John Cozens, known as Ted to the family, was born 10 September 1888, at Dovedale, the son of Daniel Cozens and Winifred Win. Daniel Cozens was a Flemish seaman who had jumped ship in Wellington and made his way south eventually ending up in Dovedale, in the mid 1870’s where he worked for the Win family. He married Winifred in March 1880 and purchased 530 acres of bush at what became known as Cozen’s Valley. He died accidentally in 1900 and Winifred later married Jessie Parkinson. Daniel and Winifred had six children: [John] Edward, Wilfred, Olive, Noble, Mac and Roy.
Ted enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 17 August. He stated that he was a farmer working at Murchison for Kennear Davis. He had prior military experience in the Territorial Force with The Motueka Mounted Rifles. However he served as a private, army serial no. 6/760, with the 12th (Nelson) Company, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, not as a mounted trooper and embarked 16 October with the Main Body.
He served in the Egyptian (1914-1916), the Balkan (1915) and the Western European theatres of war.
He embarked for the Dardenelles in April and was at the opening of the Gallipoli campaign. He suffered from exposure in June, was hospitalized in late August and convalesced during September. He rejoined his unit in October but was wounded shortly after in November, by shrapnel to his left leg. He was hospitalized in Alexandria on 21 November.
Fit again he rejoined his unit at Ismailia, Egypt on 18 January and embarked for France from Port Said. At Rouen he was hospitalized in May. By September he had rejoined his unit but the next year he was again hospitalized in July 1917.
He was hospitalised again, this time for rheumatism. The Medical Board considered his case in December 1917 and recommended he be discharged to NZ for six months convalescence owing to myalgia from his exposure at Gallipoli.
From 18 May until 9 December he was excused from military duties.
He embarked for home aboard the Arawa and arrived in New Zealand on 7 March. His final discharge was on 11 December 1918.