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70 years ago this month

To ready for the approaching Winter Campaign the Battalion completed a 100-mile march from Maadi to Alexandria in six days. They also suffered casualties during night manoeuvres.  Read the war diary for August 1943 here

Charles Shelford

Serial No: 
39159
Surname: 
Shelford
Forename(s): 
Charles
Also known as: 
Charlie
Next of kin on enlistment: 
Mrs Teowaina Shelford (mother), Tikitiki, New Zealand
Rank: 
Private
Address on enlistment: 
Wainui Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand
Date of death: 
7-May-84
Place of death: 
Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland
Notes: 

Read a biography of Shelford, in English and te reo Māori, on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography = Ngā Tāngata Taumata Rau website

This article appeared in the April 1986 The Battalion Remembers II booklet.   

CHARLIE SHELFORD

To learn of the death of a soldier friend in violent circumstances so long after he has survived so many other violent occasions is a very sad thing. And when one is not able to attend the tangihanga, which is after all a time of shared grief, the occasion becomes that much sadder.  

We were sitting at the breakfast table in Canton when Derek Fox who was with us as one of Hiwi Tauroa's party to China, approached us and said that he had bad news - Charlie Shelford had been killed in a car accident on Manukau Road. Bad news indeed.

My taha pakeha has not always been fully appreciative of Unveiling Ceremonies, but this was one time, at least, when I was very grateful for the opportunity to attend Charlie's Unveiling, the hakari at Te Ungi Waka and the gathering at the Newmarket RS Club.

Those of you who read the account of Charlie by Rangi Logan and me in our last Reunion magazine will know that we held Charlie in very high regard. We understood, though we didn't necessarily know all the details, many of his difficulties of rehabilitation in post-war Auckland and we admired his devotion to his family and to his Battalion comrades. Charlie Shelford was a fine soldier and though we grieve for his family we rejoice that he was one of us for so long. He had his own special brand of humour and he was a fantastic mover on the dancefloor.

The lone frame that hangs above the bar in the Newmarket Returned Services Club contains our General's congratulations to Charlie on his Immediate Award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and a youthful portrait of Charlie himself - a silent tribute to one of 28 NZEF (Maori) Battalion's most famous soldiers.  

Harry Lambert

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