ORAM, Harry
(Service number 12/3913)

First Rank Captain Last Rank Major


Date 24 September 1881 Place of Birth Kaiapoi

Enlistment Information

Date 13 October 1915 Age 34 years
Address at Enlistment
Occupation School teacher
Previous Military Experience Kaiapoi Senior Cadets - left district
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs E. J. ORAM (mother), Cass Street, Kaiapoi
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 10th Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Battalion, A Company
Date 4 March 1916
Transport Willochra or Tofua
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian; Egyptian EF; Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards Mentioned in Despatches; OBE (Military)

Award Circumstances and Date

31 December 1917, for distinguished & gallant services & devotion to duty; 12 December 1919, in recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with the war

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 3 February 1920 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

School teacher


Date 20 December 1959 Age 78 years
Place of Death Christchurch (residence)
Notices Press, 21 December 1959
Memorial or Cemetery Linwood Crematorium; ashes interred Kaiapoi Anglican Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Harry Oram was born on 24 September 1881 at Kaiapoi, the eighth of the twelve children of Charles and Emma Jane (née Treleaven) Oram. Charles and Emma, both from England, married in 1867 in New Zealand. Harry was educated at the local school and, on leaving school, trained as a teacher. He enlisted on 13 October 1915 at Trentham, at which time he was a schoolteacher at Timaru Main School. Single and of Church of England affiliation, he named his mother as next-of-kin – Mrs E. J. Oram, Cass Street, Kaiapoi. His father had died in 1900. He had served with the Kaiapoi Senior Cadets until he left the district. Among South Canterbury’s representatives at the front in a list published in the New Zealand Journal of Education in October 1915 was H. Oram (Timaru Main).

Captain H. Oram embarked with the Auckland Infantry Battalion of the 10th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington for Suez, Egypt, on 4 March 1916. He was Mentioned in Despatches on 31 December 1917 for distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty. His award of the O.B.E. was notified in the London Gazette of 12 December 1919 – Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Major H. Oram was discharged on 3 February 1920 and awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in Egypt and Western Europe. Harry returned to Timaru Main School until his retirement, moving then to Christchurch. He married Lilly Crombie in 1951. He died on 20 December 1959 at his Christchurch residence, aged 78 years. He was cremated at Linwood Crematorium, his ashes being interred with his parents at St Bartholonew’s Anglican Cemetery, Kaiapoi. Lilly died in 1983, her ashes interred with Harry’s.

Press. 31 Dec 1959



The death occurred recently in Christchurch of Mr Harry Oram, O.B.E. He was 78.

Mr Oram was born at Kaiapoi, and was educated at the Kaiapoi Borough School where in 1902 he began his teaching career after attending the Normal Training School in Christchurch. As third assistant master Mr Oram went to the Timaru Main School in 1914, where he remained until his retirement in 1934. At the time of his retirement Mr Oram was first assistant master. Afterwards he moved to Christchurch, where he later married and lived until his death.

In World War I Mr Oram sailed with the 10th Reinforcements in the troopship Tofua, of which he was commanding officer. He later joined Major Flemming Ross’s company as second in command, and on the death of Major Ross took over the company. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1917, and received the O.B.E. (Military Division) in the same year.

A keen sportsman, Mr Oram was a member of the first hockey team to be formed in New Zealand. This was formed at Kaiapoi in 1895, and from 1903 to 1905 Mr Oram was captain of the club. He also captained the South Island team in the first North v. South hockey game, which was played at Lancaster Park in June, 1903. He was also a keen tennis player and cricketer.

In various churches Mr Oram held positions as Sunday school teacher and superintendent, lay reader, and vestryman.

Mr Oram is survived by his wife, Mrs L. Oram.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [30 April 2023]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [01 May 2023]; Timaru Herald, 23 October 1915, Press, 21 December 1959, 31 December 1959 (Papers Past) [03 May 2016; 01 May 2023]; Kaiapoi Anglican Cemetery headstone image (Find A Grave) [01 May 2023]

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