HARPER, Robert Paul
(Service number 7/517)

Aliases Also known as Robin
First Rank Trooper Last Rank Lieutenant Colonel


Date 15 May 1887 Place of Birth Papanui, Christchurch

Enlistment Information

Date 25 August 1914 Age 27 years
Address at Enlistment (1) Gloucester Street, Christchurch; (2) Tui Hills, Geraldine
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single, then married.
Next of Kin (1) George HARPER (father), Hereford Street, Christchurch; (WW2) Mrs B. O. HARPER (wife), 175 Peterborough Street, Christchurch
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Mounted Rifles
Date 16 October 1914
Transport Tahiti or Athenic
Embarked From Wellington Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted Rifles - New Zealand Machine Gun Corps

Military Awards

Service Medals 1913-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal; WWII medals
Military Awards Distinguished Conduct Medal; Military cross; ; Distinguished Service Order

Award Circumstances and Date

London Gazette, 14 January 1916, 4 June 1917, 11 April 1918 - "For distinguished service in the field in connection with military operations culminating in the capture of Jerusalem."

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 27 August 1918 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Wounded 4 September 1915. Wounded 25 November 1917

Post-war Occupations

Sheep farmer


Date 20 November 1972 Age 85 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Robert Paul Harper, known also as Robin, was the son of Sir George Harper and Agnes Margaret née Loughnan. He was educated at Christ's College. He married Elfrida Aylmer Lyon, of Woodbury, in 1924 in New Zealand. Robert and Elfrida had two sons. After Elfrida's death in 1937 he married Barbara Owen Griffiths and had a son and a daughter. Robert's brother Gerald Gordon Harper was killed in action on 12 August 1916 in Egypt. R. P. Harper of Geraldine was invested with the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross by the Governor General in August 1921 at Christchurch.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [25 May 2018]; Temuka Leader, 13 August 1921 (Papers Past) [21 May 2018]

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