COOKSON, Alfred Henry
(Service number 6/3285)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 4 January 1888 Place of Birth Ashburton

Enlistment Information

Date 25 August 1915 Age 27 years
Address at Enlistment Westerfield, Ashburton
Occupation Shepherd
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin W. COOKSON (father), Westerfield, Ashburton
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 8th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Transport Willochra or Tofua
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Regiment

Military Awards

Service Medals 1914-1815 Star; 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 25 March 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 13 November 1970 Age 82 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Salisbury Park Crematorium, Timaru
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Alfred Henry Cookson was born on 4 January 1888 at Ashburton, the second son of William and Esther (née Carson) Cookson. When he enlisted on 25 August 1915 at Trentham, he gave his address as Westerfield, Ashburton, that is, the address of his parents. He may have been at Morven previously. He did, indeed, leave Waimate by the first express on Wednesday, 25 August 1915, for the Eight Reinforcements. He was a shepherd, single and Presbyterian, and he named his father as next-of-kin – W. Cookson, Westerfield, Ashburton.

Alfred H. Cookson embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion of the 8thy Reinforcements. In August 1916 he was admitted to the Bevan Military Hospital at Sandgate, Kent, suffering from bronchitis. He returned to New Zealand by Draft 186 which was due to arrive in mid October 1918. His intended address was Maungati, Timaru. He was discharged on 25 March 1919 and awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. From April 1916 the name of A. H. Cookson appeared regularly on the Waimate Daily Advertiser Roll of Honour under the sub-title of Answered the Call.



In our report of the welcome social held at Morven on 15tli inst, we had not the names of the men honoured on that occasion. This is the complete list of names: —

Medals presented to next of kin of the following men who gave their lives, for the Empire: . . . . . .

The following returned men received medals as tokens of honour from Morven residents: . . . . . , A H Cookson, , . . . . .” [Waimate Daily Advertiser, 19 May 1919.] The whole of the people of Morven and surrounding districts had turned out to welcome home returned soldiers. The hall, which had been tastefully decorated, was packed by eight o’clock, “late comers being unable to gain admission”. A short concert – musical items, Scotch recitations – preceded the welcome addresses and presentation of medals. The presentation of medals to the next-of-kin of eighteen local boys who had made the supreme sacrifice, was very solemn. “As a bereaved mother, or a sorrowing yet proud father came forward to receive the district’s token of honour and sympathy, one was forced to realise the tragedy of war.” Supper – for some five hundred people – followed and the “inevitable dance”.

Alfred married Amelia Isabella Corry in 1919. From 1919 they farmed at Maungati for many years. Alfred Henry Cookson died on 13 November 1970 at Timaru, aged 82 years, and was cremated at Salisbury Park Crematorium, Timaru. Amelia died in 1972 and was cremated also.


Auckland War Memorial Museumm Cenotaph Database [04 July 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [07 July 2022]; Dominion, 1 June 1917, 18 September 1917, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 21 August 1915, 26 April 1916, 30 May 1918, 19 May 1919, Otago Daily Times, 25 August 1916, NZ Times, 12 October 1918, Timaru Herald, 22 May 1919 (Papers Past) [18 September 2019; 05 & 15 July 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, Teresa Scott, South Canterbury Genealogy Society

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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