BLACKLER, Alma Cordelia
(Service number )

First Rank Last Rank


Date 11 May 1899 Place of Birth Hazelburn, South Canterbury

Enlistment Information

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

Military Service

Served with Voluntary Aid Detachment Served in
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
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 1 October 1993 Age 94 years
Place of Death Timaru
Memorial or Cemetery Memorial Park Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference Block 8, Plot 68
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Alma Cordelia Blackler was born on 11 May 1899 at Hazelburn, South Canterbury, the only daughter of Owen and Jessie Agnes (née McCallum) Blackler. Along with her siblings, she was educated at Hazelburn School. There in 1904, in the infants class, she received a prize. She received the infants reading prize and the special prize for sewing in 1905. In 1913, Alma was awarded a silver medal for Standard VI and the special sewing prize. She also obtained the Standard VI Competency certificate. Alma was admitted to St Hilda’s School from Hazelburn School at the start of the 1914 school year. While there, she had a stint in Dunedin Technical Classes. Representing St Hilda’s, Alma played in the Lawn Tennis Girls’ Handicap Doubles in March 1916. In November of that year, she was successful in the St John Ambulance examination for Women’s First Aid.

Alma Blackler served with the Voluntary Aid Detachment in a civilian capacity, possibly within New Zealand late in World War One and perhaps after, given her age. [Cenotaph Database record.] Indeed, she was at the hospital at Trentham in 1922, as recorded in the electoral roll. Yes, it was in September 1922 that Miss Alma Blackburn, Hazelburn, went to Trentham to take up V.A.D. work. In June, Miss Alma Blackler, Trentham, spent a short holiday with Mr and Mrs Blackler, Totara Valley. Miss Alma Blackler did a month’s V.A.D. relieving work at Trentham in July-August 1923.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Alma appears to have had a very active social life and she and her mother travelled abroad on occasion. Alma was in Wellington in 1924 and early 1925. Was she still at Trentham? In June 1925 Alma and her mother left on a trip to Honolulu, returning in late July. In early August 1929 she left on a visit to Ceylon. She travelled from there to England in December before returning to New Zealand. Surely, she had already met William Allan, a tea planter, whom she married on 30 September 1930 at Colombo, Ceylon. Scotsman William Allan had married in 1915 in Ceylon and been widowed in 1925. David Stuart Allan was born to Alma and William in 1932 in Ceylon. Alma and David frequently visited New Zealand, staying for extended periods with her mother. She moved from Hazelburn to Salisbury (near Timaru) in about 1949. By 1954 William, now retired, was there with her, and their son. None of William’s older children came to reside in New Zealand.

William died on 26 May 1957 at Christchurch and was buried at Bromley Cemetery. He was 72 years old. Alma remained at their Salisbury property(“Lanka”) for a few years, then moved into Timaru. She died on 1 October 1993 at Timaru, aged 94 years, and was buried with William. David died in 1981 in Southland – “Too young too soon”. He had married twice and had a family. Alma’s daughter-in-law and four grandsons were beneficiaries of her Will which was drawn up after her son’s death. Alma’s older brother, Harold Ernest Ranfurly Blackler, served with in World War One.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [16 September 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [09 September 2022]; Timaru Herald, 30 December 1904, 19 December 1905, 22 December 1913, 9 January 1914, 17 September 1921, 24 June 1922, 1 August 1923, Otago Daily Times, 31 March 1916, 21 November 1916, NZ Times, 26 June 1922, Press, 27 May 1957 (Papers Past) [16, 17 & 19 September 2022]; School information (T. Scott); School Admission records (Dunedin Branch NZSG) [16 September 2022]; Memorial Park Cemetery, Christchurch headstone image (Find A Grave) [16 September 2022]; Memorial Park Cemetery, Christchurch burial record (Christchurch City Council) [16 September 2022]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [16 September 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society

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