HARRIS, Richard John
(Service number 55490)

Aliases Known as & enlisted as John HARRIS
First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 17 June 1895 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Creek Street, Waimataitai
Occupation Dairy factory hand
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs HARRIS (mother), Creek Street, Waimataitai, Timaru
Religion Church of England
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 28th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Date 26 July 1917
Transport Ulimaroa
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With NZ Infantry - Canterbury Regiment

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

Dairyman, factory worker


Date 31 May 1975 Age 79 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Salisbury Park Crematorium, Timaru
Memorial Reference Garden No. 35
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Richard John Harris, known as John, was born on 27 June 1895 at Timaru, the son of William Henry and Mary Ann (née Askew) Harris. John was educated at Timaru Main School and Waimataitai School, transferring there in 1907. At Timaru Main, he received a Standard I prize for handwork in 1906.

John Harris, the name under which he enlisted, was a dairy factory hand, residing at Creek Street, Waimataitai, the address of his mother whom he named as his next-of-kin. Private J. Harris embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Regiment of the 28th Reinforcements on 26 July 1917, destined for Plymouth, Devon. J. Harris, 55490, of Waimataitai, returned to New Zealand for demobilization, one of 1128 soldiers aboard the “Maunganui”, leaving on 17 May 1919 and arriving at Wellington on 24 June 1919.

John resided with his mother and brother Reuben at their Grey Road home until September 1923. He gave evidence of identification when his brother was found dead at the address on 9 October 1923, death being due to a pulmonary embolism and syncope. John married Christina May Halkett in 1924. He died on 31 May 1975 at Timaru, and was cremated at Salisbury Park Crematorium, where there is a plaque to Richard John Harris and his wife Christina May Harris who died in 1978. Two brothers – Victor Roy Harris and Frederick Harris – enlisted but did not serve overeas. William Henry Harris was found dead in the Avon in June 1916. He was 64 years old, and had been living by himself in Christchurch, being separated from his wife who lived in Timaru. Mary Ann Harris, who had been a widow at Timaru in 1928, died in September 1929 at her daughter’s residence in Christchurch (“Late of Timaru.”). William and Mary are buried together at Linwood Cemetery.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [29 July 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [30 July 2021]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [30 July 2021]; Timaru Herald, 21 December 1906, 10 & 12 October 1923, 18 September 1929, Lyttelton Times, 22 June 1916, Press, 22 & 23 June 1916, NZ Times, 14 June 1919 (Papers Past) [July 2021; 01 August 2021]; Salisbury Park plaque image & cremation record [30 July 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [30 July 2021]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB