ESLER, James
(Service number 62946)

First Rank Private Last Rank


Date 25 October 1891 Place of Birth Pleasant Point

Enlistment Information

Date 20 August 1917 Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs J. Esler (wife), Sutherland's
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF)
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 37th Reinforcements, B Company
Date 9 May 1918
Transport HMNZT 103
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination Liverpool, England
Other Units Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
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 17 September 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 14 July 1970 Age
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials Cave War Memorial; Sutherlands War Memorial

Biographical Notes

James Esler married Margaret Fraser at Totara Valley on 29 March 1916. The couple had two children, Margaret Jean, and James Fraser.

James Esler embarked for Europe in May 1918, where he served on the Western front for 1 year and 104 days (of his total service of 290 days).

Great nephew Lloyd Esler recalls:

"James Esler was born at Pleasant Point and attended Pleasant Point School. His early years were spent on the family farm and in the surrounding districts. He married Margaret Fraser at Totara Valley on 29 March 1916 and they took up farming at Cave. Jim saw service with the 1st NZEF in France, his wife running the farm in his absence. On his return they remained on the Cave farm for several years, then sold out and moved to Milton where he operated as an agricultural contractor. In 1928 they moved to Ashburton where he worked for the Ashburton Glass Works until its closure, then for NZ railways. In Timaru in 1935 Jim worked as a gardener for the Timaru Hospital Board while running a small farm at Gleniti. He made many friends and became quite an authority on gardening giving his advice freely to those who asked. Jim had a very lively sense of humour and many a good story to tell thus making him popular with young and old. He died at the age of 78."


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database (10 January 2015); SCRoll web submission from P MacKenzie, 20 January 2015; SCroll web submission from grand-daughter, M Long, 18 April 2015; SCRoll web submission from L Esler, 4 September 2017

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Tony Rippin (South Canterbury Museum)

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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