TEMPLER, Edward Darvall
(Service number 7/434)

First Rank Lance Corporal Last Rank Sergeant


Date 23 January 1893 Place of Birth Geraldine, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date 20 September 1914 Age 21
Address at Enlistment Geraldine, New Zealand
Occupation Shepherd
Previous Military Experience 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Ada Templer (mother), Geraldine, New Zealand
Religion Church of England
Medical Information 6 foot tall, weight 161 lbs (73kg), fair complexion, brown eyes and hair, chest 36 - 39 inches, teeth good

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron, Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 16 October 1914
Transport HMNZT11 Athenic
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With 3 Brigade, NZ Field Artillery,11 Battery
Last Unit Served With 3 Brigade, NZ Field Artillery, 11 Battery

Military Awards

Campaigns Egypt, Balkans (Gallipoli), Western Europe
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Gallipoli Badge & Medallion
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 23 January 1919 Reason At end of period of engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

11 September 1915 - sick hospital Cairo ex Dardanelles; 23 September - trabnsferred to Alexandria; 18 October 1915 - discharged back to Dardanelles.

Post-war Occupations



Date 28 February 1982 Age 89
Place of Death Timaru, New Zealand
Notices Internal Affairs Notification of death 18 March 1982
Memorial or Cemetery St Anne's Pleasant Valley, Geraldine
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Edward was born at Geraldine on 23 January 1893, the youngest son of Edward Horace (1851-1916) and Ada (1859-1944, nee Hindmarsh) Templer. His father was born at Orange, NSW, Australia, and had started his working life with the Bank of New South wales at Orange. He later transferred with the bank to Christchurch. Due to health reasons he resigned, and took up farming. He did so first at Burnham, where he was in 1881, and then soon after at ‘Nairambla’, his farm at Geraldine, where he died on 11 October 1916. Edward’s mother Ada was born in Sydney, Australia and married Edward in Canterbury on 14 June 1882. She is also buried in the Geraldine Cemetery. Her parents, William Henry Scott (1835-1919) and Mary Frances (1835-1915 nee Dodds) Hindmarsh, had come out to New Zealand where her father was a share broker on the West Coast. Both her parents are buried at Reefton. In 1907, at the age of 14, young Edward was attending the Geraldine High School and possibly received his primary education at Orari Bridge and/or Woodbury Schools.

On 20 September 1914 Edward enlisted for war service, and was posted to the 8th (South Canterbury) Squadron of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles. Prior to enlisting he had had previous military service with the 8th Mounted Rifles, a local territorial unit. He was described as being Anglican, single, 6 foot tall, weighing 161 pounds (73 kg), of fair complexion with brown eyes and hair, his chest measuring 36 to 39 inches and his teeth were good. He was working as a shepherd for his father and named him as his next of kin, but this was later changed this to his mother after his father died in 1916. On 23 September 1914, the Athenic (HMNZT11) was in Lyttelton and took on board the following units of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force: Headquarters, Mounted Rifles Brigade, the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment (2 squadrons), and the Canterbury Infantry Battalion (less 1 Company). She then proceeded to Wellington and berthed there till 16 October 1914, when it was judged safe to depart. Along with the rest of the expeditionary fleet, she sailed across the globe by way of Hobart, Albany, Colombo, Aden and finally arriving in Alexandria to disembark the soldiers on 3 December 1914. SS Athenic was the largest troopship ever sent from New Zealand transporting New Zealand forces to the Middle East.

In April 1915, the bulk of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles (NZMR) were tasked to remain training in Egypt and to defend the Suez Canal against the Ottoman Turks. In May though, it had been decided they would be sent to reinforce the ANZAC Corps on Gallipoli. On the 12 May 1915 the Canterbury Mounted Rifles (CMR) landed a force of 25 officers and 451 men ashore at ANZAC Cove under small arms fire from the heights, but were fortunate in only one man being wounded. Here they served as infantry and were thrown into the desperate struggle to capture the heights on the Gallipoli Peninsula. In the next four months they suffered more than half of all their casualties in the war and took an active role in most of the major attacks involving the New Zealand forces. On the 15th of December the CMR began to embark as part of the general evacuation at Suvla Bay and ANZAC Cove, and were transported to Lemnos. During the night of the 20th the final CMR party left ANZAC Cove for Lemnos. By now the effective strength of the regiment was down to 354 men. On the 22nd December the CMR embarked on HMT Hororata, and left Lemnos for Egypt, where they travelled by train from Alexandra to Zeitoun Camp, near Cairo. Here they recovered and began preparing for their next campaign. Duringthis time Edward, like many had suffered illness. On 11 September 1915 he had been admitted sick to hospital at Cairo, then transferred to Alexandra on 23 September where he stayed until discharge to Mustapha on 7 October. On 18 October returned to the Dardanelles via Mudros, and was attached to the Advance Base on 23 November. Shortly after the CMR were evacuated back to Egypt, Edwatd was detatched to Alexandra on 14 January 1916 as a “Baggage Guard”.

On 10 March Edward transferred to 3 Brigade, NZ Field Artillery, 11 Battery. He embarked with his new unit to France on 7 April 1916. This unit was to see action in the Somme and many other major battles throughout the remainder of the war. During this time Edward received a field promotion, on 1 November 1916, to acting Bombardier, and then went on to further field promotion to Temporary Sergeant on 13 January 1917 (confirmed on 1 November 1917). During his time in France he is only recorded as having had two periods of leave: 23 August – 8 September 1917 in the UK, and 18 – 27 December 1917 in Paris. A short break at the School of Instructors followed from 3 February to 9 March 1918. It was decided on 22 August that he was to be evacuated back to New Zealand and he finally left Plymouth, England aboard the SS Ayrshire on 6 November, arriving home on 26 December 1918. He was discharged from the army on 23 January 1919, having completed a total of 4 years and 126 days service. He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. In July 1967 he was also awarded the Gallipoli Badge and Medallion.

Edward returned to Geraldine on his discharge from the army. In March 1926, became engaged to Miss Rose Agnes Withers (1895-1952), the eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs P.G. Withers of Geraldine. Edward and Rose married in 1927, and from 1928 to 1938, they are recorded as farming at ‘Mataipuki’, Geraldine, and later at ‘Limpsfield’, Geraldine. In 1968 Edward was living at Speechley’s Bridge, Geraldine, retired, 1972, at 42 Cox Street, Geraldine, farmer, and 1981, at Shaw Street, Geraldine, retired. He died in Timaru on 28 February 1982 at the age of 89, and is buried with his wife Rose at St Anne’s’ Anglican Church, Pleasant Valley, Geraldine.

Two of Edward’s brother also served during the First World War. 570 Francis Darvall Templer enlisted at Lismore, NSW, Australia, on 25 August 1914, and served with the Australian 2nd Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron. He unfortunately died of wounds at Gallipoli, aged 24, and is commemorated on Panel 2, Lone Pine Memorial, Line Pine Cemetery, ANZAC, Turkey, having no known grave. 6/3488 John Campbell Templer also served in Egypt and Western Europe with the Canterbury Infantry Brigade and the NZ Field Artillery.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [November 2016]; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at; Temuka Leader 17 december 1918 courtesy of Papers Past at [November 2016]; Assorted records at [November 2016]; Timaru District Council cemetery records at [November 2016]; "The Templer Family from Somerset, Devon & Dorse" at [November 2016] - specifically pages on Edward Templer at and Templer family at; "Surname: Templer" on Tribal Pages at [November 2016]; "Darvall" [Family history] at [November 2016]; "The Templer Family from Somerset, Devon and Dorset" [Photo gallery] at [November 2016]; "Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment timeline" on NZ History at [November 2016].

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Researched and Written by

David Batchelor; Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG

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