Joseph BANKS
Known to all as Joe

RFC Service Number: Nil
Flying Hours: Unknown

Date of Birth: 28th of August 1886, at 'Septon', Epsom, Auckland
Personal Details:
Joe was the son of Joseph Banks senior and Susan Banks (nee Buckland). Joseph Senior was a pioneer of the freezing undustry in New Zealand and was Managing Director of the N.Z. Frozen Meat and Storage Co. Ltd., however he died in 1888 when Joe was just a toddler. It was 1895 that Susan and the family moved to Cambridge where she bought " Gwynnelands" Estate, Hamilton Road.

Joe was educated at Cambridge District High School.

In June 1911 Joe formed a partnership with Mr. R. Wallace Hunter as Land and Estate Agents in Cambridge under the business name Hunter & Banks, with their premises being in Empire Street. They were also the appointed agents for selling Yates seeds. The business partnership was dissolved on the 10th of September 1913.

Joe then became a farmer, owning the Waipa Estate at Horahora.

Joe had four brothers - Alfred, Norman, Sefton and Nelson Banks - and four sisters - A. Banks, E. Banks, Mrs Blanch Helen Firth and Mrs T.M. McLaughlin.

Service Details: Joe did not make it into any of the flying services, but he came close, so is included on this website. He was one of the first six pupil pilots to begin flying training at the New Zealand Flying School, run by the Walsh Brothers at Mission Bay, Kohimarama, in Auckland. His course began on the 2nd of October 1915, the intention being to learn to fly before heading to Britain to join either the Royal Flying Corps of the Royal Naval Air Service.

However during the course Joe apparently got "fed up" and "pulled out", according to Edgar Harvie's book George Bolt - A Pioneer. He then understated his age by ten years and joined the New Zealand Cycle Corps on the 15th of November 1915. He went on to serve in Egypt and France, returning due to illness to New Zealand and his home at Horahora, Cambridge in January 1918.

Died: 26th of May 1961, at Hamilton
Buried: Hautapu Cemetery, Cambridge

Connection with Cambridge: Joe lived in Cambridge from the age of about 9 years old through till his death



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