Also known as
Date of birth
22 August 1920 Public - Brenda - Other Relative - 13 February 2015 - NZ Dictionary of Biography. His Army Personal File gives DOB as 22 August 1919 - he had added to his age to be eligible to enlist.
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Pre 26 January 1940 AWMM Wainui Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Mrs Teowaina Shelford (mother), Tikitiki, New Zealand AWMM
Pre 8 November 1940 AWMM Single AWMM
Medals and Awards
- Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) AWMM
I wish to recommend Pte. Shelford for an Immediate Award. During a night attack by this battalion on the 14 December 1941 the first line of positions at Gazala he showed outstanding heroism and courage. After the first entrenchments had been taken his section carried on with the Platoon Commander for a distance of 300 yards to a ridge. The Platoon Commander then discovered that his section was now isolated from the extreme left flank of the battalion and was being fired on from the right rear and from their left flank. Pte. Shelford volunteered to cover the 300 yards to the enemy firing from the rear and clean it out. Meanwhile the enemy on the left flank were sweeping the area with anti-tank guns, medium and light machine-guns as well as rifle fire. Notwithstanding the intensity of the enemy from his flank and his front Pte. Shelford covered the 300 yards walking and running and firing his Spandau machine-gun from his hip. When he was about 20 yards from the trench he was hit in rapid succession by 3 grenades in the legs. Badly wounded and dazed he attempted to bring the Spandau into action but that had been hit and and the butt smashed so even though he was suffering intense agony he threw a Mills bomb into the trench. This brought out the enemy and by this time his Platoon commander and section arrived and took charge of the prisoners. Altogether 4 officers and 36 O/R's came out of the trenches in the vicinity including the commander of the enemy positions. The surrender of the commander started the collapse of the entire position and ended the enemy resistance in that area. Pte. Shelford's conduct was outstanding even in action in which deeds of bravery Were numerous and in my opinion and the opinion of the Platoon Commander certainly merits the award requested. (L.G.24/2/1942)
London Gazette 20 February 1942 During a night attack on 14 December 1941 he showed outstanding heroism and courage. Private Shelford volunteered to cover 300 yards to the enemy firing from the rear and clean it out. He covered the 300 yards under fire from anti tank guns, MMGs, LMGs and rifle fire, walking, running and firing. AWMM
- 1939-1945 Star AWMM
- Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
- Italy Star AWMM
- Defence Medal AWMM
- War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
- New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
- Height, Unknown Period AWMM
5 foot 10 1/2 inches AWMM
- Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
- Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
- Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
Egypt, Camp Hospital 19-23 February 1941 AWMM
- Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
Hospitalised immediately after the Gazala incident with leg injuries AWMM
- Accidental Death, Cause of Death AWMM
Killed as a pedestrian in a hit and run road accident AWMM
- He was the son of Tame Shelford and Te Owaina Kirikiri Puihi of Tikitiki. Raised by Atareta and Paratene of Tikitiki
Married Lilias May (known as Maisie and Blue ) Beazley in 1948
Aged 18 years at enlistment, as he increased his age by three years to enlist his military records have his birth date as 1918
Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal after the action at Gazala, Libya, North Africa. The recommending officer, 2nd Lieutenant Rangi Logan later recalled that he had actually recommended Shelford for the Victoria Cross. Feelings about this never really died away and were the subject of a newspaper report some 40 years later at the time of his tangi.
Was hospitalised after the Gazala episode as his legs were giving him trouble and was transferred to duties with transport as a driver initially for Rangi Logan and later delivering ammunition to distribution points close to the front line.
Described as a legendary figure for his exploits during service bravery, bucking authority and the rules, and for his success in collecting loot and booty for resale and trade.
Returned to New Zealand 31 October 1944 and discharged in February the following year having served 5 years 9 days
He was closely associated with the Newmarket Returned Servicemen’s Association. The club still holds an annual pool competition in which members compete for the Charlie Shelford trophy.
Closely associated with the Te Unga Waka Marae, Clyde Street, Epsom, Auckland; kaumatua and one of the first Maori Warden
Tangi held at the Te Unga Waka Marae AWMM
- Documentary TV film of his life story Public - Brenda - Other Relative - 13 February 2015 - Maori TV. Telecast ANZAC DAY 2012.
To view the film go to www.ngataonga.org.nz/catalogues/
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
Mangere Public Cemetery, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
Death Notice: RSA Review Last Post AWMM
Roll of Honour
Remember Charles Shelford by laying a poppy.
Leave a note
Leave a tribute or memory of
MY GREAT GRANDFATHER , MORE THEN JUST ANOTHER SOLDIER A TRUE HERO , REST IN PEACE
Public - STEPHEN JAMES - Direct descendant - 2 June 2019
He is my Nan's Father ( Huia Shelford ) , il make sure his legacy lives on !
Public - Dallas Ray Morunga - Direct descendant - 1 May 2017
He is my grate gran auncle my dads dad brother he looks like my brother in this photo
Public - Edith - 25 April 2017
I remeber Uncle Charlie when I was growing up when I was a little girl.He used to be in the New Zealand army.
Public - Erin Elizabeth - Other relative - 25 April 2017
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 3: WW2 430 AWMM
- Awatere, A. (2003). Awatere : a soldier's story. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia. AWMM
- New Zealand Genealogist AWMM
Joyce, B. (2004). Charles Shelford. New Zealand genealogist. AWMM
- RSA review: the official journal of the N.Z. Returned Services' Association AWMM
Death Notice: Last Post AWMM
- Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Information kindly provided by family AWMM
|02 June 2019||STEPHEN JAMES ||AUCKLAND||Direct descendant||
|01 May 2017||Dallas Ray Morunga||Auckland , New Zealand||Direct descendant||
|25 April 2017||Edith||Auckland ||Other||
|25 April 2017||Erin Elizabeth||Auckland, New Zealand||Other relative||
|13 February 2015||Brenda||Wellington New Zealand||Other Relative||
The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.