(Service number 15879)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank


Date 6 September 1882 Place of Birth Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Ohape, Temuka
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs A. HICKMAN (sister), Lauriston, New Zealand
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

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, 3rd Battalion, G Company
Date 26 July 1916
Transport Waitemata or Ulimaroa
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations



Date 11 October 1939 Age 57 years
Place of Death Ashburton
Memorial or Cemetery Ashburton Cemetery
Memorial Reference Area RSA 154, Plot 2
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Walter John Cairncross was born on 6 September 1882 (although he stated 1888) at Ashburton, to Isabella Cairncross. Isabel married Thomas Hickman and had a son and three daughters. Agnes Hickman, a half-sister of Walter is probably his nominated next-of-kin.

When Walter enlisted he was a labourer at Ohape, Temuka. On 5 April 1916, the South Canterbury quota for the 15th Reinforcements left by the express for the military camps, the Infantry – including W. J. Cairncross, Temuka - proceeding to Trentham. Before departing Timaru, the men were entertained by the Ladies’ Patriotic Committee at luncheon in the Stafford Tea Rooms. Falling in at the Drill Shed at 3pm, they were addressed by the Mayor, Mr Craigie, M.P., and the Rev. Dean Tubman. The 2nd South Canterbury Regimental Band was in attendance, and the High School Cadets and the Honorary Territorials formed a cordon at the railway station.

Walter John Cairncross died on 11 October 1939 at Ashburton, aged 57 years, and was buried at Ashburton.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [12 August 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [12 August 2020]; Ashburton Cemetery burial record (Ashburton District Council) [12 August 2020]; Timaru Herald, 5 April 1916 (Papers Past) [03 August 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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