Topic: John Harding Tatham

Topic type:

From research done in 2008 by Wairarapa College Year 12 history assignment on Wairarapa soldiers who died in World War One.

Full name: John Harding Tatham
Date of Birth: 1875
Serial number: 43291
Occupation before enlistment: Farmer on "Homewood"
First known rank: Corporal
Embarkation date: 13 November 1917
Place of embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Body on embarkation: New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation unit: 31st Reinforcements
Mounted Rifles Brigade
Last unit served: Wellington Mounted Rifles
Rank last held: Trooper
Place of death: Palestine
Date of Death: 18 October 1918
Cause of death: Malaria
Cemetery name: Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel

Biographical notes:
Son of Frederick and Julia Tatham, of Masterton.

Source unknown: "Private J. H. Tatham, of Masterton, is reported in a hospital report as dangerously ill."

"Entered camp in February, 1917, and was gazetted a N.C.O. attached to the 31st Reinforcements. Leaving in November, he was among those who successfully rounded up the Turks in Palestine before they finally gave in. Many men of his brigade suffered from fever in the Jordan Valley, and in consequence there was a considerable shortage of farriers. Being particularly good at his work his services were requisitioned on many occasions. With several narrow escapes he managed to see practically all the fighting in Palestine for the last six months of the war. He was taken to hospital with malaria on October 7th, and died on October 18th, 1918. Nine hundred went down with disease in five days, which proved that the Turks were only too correct in their statement that they would have to come and bury them all if they remained in the valley." (In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School])

Obituary: Wairarapa Daily Times, 22 October 1918.

The death occurred from fever in Egypt on October 18th of Private John Harding of Masterton, of Masterton, who, prompted by a high sense of duty to his country, enlisted some time ago. Deceased was held in very high esteem throughout the Wairarapa on account of his many sterling qualities. He was engaged in farming prior to enlisting. The news of his death will be received with feelings of deep regret by his many friends. Deceased, who was about 40 years of age, leaves a widow (the second daughter of Mr H.R. Bunny, of Ahiaruhe, Gladstone) and four young children, who will have the sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their bereavement.

Student researcher: Emily Ogilvie



John Harding Tatham

First Names:John Harding
Last Name:Tatham