METHVEN, Ronald Henry
(Service number 43480)
|First Rank||Gunner||Last Rank|
|Date||18 December 1896||Place of Birth||Henley, Otago|
|Date||3 January 1917||Age||20 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Raynor Street, Temuka|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||James METHVEN (father), Raynor Street, Temuka|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||New Zealand Field Artillery|
|Date||26 April 1917|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Plymouth, Devon, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||30 August 1919||Reason|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||2 October 1944||Age||47 years|
|Place of Death||Nelson|
|Notices||Nelson Eveing Mal, 2 October 1944|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Block 15, Plot 81|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Ronald Henley Methven was born on 18 December 1896 at Henley, Otago, the only son of James and Martha (née McKegg) Methven. He had two younger sisters. Ronald was educated at several Otago schools – Caversham, Henley, Momona, Taieri Ferry, until the family left the district in 1909. His father James was a school teacher and by 1911 the family was in Timaru. At the Timaru High Schools’ annual prizegiving held in December 1919, Ronald received Form IV prizes for1st in Chemistry, 2nd in English and 2nd in Geography. In 1914 James and Martha were at Pleasant Point, and in 1919 they were at Temuka, Mr Methven being the headmaster there; there too was their son Ronald Henley Methve, also a teacher.
Ronald Henley Methven enlisted at Timaru three weeks after his twentieth birthday, naming his father as next-of-kin – James Methven, Raynor Street, Temuka. Three Temuka soldiers – R. H. Methven one of them - left by the express on 7 February 1917, after being treated to afternoon tea and marching to the station, led by the Temuka Brass Band. Gunner R. H. Methven embarked with the New Zealand Field Artillery, leaving Wellington for Plymouth, England, on 26 April 1917 by the “Turakina”. In August-September 1918 Mr Methven received word that his son, Gunner R. Methven was dangerously ill, from gunshot wounds.
Ronald returned home in January 1919 by Draft 205. A welcome home social was held in the Presbyterian Sunday School in February 1919 for two Bible Class workers, who had returned from active service – Messrs Methven and Iverach. The frequent applause and cheering that followed the speeches showed the spirit of appreciation of those present. It was hoped that a Sunday afternoon would be set aside for the boys to tell some of their experiences at the front. All joined in singing “For they are jolly good fellows.” Both Mr Methven and Mr Iverach thanked their friends for the hearty welcome extended to them.
Mr and Mrs Methven moved back to Timaru where she died in 1929. Ronald married Ethel Mary Peck in 1925. Ronald Henley Methven died on 2 October 1944 at Nelson, aged 47 years, and was buried at Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson. He was survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [25 March 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [25 March 2022]; School Admission records (Dunedin Branch NZSG) [25 March 2022]; Wakapuaka Cemetery burial record & headstone transcription [26 March 2022]; Timaru Herald, 12 December 1912, 8 February 1917, Press, 5 September 1918, Temuka Leader, 20 February 1919, Nelson Evening Mail, 2 October 1944 [x 2], Eevening Post, 3 October 1944 (Papers Past) [22, 25 & 26 March 2022]
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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