SEYMOUR, Henry Patrick
(Service number 12506)

Aliases Known as Harry or Pat. Enlisted as Harry Patrick SEYMOUR. Birth registered as Charles Edward SEYMOUR.
First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 28 July 1867 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 20 November 1915 Age 48 years
Address at Enlistment Whatatutu
Occupation Photographer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin S. B. SEYMOUR (father), Richmond Hill, Sumner, Christchurch; Mrs Bessie SEYMOUR (mother), Richmond Hill, Sumner, Christchurch
Religion Church of England
Medical Information Height 6 feet 3 inches. Weight 141 lbs. Chest measurement 38½-41½ inches. Complexion medium. Eyes blue. Hair grey. Sight - both eyes 6/6. Hearing right ear normal, left ear fair. Colour vision normal. Limbs well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart & lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, inveterate or contagious skin disease; slight haemorrhoids. Vaccinated. Good bodily & mental health. Slight defect but not sufficient to cause rejection - slight haemorrhoids. No fits.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 6th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, F Company
Date 6 May 1916
Transport Mokoia or Navua
Embarked From Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

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 27 December 1918 Reason No longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

26 April 1918 - admitted to No 3 NZ Field Ambulance - sick; invalided to UK & admitted to No 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst. Severe trench fever.

Post-war Occupations

Clerk; land agent; builder


Date 21 July 1946 Age 78 years
Place of Death Christchurch
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Henry Patrick Seymour was the first-born of Stanley Briscoe Seymour and his wife, Bessie Edith née Blundell. He was born on 28 July 1867 at Timaru and, although his birth was registered as Charles Edward Seymour, he was baptised Henry Patrick Seymour on 3 January 1869 at St Mary’s, Timaru, along with his brother Charles William Seymour. Henry was familiarly known as Harry and, on occasion, as Pat. Mr Stanley Seymour, who was a jeweller in Timaru, was one who lost his property (on the west side of Main South Road) in the Great Fire which swept through Timaru on 7 December 1868. Bankrupted, Mr Seymour, his wife and two little sons relocated to Christchurch where he soon qualified in dentistry and practised that profession not only in Christchurch but also at Ashburton and Timaru. Seven more children were born to Stanley and Bessie. Young Harry’s early education was at Christchurch East School and then probably at St Luke’s School, alongside some of his siblings. He was surely the H. Seymour who received second prize for Division II, Upper School Boys at St Luke’s in 1880. Perhaps H. Seymour, 10 years, who competed in the 100 yards race for Mr Garrard’s pupils at the Corporation Baths (Christchurch) in February 1879 was Harry. The boys had only learnt to swim that season and Mr Garrard was very proud of them. In October 1887, H. P. Seymour was among a group of young men who were approved of as new members of the Churchmen’s Club. In August 1888 Harry was very likely playing for the Avonside Second Fifteen (football), scoring a try to secure a win by one point for his team in a “hard contested game”. He had played Association football back in 1884 when the second master of the Boys’ High School organised games on Wednesday afternoons. “I was pressed in to the position of goal-keeper, and had to suffer the barracking of the boy onlookers,” he recalled in 1932.

By 1896 Harry Patrick Seymour had moved to Tolago Bay where he was a labourer for some years, his brother Guy also living there in 1896 before returning to Christchurch and taking up dentistry. He moved to Whatatutu near Gisborne in Poverty Bay prior to 1910, as did his brother Hugh who had changed from being a dentist to being a station hand. Mr H. P. Semour asked the Waikohu County Council, in July 1914, for an allowance for a plough which had been used by the Council’s employees. Harry was living at Whatatutu when he enlisted on 20 November 1915, by then 48 years old, although he stated his birth date was 28 July 1870. It may be that he gave a birth date of 28 July 1890 and age 25 years 5 months. Single and of Church of England affiliation, he gave his occupation as self-employed photographer and named his father – S. B. Seymour, Richmond Hill, Sumner, Christchurch - as his next-of-kin. His mother, Mrs Bessie Seymour, was also named as next-of-kin. He had grey hair and blue eyes. He was in good bodily and mental health, standing at 6 feet 3 inches, weighing 141 pounds and with a chest measurement of 38½-41½ inches. His sight and colour vision were good, and while his hearing was normal in his right ear, it was only fair in his left ear. His limbs and chest were well formed and his heart and lungs normal. He suffered from no illnesses and no fits and was free of diseases apart from slight haemorrhoids, which was not sufficient to cause rejection. H. P. Seymour was one of a group of men who reported that they could get away on Wednesday, 22 December 1915, with the extra draft of the 11th Reinforcements.

On 6 May 1916 Rifleman Seymour embarked for Suez, Egypt, with the 2nd Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Disembarking at Suez on 22 June he proceeded overseas from Alexandria a month later. By early August 1916 he had disembarked at Southampton for Sling. At Sling on 25 October 1916, Seymour was examined and classified as 1st class signaller. It was 14 December 1916 when he left Sling and proceeded to France where he joined his battalion. For two months in mid 1917 he was attached to the New Zealand Divisional Salvage Company. The New Zealand Divisional Salvage Company was formed on 5 May 1916. Its duties were the care and custody of packs of troops engaged in offensive operations, and the care of tents and canvas of the Division. After a short time back with his Unit, he was attached to the New Zealand Divisional Employment Company. The employment companies, created in 1917, carried out labouring work behind the lines on the Western Front. He went to the UK on leave in January 1918, rejoining his Unit two weeks later. On 26 April 1918 he was admitted to No. 3 NZ Field Ambulance, sick. He complained of pain all over his body. From there he was invalided to the UK and admitted to the No. 1 NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst. At the start of May 1918 he was found to be suffering from severe Trench Fever. He left Brockenhurst on 11 June and was to report to the Discharge Depot at Torquay on 25 June. He had been classified Unfit by the Medical Board.

After more than two and a half years abroad in Egypt and Europe, Rifleman H. P. Seymour returned home with Draft 191 of invalided soldiers by the “Remuera”, embarking at Liverpool on 7 September 1918 and arriving on 23 October, his wife also coming on the transport. Discharged on 27 December 1918, being no longer physically fit for war service an account of illness contracted on Active Service, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Harry and his wife settled in Christchurch, Harry working variously as a clerk, a land agent, and a builder. In 1923 he was authorized to receive treatment at Christchurch Hospital for chronic gastritis. In 1922 his application to the Pensions Department for dental treatment had been declined, as the disability was considered not to be due to or aggravated by military service. H. P. Seymour was active in the community. On 2 February 1920 he was granted a renewal of his land agent’s licence. He was appointed to the position of secretary of the Burwood Residents’ and River Improvement Association in June 1926, at the annual meeting in December following was the honorary secretary and treasurer. By 1933 Harry was playing bowls and with some success. He and his partner represented the Redcliffs Club in the champion of champions pairs. In June of that year, Mr H. P. Seymour read the bowls report at the annual meeting of the Redcliffs Bowling and Croquet Club. It was also noted that he had won the champion doubles. Mrs Seymour won the Roswell silver button in the croquet section.

H. P. Seymour frequently wrote letters to the Editor on a whole raft of subjects. Early in 1920 he commented on the use of the word “bloody”. “Having been a ‘digger’ in the N.Z.E.F. for a few years, I pose as an authority on ‘language’,” he wrote, starting correspondence on war colloquialisms. In 1931 he commented at length, and knowledgeably, on the proposals of the Conservancy Board in regard to the Estuary. In 1933 it was in regard to the cruelty of the seal hunters’ methods that he expressed his opinions. Soon after, his observations concerned the movement of sand in the Cave Rock area (Redcliffs). Next was the question of dogs and sheep in Galey Park. In 1935 he wrote regarding the budget, finances, butter prices, unemployment among boys and the elections. Later in the year, he accused “The Press” of bias and censorship of news items, pointing out that he had been reading this newspaper since 1875 and had until recently admired it. The following year it was immigration and the comments levelled at our country’s social and political problems by overseas tourists, which brought out his pen. “New Zealand now is busy polishing up the common-sense cell of her psychology, to the end that she may be a beacon-light to all globe-trotters seeking perfection,” he concluded. Again he provoked criticism of his remarks. During the next few years he was commenting on motorists’ behaviour, particularly if the Lyttelton tunnel should be built. And the action of the Mayor of Christchurch in “locking up of the people’s money” - the profits of the community singing intended for the relief fund - sent him into print again; as did topics as diverse as overseas debt; defence forces,; the tramways; “Tell New Zealand Campaign” (“I have lived in New Zealand under all the New Zealand Governments since Rolleston was Superintendent of Canterbury’s Provincial Government, and have taken a reasonably intelligent interest in politics throughout, . . .” Press, 24 August 1938); democracy; the reduction in gardening broadcasts; unwholesome meat; inflation; and distribution of tobacco [Press, 23 November 1945].

Harry Seymour had married 47 year old Ethel Maud Stephenson on 18 July 1918 at St Peter’s Church, Mill End, Hertfordshire, England. It is said that he had two children in the early 1910s in New Zealand, their mother dying in 1912 at Gisborne. On 2 July 1918, No 12506 Henry Patrick Seymour, formerly “of Christchurch”, “farmer”, but then a Rifleman in the NZ Rifle Brigade, declared that the Will in the hands of his Mother was “To still hold good”. Henry Patrick Seymour died on 21 July 1946 at Christchurch, aged 79 years. His brother Guy Blundell Seymour, who had served in the South African War with the New Zealand Forces, served with the Grenadier Guards in World War I and died of wounds on 18 December 1917 in England. Another brother, Hugh Llewellyn Seymour, also served in the South African War and was listed in the Reserves for World War I. Arthur Stanley Seymour, another brother who was a dentist in Gisborne, was also listed on the Reserve rolls. A nephew, Claude Hamilton Seymour (son of Hugh), served in World War II. Ethel Maud Seymour died in 1956 in New Zealand, aged 85 years.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [02 March 2020]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5553 0103307) [06 March 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [02 March 2020]; School Admission records [02 March 2020]; St Mary’s Timaru Baptism records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG records) [03 March 2020]; Timaru Herald, 31 July 1867, 2 January 1869 [fire], 14 April 1869, Lyttelton Times, 31 August 1868, 11 April 1872, 23 January 1874, 18 October 1887, 21 January 1918, Press, 3 February 1879, 20 December 1880, 21 January 1918, 26 February 1924, 5 June 1926, 2 December 1926, 18 July 1931, 19 July 1932, 20 February 1933, 26 May 1933, 30 June 1933, 6 & 12 July 1933, 7 August 1933, 25 September 1935, 7 November 1935, 2 & 22 April 1936, 25 June 1936, Poverty Bay Herald, 10 July 1914, 20 December 1915, Sun, 21 January 1918, 14 October 1918, 10, 12 & 13 January 1920, Marlborough Express, 11 May 1918, Evening Post, 14 October 1918, Star, 2 February 1920 (Papers Past) [01, 02, 03 March 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [03 March 2020]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

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