STERNDALE, Alexander Craufuird
(Service number 93035)

Aliases Alec
First Rank Private Last Rank Second Lieutenant


Date 13 October 1889 Place of Birth Puerua, Clutha, Otago, New Zealand

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Clerk
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with UK Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation M.T.A.S.C.
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Tanks Corps

Military Awards

Campaigns France
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

Clerk; Secretary for Theatrical Publications Company


Date 1 October 1970 Age 80 years
Place of Death Easter Cottage, High Street, Lymington, Hampshire, England
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Alexander Craufuird Sterndale was the second son of Charles Holland Thuillier and Harriet Jane (née Begg) Sterndale, the first-born son dying in infancy. Harriet from Scotland came to New Zealand as a child with her parents in the 1850s, the family settling at Romahapa, Southland. Her father died at Romahapa in November 1899. In time she joined her brothers in India, where she met Indian-born Charles. They married in 1885 at Bengal, India, and had two children born there – Charles who died in infancy and Cecil Agnes who came to New Zealand with her parents. Charles and Harriet came to New Zealand in 1888-1889, settling firstly at Puerua in South Otago, where Charles farmed. There two sons weer born – Alexander Craufuird and Reginald Marcus. In 1896 the family moved to Timaru, where Alec, Reginald and their sister Cecil were educated at Timatu Main School and Waimataitai School. A stillborn child was born in December 1897. In Timaru Charles Sterndale engaged in his art work, and was a founder of the local Art Society. Mr and Mrs Sterndale left Timaru in 1923 to live in London. Charles died at Golders Green, Middlesex, in 1925, Harriet in 1947, and their daughter Cecil in 1948. Alexander and Reginald had already gone to England, and served with the British Forces in World War I.

At Waimataitai, Alec won a prize for Standard III in 1899. In December 1899 the three Sterndale children each contributed 5 shillings to the Patriotic Fund. “The Little New Zealanders in Khaki” were a well known company at the Easter camp at Levels. On Sunday, the party, which included A. and R. Sterndale, paraded, and in a march round collected the handsome sum of £7 in aid of the New Zealand Sick and Wounded Fund. “The little fellows looked exceedingly well in their uniforms, and took great interest and pleasure in their parade.” Mrs Sterndale contributed towards the Field Ambulance in 1915.

In 1914 and 1919 Alexander was living at home with his parents, a clerk for the borough engineer. His name was added to the roll of Honorary Territorials – Fiji Machine Gun Section, in October 1914. On 18 April 1916, after a practice of the Enterpean Orchestra, a presentation of a suitably inscribed wallet was made to Mr A. C. Sterndale, who was leaving for England to join the Army Service Corps. His valued services to the orchestra and his good fellowship were spoken of, and wishes were extended for a good career and a safe return. The name of Alexander Craufuird Sterndale, clerk, of Wai-iti Road, was drawn in the ballot in April 1917, but it would appear he had already gone to England. The year before, he was listed on the Reserve Roll. He had left in early 1916 and joined the M.T.A.S.C. His aim was to get into a combatant corps. It was in 1917 that he went overseas, taking part in the Ypres III battle. He saw further action throughout 1917, experiencing great success with the tanks, which were five days continuously in action an dmost of the time within rang of the Hun artillery. In early 1918, Mr Sterndale received a cable from Alec to say that he was in England training for a commission in the “Tank” Corps. He had been posted to a cadet unit at Dorset for this training. The Gazette of 4 March 1919 recorded that A. C. Sterndale had gained a commission in the Tank Corps.

In 1920 Alec left Timaru for India, perhaps to join his brother Reginald. In 1939 he was residing at Hendon, Middlesex, England, his widowed mother and his sister with him.


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [07 January 2020]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [09 January 2020]; Clutha Leader, 10 December 1897, Timaru Herald, 29 November 1899, 13 October 1914, 19 April 1916, 18 April 1917, 15 February 1918, 9 June 1919, 24 April 1920, South Canterbury Times, 21 & 28 December 1899, 18 April 1900, Otago Daily Times, 8 January 1948 (Papers Past) [09 January 2020]; 1939 Register for England ( [09 January 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [09 January 2020]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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