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Alfred James Farmer

Portrait, WW2, standing at ease, Maadi Camp in Egypt, February 1941 - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, WW2, standing at ease, Maadi Camp in Egypt, February 1941 - This image may be subject to c …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Alfred James AWMM
  • Surname
    Farmer AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Alf AWMM
  • Service number
    14313 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    20 October 1919 AWMM InvercargillSouthland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 1 September 1939 AWMM Fort Cawley, North Head, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Anne Muriel Margaret Farmer (wife), 29 Notley Street, Westmere, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1 January 1941 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Minqar Qaim AWMM
    • Italy AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    14313 AWMM
  • Military service
    Special reserves 1939 AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Narrow Neck (5 months) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 1 September 1939 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Motor Truck Driver/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
    Admitted to hospital in Helwan with Yellow Jaundice, flu AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Husband of Anne; father of Jim, Ron, Lynnette

      Between 1939 and 1940 Mr Farmer served with the Artillery on North Head AWMM
    • Alfred James Farmer was born at Invercargill 20th October 1919. Alf’s mother Ivy Burness Grey was born in Southland in 1895. Her mother Jessie Grey (nee Calder) was born in Drummond, Southland. Ivy’s father Glassford Grey was born in Scotland. Jessie’s parents were both born in Scotland. Jesse’s father Alexander Calder came to New Zealand and his first job was helping to form the main street of Dunedin. Alexander had a good friend named Gabriel Reid who discovered gold in Otago at what was to become known as Gabriel’s Gully. The first person he told about it was Alexander and the two were to form a partnership taking supplies to the gold fields for the miners. Alexander made enough money to purchase land out of Dunedin which he broke in as a farm. He built a large two storey house on the property and called the farm Calderville. Deciding he now wanted a wife he took a ship back to Scotland.

      It was a fishing town in Scotland that Alexander saw 3 girls walking along the beach. One dropped her scarf but by the time he picked it up they had disappeared. Alexander took the scarf to the town cryer who went around the town with a loud voice calling for the owner. The girl’s mother claimed the scarf and Alexander requested if he could court her daughter. They were later married and he took his new bride to New Zealand. They were to have 11 children. After they retired from the farm they moved to Invercargill where they are both buried in the Great Eastern cemetery.

      Alf’s mother Ivy met an American citizen, True Alfred Farmer, and they were married in Invercargill. True’s father, whose name was Alfred James Farmer had been born in southern England and had emigrated to Arkansas, USA where he made a considerable amount of money as a car salesman and then he went into real estate. Ivy and True were to have 4 children. Ula was the oldest girl and then Alfred. Both were born in Invercargill and then the family moved to Queenstown for 2 years, after which they moved to Oregon, USA where Vida and Jessie were born. Ula and Jessie were to both die in the flu epidemic in the 1920’s.

      To encourage True to settle the his parents bought him a chicken farm in Oregon. Unfortunately he was not one to settle and left the family and was last heard of in Alaska. Ivy left the farm and returned the family back to New Zealand.

      Ivy’s mother Jessie who was separated took a lease of a boarding house in Ohai, a small coal mining town about 80 kilometres north east of Invercargill. Ivy took Alf and Vida with her and assisted in the boarding house. They also employed a woman named Alva.

      The boarding house which was owned by the coal mine was one of the few buildings to have power on. The local houses generally only had kerosene lamps and a coal range for cooking. At one stage they fed up to 50 miners although the miners had their own huts to live in. When the depression came the miners went baching or were unemployed and so the number to feed dropped to about 5 which was not enough to keep the boarding house going. Ivy’s sister Myrtle and her husband Dick had moved to Auckland so Jessie along with Ivy and Vida decided also to move to Auckland.

      Alf started school at Ohai at the age of 5 years. This was to be his only school as it went through to standard 6. Alf was to be a bright pupil (his words) who received a prize every year. Generally the prize was a book awarded to the first five pupils in each year. Every two children had a plot of land about 5 metres x 3 metres where they grew vegetables which the school then sold for funds. There was not a greengrocer in Ohai. George Andrews who had come from Balclutha was his teacher in standards 5 and 6. George wanted to know what it was like to receive the strap so he asked the class who was prepared to come up and give it to him. Up shot Alf’s arm and then he realized he was the only one to do so. Public - Keegan - Direct descendant - 25 April 2018 - Family Papers
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About death

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  • Death
    22 March 2008 AWMM
    Age 88 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 25 March 2008 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • 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 146 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 25 March 2008 AWMM
    • Dawson, W. (1961). 18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
25 April 2018KeeganAuckland, NZDirect descendant

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