ANNALS, Walter
(Service number 7/1942)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Private


Date 2 February 1886 Place of Birth Belfield, Orari

Enlistment Information

Date 28 August 1915 Age 29 years 6 months
Address at Enlistment Pleasant Valley
Occupation Contractor
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin James ANNALS (father), Waiapi, Temuka
Religion Methodist
Medical Information Height 6 feet 1 inch. Weight 140 lbs. Chest measurement 33-36½ inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair dark. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision both good. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No physical defects.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 9th Reinforcements Canterbury Mounted Rifles, C Squadron
Date 8 January 1916
Transport Maunganui
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian; Egyptian Expeditionary Force; Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal (WWI); War Medal 1939-45; N.Z. War Service Medal (WWII).
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 16 June 1919 Reason On the termination of period of engagement.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

25 July 1916 - Reported sick, admitted to 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. Embarked for England & admitted first to No. 2 London General Hospital at Chelsea. 17 August transferred to No. 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst: 1 February 1917 - admitted to Military Hospital, Tidworth, “not yet diagnosed” - not serious case.

Post-war Occupations

Farm labourer; labourer; war pensioner


Date 22 September 1968 Age 82 years
Place of Death Timaru
Notices Timaru Herald, 23 September 1968
Memorial or Cemetery Fairlie Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Walter Annals was the third son of James and Sarah Jane (née Evans) Annals, of Waiapi, Temuka, Timaru, this appearing to be the only family of the surname in New Zealand. James and Sarah had married in 1873 in England and were living in New Zealand by 1875. Walter was born on 2 February 1886 at Belfield, Orari. Walter started at Belfield School, which was probably close to his home, then in 1899 he went to Temuka Primary School. The Belfield School opened in 1884, after a proposed school was mooted in mid 1883, Mr Annals being part of the committed elected for the purpose. He continued to serve on the committee for some years afterwards through the 1880s and 1890s. In March 1897 Mr J. Annals was successful in the ballot for land in the Waiapi Settlement on the Arowhenua estate. As a young man Walter worked as a farm labourer, probably for his father. Walter owned a four-roomed cottage at Belfield as of September 1910, when it was totally destroyed by fire. At the time the cottage was occupied by Mr and Mrs Smith and their four children. The fire was noticed only when the family arrived home, by which time they had lost everything but the clothes they were wearing. It was thought that the house was not insured.

Walter Annals was the first of the four Annals brothers to register, doing so on 28 August 1915, when he was aged 29 years 6 months. By mid September he and 71 other men from the South Canterbury military district had “passed the doctor” and been sworn in for service at the Front. He had volunteered, listing his occupation as self-employed contractor. Consequently, an unreserved sale of his horses and plant was held at the Geraldine saleyards in early October. “The horses are a good lot of useful workers,” read the notification. A week later, at the Temuka Stock Market, 150 sacks oat sheaf chaff were offered for absolute sale on account of Mr Walter Annals. Single and residing at Pleasant Valley, Walter named his father, James Annals, of Waiapi, Temuka, as his next-of-kin. He was a tall man, standing at 6 feet 1 inch. He weighed 140 pounds and had a chest measurement of 33-36½ inches. He was of fair complexion, with blue eyes and dark hair. He was in good physical condition in all respects, free of diseases and defects, had good teeth and was vaccinated. There he was among the South Canterbury men leaving for Trentham on 18 October 1915. A social was held in the Pleasant Valley schoolroom in December, especially in honour of trooper Annals and to make a presentation.

Embarking on 8 January 1916 per the “Maunganui’, was Trooper W. Annals aware that his brother Henry (as William Henry Andrews) was on the same embarkation of the same troopship? Having disembarked at Suez on 12 February, he joined the 2nd Battalion at Moascar, and embarked at Egypt for France on 7 April. He was reported sick on 25 July 1916, and admitted to the 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. He embarked for England and was admitted first to the No. 2 London General Hospital at Chelsea. On 17 August he was transferred to the No. 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst, from where he was taken on strength on 21 October. On 1 February 1917 he was admitted to the Military Hospital, Tidworth, “not yet diagnosed”. Newspaper reports were to the effect that his was a not serious case. The following month he was transferred to Base Depot at Codford. On 12 April 1918 he marched in from Codford and was attached to strength at Sling.

From 6 January 1917, Trooper W. Annals was recorded on the Active Service List printed regularly in the Temuka Leader. Walter returned home by the troopship "Carpentaria" which left London on 2 April 1919 and was due at Lyttelton in mid May 1919. When word was received of the day the Temuka and Geraldine men were due by special train at Temuka, the news was to be posted in the shop windows and the flags hoisted on the day. Private Annals reached Orari by train, with other Geraldine soldiers, on 19 May 1919. He went on to Timaru, after the other Geraldine soldiers had left the train for Geraldine. He actually he detrained at Temuka. There the large gathering cheered them again and again. The ten Temuka men on the Carpentaria draft had come home in almost perfect health. The Mayor thanked them for the noble work they had done and, on his call, three cheers were heartily given.

He was discharged on 16 June 1919, the termination of his period of engagement, having served for nearly four years. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Thirty-three year old farmer, Walter Annals married Martha Morris, on 1 December 1919, in dwelling house of Mrs Annie Morris, Eversley, Fairlie. Post war he engaged in farm labouring work at Washdyke and “Eversley”, Fairlie, Martha’s family home, before moving to Timaru in the mid 1930s following the death of Martha’s mother. Later he was recorded as a war pensioner. Approval for the transfer of Section 11 Puhuka to W. Annals was approved by the Canterbury Land Board in September 1923, Walter transferring this block again in April 1929.

His brothers Henry and Frederick were killed in action in the same battle and on the same date, 15 September 1916, both within the first hour of the Battle of Flers, the Somme. Thus James and Sarah Annals lost two sons on the same date and in the same conflict. All four sons served in World War One. Walter’s brother George also served in World War One, as did his brother-in-law, Robert Guilford, (husband of Ethel Kazia Annals). George Nelson Gale, a nephew of the Annals brothers, son of their oldest sister Mary Harriett Annals and Samuel Gale, died on 15 December 1944, in Italy, while serving in World War II (aged 36 yrs), of Geraldine. Walter’s own son, Roderick Bruce Annals, also served in World War II, as did his nephew William Patrick Guilford. In June 1918, Mr J. Annals, who had by this time lost two sons in the war, donated to the Prisoners of War Fund in the Opihi-Rangitata district. Mr and Mrs Annals died within six weeks of each other in 1933. Walter Annals himself, attested for temporary service in World War II, within New Zealand, and entered camp at Burnham on 10 August 1940. He was then married, 54 years old, and living at 34 Memorial Avenue, Timaru. Early in 1942 he served as camp cook for a time before being admitted to the camp hospital and moved to Burwood Hospital. In 1946 he was assessed as 100% permanent disability and granted Gratuity. Awarded War Medal 1939-45 and the N.Z. War Service Medal.

Walter Annals, 7/1942 1st N.Z.E.F., died on 22 September 1968, at Timaru, aged 82 years. His funeral service was conducted at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Timaru, followed by burial in the Fairlie Cemetery. A war pensioner, he was predeceased by his wife Martha, and survived by two sons and two daughters. None of the family was living locally, the younger son was in England.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [03 August 2013]; N Z Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5520 0008897) [30 November 2014 & 12 July 2015]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [August 2013; 08 September 2013]; NZ Electoral Rolls (; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG transcriptions) [August 2013]; Mackenzie Presbyterian Parish Marriages [18 December 2014]; Temuka Leader, 5 July 1883, 2 February 1884, 23 April 1891, 15 September 1910, 6 January 1917, 6, 17 & 20 May 1919, Timaru Herald, 28 April 1893, 1 April 1897, 14 September 1915, 9, 16 & 18 October 1915, 14 December 1915, 12 February 1917, 24 June 1918, 5, 7, 19 & 20 May 1919, New Zealand Herald, 12 February 1917, Sun, 3 May 1919, Press, 21 May 1919, 24 September 1923, 24 May 1929, 14 April 1934 (Papers Past) [25 April 2014; 09 November 2014; 11 July 2015; 19 December 2018; 26 & 27 May 2019]; Timaru Herald, 23 September 1968 (Timaru District Library) [11 April 2014]; "Robert and Ethel Kezia Guilford" on 150th Anniversary William and Mary Benbow at [August 2013]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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