BLACKLER, Harold Ernest
(Service number 80037)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 3 October 1897 Place of Birth Hazelburn, South Canterbury

Enlistment Information

Date 26 November 1917 Age 20 years
Address at Enlistment Hazelburn, Pleasant Point
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience 8th South Canterbury Regiment - serving
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin O BLACKLER (father), Hazelburn, Pleasant Point, Canterbury
Religion Church of England
Medical Information

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 43rd Reinforcements, F Company
Date 17 August 1918
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Destination London, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Service Medals British War 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 21 October 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations



Date 22 July 1986 Age 88 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Pleasant Point Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 5, Plot 273
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Harold Ernest Ranfurly Blackler was born on 3 October 1897 at Hazelburn, South Canterbury, the eldest son of Owen and Jessie Agnes (née McCallum) Blackler. Along with his siblings, he was educated at Hazelburn School. There in 1904, in the infants class, he received a prize. In 1905 he was awarded prizes for first in Standard I arithmetic and writing.

He enlisted shortly after his twentieth birthday, doing so on 26 November 1917 at Timaru. He was already serving with the 8th South Canterbury Regiment. In December 1917, his father appealed to the Military Service Board, asking for time to get the harvest in. He was allowed till 26th May. H. E. Blackler was in a large group of men belonging to South Canterbury who left Timaru for camp on Monday, 20 May 1918. A farmer at Hazelburn and single, he named his father as next-of-kin – O. Blackler, Hazelburn, Pleasant Point, Canterbury. “A farewell social was tendered to Private Harold Blackler in the Hazelburn school. Severe climatic conditions kept many from being present, and Private Blackler himself was unfortunately confined to bed through sickness. Mr Garrick, chairman of the Hazelburn Reception Committee, presented to Private Blackler, through his sister, a neat shaving outfit, and in a few brief remarks, wished him good luck and a safe return. Messrs Muir, Coffey, and Blackler, gave vocal items, and Mr Coffey played the music for the dance. The singing of the National Anthem brought a very pleasant evening to a close.” [Timaru Herald, 12 July 1918.]

Private H. E. Blackler embarked with the 43rd Reinforcements, departing for London, England, per the “Ruahine” on 17 August 1918. Private H. E. Blackler returned to New Zealand by the “Hororata” which was due at Wellington on or about 30 September 1919. He actually reached Timaru by the express from Christchurch on the afternoon of 22 September. The soldiers who returned were given a hearty welcome. The Deputy-Mayor “congratulated the men on their achievements, offered them the thanks of the whole community for what they had done, and wished them a speedy return to good health.” He called for cheers from the assembled crowd, and these were given with great heartiness. Discharged on 21 October 1919, he was awarded the British War Medal.

Harold Blackler resumed farming at his Hazelburn home. He married Frances Sophia Roscoe in 1927 at Christchurch. Their children also attended Hazelburn School, moving to Pleasant Point when Hazelburn closed. In December 1942 Harold E. F. Blackler, of Pleasant Point, was called up for service in the Armed Forces from the 41 to 45 age group. Harold Ernest Ranfurly Blackler died on 22 July 1986 at Totara Valley, aged 88 years, and was buried at Pleasant Point Cemetery, his service number inscribed on the headstone. Sophia, who died in 1991 at the age of 95, was cremated at Salisbury Park Crematorium. Harold’s only sister, Alma Cordelia Blackler, served with the New Zealand Voluntary Aid Detachment.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [09 September 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [09 September 2022]; Timaru Herald, 30 December 1904, 19 December 1905, 18 May 1918, 12 July 1918, 28 August 1919, 23 September 1919, 23 December 1942, Temuka Leader, 15 December 1917 (Papers Past) [August 2022; 09, 16 & 19 September 2022]; School information (T. Scott); Pleasant Point Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [09 September 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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