HARPER, Gordon Gerald
(Service number 7/516)

Aliases Gerald Gordon
First Rank Trooper Last Rank Second Lieutenant


Date 15 February 1885 Place of Birth Christchurch

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Sheep Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin George Harper, Hereford St, Christchurch
Religion RC
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 16 October 1914
Transport HMNZT 4, 11 Tahiti or Athenic
Embarked From Lyttleton Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted RIfles

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) Mentioned in Despatches (MiD)

Award Circumstances and Date

Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM): For conspicuous gallantry between the 21st and the 30th August, 1915, at Kaiajik Aghala (Dardanelles), when in charge of machine guns. He invariably displayed great bravery and devotion to duty. L.G. 11 March 1916, p2746. Mentioned in Despatches (MID): in connection with operations described in General I. Hamilton's despatch dated 11 December 1915. L.G. 28 January 1916, p1210.

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 12 August 1916 Age 31
Place of Death Egypt
Cause died of wounds
Memorial or Cemetery Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Memorial Reference M. 133
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Geraldine War Memorial (as GG Harper DCM)

Biographical Notes

Son of George and Agnes Margaret Harper of Christchurch. Phillip Hamilton Harper, Cuthbert Strachey Harper, Robert Paul Harper, Edmund Harper died 1917) George Herbert Harper and Eric Tristram Harper ( died 30 April 1918). On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles'

Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry and left New Zealand with the Main Body New

Zealand Expeditionary Force in October, 1914. He saw much service in Gallipoli with the Machine-gun section of the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry, was wounded during the operations following Suvla Bay landing in August, 1915, and was sent to hospital in England. For his services during these operations he was awarded the D.C.M. and

at about the same time, received his commission as machine-gun officer.

After recovering from his wound he returned to Egypt in December 1915 and saw service in the operations on the Suez Canal up to the time of his death. He died at Cairo on 12 August 1916 from wounds received at the fighting at Romani, Egypt.


Alexander Turnbull Library MS Papers 1444; Letters 1914-15; Diary May-August 1915. The Museum Library has a copy of 'Letters from Gunner 7/516 and Gunner 7/517' by Barbara Harper (Ref. D640) This is an edited edition of the letters written by these two soldiers during World War 1. Powles, C.G. (1922). The New Zealanders in Sinai and Palestine. Auckland, N.Z.: Whitcombe and Tombs. Digitised copy on NZETC site. URL:

External Links

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Researched and Written by

Liz Shea (SC branch NZSG)

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