People

George Mitchell’s biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

IntroNew Zealand politician
Was Politician
From South Africa
New Zealand
Type Politics
Gendermale
Birth

1877, Balclutha, Clutha District, Otago Region, New Zealand

Death

1939, Wellington, Wellington Region, New Zealand
(aged 62 years)

Awards
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

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

Military service

Boer War

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.

First World War

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.

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

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
YearsTermElectorateParty
1919–192220thWellington SouthIndependent 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. Mitchell served for one term until the 1922 election, when he was defeated by Labour’s Robert McKeen.

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.

Later life

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.

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.