design as the New Zealand Police L.S.& G.C. Medal; 105 are known to have been issued.
Joseph Trevor Coleman was born at Chester, England on 10 January 1862 and arrived in New Zealand as a young man. His trade prior to enlistment was groom. He enlisted in the Armed Constabulary Field Force on 26 September 1881 and was transferred on 7 October to Opunake, being mobilised to ‘quell the Maori rising at Parihaka, on the West Coast of Taranaki.’ At this time, Parihaka was the centre of a very strong movement of passive resistance against the encroachment of Europeans. It was this movement which caused the Armed Constabulary to be called out to ‘quell the rebellion.’ Although his wife claimed after his death that he possessed the New Zealand War Medal, there is no evidence to support this.
Coleman was transferred to the Waikato District in March 1882 and, in 1886, after the passing of the Defence Act, the Permanent Militia was established and many personnel of the Armed Constabulary transferred to the Artillery Section of the Permanent Militia. This later became No. 1 Service Company of the Permanent Militia and, in 1902, the Royal New Zealand Artillery. Joseph Coleman served for 13 years in the artillery at Fort Takapuna, Auckland as an Artillery and Drill Instructor and was promoted to Bombardier. In 1898 he applied for a transfer to Dunedin and also permission to get married. He was transferred to No. 1 Service Company detachment at Lyttelton on 19 July 1898, three days after his marriage. He was detailed for temporary duty as a Volunteer Drill Instructor at Christchurch and was also employed as a Gunnery Instructor at Fort Jervois during the period of the Lyttelton Naval Volunteers ‘in camp’ training.
Coleman was transferred on 15 May 1900 to the Militia and Volunteer Staff as a Sergeant-Major Instructor, Permanent Staff, and was also an Instructor for the Mounted Corps, particularly the 1st and 2nd Canterbury Mounted Rifles, and assisted with training of personnel for the 3rd and 7th New Zealand Contingents for the South African War. He was also involved in the Royal Visit in 1901.
Coleman was subsequently embarked for South Africa in the S.S. Norfolk in April 1902, and served with the South Island Battalion, 10th New Zealand Contingent. He was attached to the 9th Contingent at Durban in July 1902 for the return journey to New Zealand aboard the S.S. Orient and on arrival in New Zealand he was transferred to Auckland in October 1902.
In late December 1906, Coleman applied for a commission in the Permanent Forces. This was declined as was a similar application in 1908. His subsequent request for promotion to Warrant Officer was successful, however, and he was appointed as such on the New Zealand Permanent Staff on 4 June 1909. He applied again for a commission in 1910 but this was again denied on the grounds that he did not have the attributes of an officer. Supported by a number of very senior officers, the case finally reached the Prime Minister.
Coleman was posted to the 4th Waikato Mounted Rifles at Hamilton and on 12 November 1913 he was finally commissioned as a Lieutenant in the New Zealand Staff Corps, and subsequently promoted Temporary Captain on 19 January 1914, and appointed Adjutant. He was next appointed Group Commander at Hamilton. Coleman was then posted as Commander of Group 20 at Wanganui, where on 29 November 1916 he suffered a stroke. He was retired on superannuation on 3 June 1917 after 25 1/2 years of continuous service and an aggregate of over 29 years total service.
Joseph Trevor Coleman died at Christchurch on 23 April 1919 aged 57 years, leaving a widow and two children. He had married Elizabeth Ann (surname unknown but born at Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia) at Takapuna on 16 July 1898.
He had applied for the award of the New Zealand L.S. & G.C. on 28 December 1899 and was presented with this award on 24 May 1900 at Christchurch; he applied for the award of the M.S.M. in March 1905 and, in the event, received both the New Zealand and Imperial issues. At the same time, he requested that his New Zealand (Permanent Militia) L.S. & G.C. be returned to him - this latter medal had been surrendered by Coleman in 1901 on being awarded the New Zealand L.S. & G.C. as regulations did not permit the wearing of two medals with the same ribbons. This regulation had in the meantime been amended, and the medal was ordered returned to him on 15 May 1905;