TELFORD, Robert James
(Service number 55650)

Aliases Enlisted as James Telford; later amended to Robert James.
First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 3 May 1879 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 4 May 1917 Age 38 years
Address at Enlistment Holme Station, Timaru
Occupation Gardener
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Miss Matilda TELFORD (sister), Rangatira Valley, Temuka
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 5½ inches. Weight 165 lbs. Chest measurement 37-38½ inches. Eyes blue. Hair black. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing & colour vision both normal. Limbs well formed. full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Haemorrhoids slight. Vaccinated (left arm). Good bodily &mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Reinforcements G Company
Date 15 August 1917
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Destination Glasgow, Scotland
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
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 28 April 1920 Reason No longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds received in action. Evacuated from a theatre of war.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Farmer; gardener


Date 16 June 1961 Age 82 years
Place of Death Timaru
Notices Timaru Herald, 17 June 1961
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference Services Section, Row 123. Plot 5
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Robert James Telford was the second son of Scottish-born William Telford and his Irish-born wife, Catherine née Gibson, of Rangitira Valley, Temuka. His father died in 1909, and his mother nine months later in 1910. robert James Telford and his older brother William were amongst the earliest enrolments at the Rangitira Valley School, with register numers 007 and 006 respectively. He was initially rejected as medically unfit for the Military Forces. On enlistment James stated that he was born in 1888; it is not apparent whether this was intentional or out of ignorance. He was born on 3 May 1879 at Temuka and enlisted the day after his 38th birthday. He was a gardener at Holme Station for Mr Rhodes. His only surviving sibling, sister Rhoda, was his next-of-kin at death. Robert was later a gardener at "The Croft" residence in Park Lane.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [30 December 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK18805 W5553 0112949) [06 January 2017]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [30 December 2016]Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [03 January 2017]; Timaru Herald, 17 June 1961 (Timaru District Library) [30 December 2016]; Temuka Leader, 9 December 1886, 27 December 1890, 15 June 1893, 2 January 1894, 11 May 1909, 10 February 1910, 7 February 1911, 6 February 1912, 6 February 1913, 5 February 1914, Timaru Herald, 9 May 1916, 18 April 1917, 7 June 1917, 2 October 1917, 8 November 1917, 21 September 1918 (Papers Past) [03 January 2017]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [03 January 2017]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [03 January 2017]

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