(Service number 21820)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 30 December 1882 Place of Birth Geraldine

Enlistment Information

Date 3 May 1916 Age 33 yrs 3 mths
Address at Enlistment Temuka, Canterbury
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married. Married Jean Helen LOVE on 17 April 1916 at the Post office, Dunedin. A son, Edwin GUILFORD was born on 23 October 1916 in Invercargill (died 1976).
Next of Kin Mrs J. GUILFORD (wife), care of H. Ferguson, 84 Sherborne Street, Saint Albans, Christchurch
Religion Methodist
Medical Information Height 5 feet 9 inches. Weight 180 lbs. Chest measurement 36-39 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair fair. Eyes both 5/5. Hearing good. Colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. teeth good. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids. Some skin disease on back. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits.

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 7th Reinforcements 3rd Battalion, G Company
Date 21 August 1916
Transport Mokoia
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Somme
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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 27 March 1918 Age 36 yrs
Place of Death Somme, France (in the Field)
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Auchonvillers Military Cemetery, Somme, France
Memorial Reference II. L. 33.
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Temuka RSA Roll of Honour; Temuka War Memorial   

Biographical Notes

Walter GUILFORD was a son of William GUILFORD and Annie (nee BENBOW), of Geraldine. He was educated at Pleasant Valley School. He was the husband of Jean Helen nee LOVE, of Ophir, Central Otago. Their son Edwin was born after Walter had embarked. When Walter enlisted he was farming his own land at Temuka. In April 1916 the National Mortgage and Agency Co. held a clearing sale on his account. It would appear that the farm could not be maintained in his absence. Walter was one of 15 recruits who were farewelled at a standing room only gathering at the Temuka Drill Shed in early May 1916. They were commended for their patriotism and fine spirit, and were wished a safe return after victory. He was admitted to Wairarapa Hospital on 2 June 1916 suffering from influenza. Walter left Timaru by the express for Trentham on 3 May 1916, after being entertained in the Stafford Tea Rooms by the Timaru Ladies Patriotic committee, then falling in and being addressed at the Drill Shed, sadly not to return. Walter had not long rejoined his battalion after leave in UK when he was killed in action at the Somme. Walter's brother, Cecil, died of wounds just over five weeks later. When Walter's medals, plaque and scroll (1921) were sent to his widow, she was living back in her hometown of Ophir. Walter's name is inscribed on the Winchester War Memorial which was unveiled in a touching ceremony on 23 May 1920. The proceedings opened with the Lord's Prayer, followed by the singing of the hymn "Lead Kindly Light" and the laying of wreathes by the school children as the names were read. Several tributes were paid to these brave men who had given their lives in order that others might live in peace. In July 1920 at the largest gathering ever seen in the Victoria Hall, Winchester, when district soldiers were welcomed home and presented with medals, those who had made the supreme sacrifice were remembered by the presentation of certificates to their next-of-kin - Walter was one of these men. His wife Jeannie died on 17 June 1939 in Auckland, survived by their only child, Eddie.


Cenotaph Database [17 September 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0048370) [17 September 2013]; CWGC [17 September 2013]; Timaru Herald, 29 March 1916, 17 April 1916, 2 May 1916, 5 May 1916, 19 April 1918, 1 June 1918, 27 March 1919, 24 May 1920, 19 July 1920, New Zealand Herald, 19 June 1939 (Papers Past) [24 November 2013; 06 May 2014; 13 July 2014]; SCRoll web submission by W Griffin, 4 December 2015

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