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Walter Vallender

Photograph of Private Walter Vallender 40090 in uniform. Image kindly provided by Allan Tonks (October 2017). Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Photograph of Private Walter Vallender 40090 in uniform. Image kindly provided by Allan Tonks (Octob …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Walter AWMM
  • Surname
    Vallender AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Walter Vallender AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 40090 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    Jan 1894 AWMM JohnsonvilleWellington AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs E. Vallender (mother), Rongotea, Feilding, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 40090 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 Unknown AWMM Farm hand/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Walter Vallender was the son of Evan and Susan Vallender, of Rongotea, Feilding, New Zealand.

    Family information, provided by Allan Tonks: Evan Vallender, an Englishman from Gloucestershire, migrated to New Zealand in 1874 when he was just 16 years old. He settled at Temuka in the South Island and there he married Susan Eagle, a daughter of Henry Eagle and Elizabeth Neal. The first of Evan and Susan’s children were born at Temuka, but Evan’s butchery business failed in 1892 and the family relocated to Johnsonville near Wellington in the North Island. It was here that Walter Vallender was born in January 1894.

    Evan then moved his family to the Longburn district near Palmerston North, where he settled onto a dairy farm at Kairanga. He later moved his family again to a dairy farm that lay not far to the west of Rongotea, which he named ‘Maisemore’ after the village in England in which he was born. This became their permanent home; Evan lived there for the remainder of his life, becoming successful as a dairy farmer.

    Evan and Susan Vallender had 15 children together; of these eleven survived into adulthood. Walter, known to the family as “Wattie”, was their tenth child. Three of the children who had been born at Temuka died in their infancy, possibly as a result of the swamps that surrounded Temuka and made it an unhealthy place in which to live. Rongotea was also situated in low lying land with many swamps in the area, but vigorous farm development saw most of the swamps drained. Walter and his siblings thereby came to be living a typical rural New Zealand lifestyle of the time; hard-working and industrious, with family at the centre of their lives.

    Walter was working as a farm hand on Henson’s Estate at Feilding when the turmoil that led to the outbreak of the First World War erupted, and he joined the army on 6th October 1916. Walter was 6ft 2in in height, weighed 13 stone, with lightish brown hair and grey eyes. After training in New Zealand he embarked on the SS Corinthic on 2nd April 1917 and disembarked in England on 10th June 1917, the voyage being made via Capetown in South Africa. He was at Sling Camp on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire from 10th June, and then was at Etaples in France from 10th July to 11th August. Walter actually commenced active service with the Otago Regiment from August 11; he was posted to the 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion, which was in the 2nd Brigade of the New Zealand Division.

    It needs to be said that Walter did not want to go to war. He had already trained with the Territorials prior to the outbreak of the war, but this military training was compulsory for men in New Zealand at the time. Walter actually tried to avoid his enlistment, or at least to delay it, and he was fined 5 pounds for his trouble. In his later letters to his brothers Lon and Percy he advises them to delay enlistment if they possibly can. He clearly hated army discipline. Perhaps he disliked the anti-worker legislation that the Massey Government was then forcing on the country, coming as he did from a community of farmers. His home town of Rongotea also had a large proportion of expatriate German colonists living in the area, many having moved north from the German settlements in Nelson Province, so perhaps that fact also influenced his reluctance to join up.

    Walter was killed in the assault against Bellevue Spur at Passchendaele on October 12, 1917 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    12 October 1917 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    YpresBelgium AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Tyne Cot Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium AWMM

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  • Great Uncle-You Are Remembered. Rest In Peace.
    Public - W and T Vallender - Direct descendant - 23 April 2016
  • My great uncle. God bless. Nick Vallender, Fielding Oct 2015
    Public - Nick Scott - Direct descendant - 9 October 2015



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Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
23 October 2017AllanAustraliaOther relative
23 April 2016W and T VallenderNorthland, New ZealandDirect descendant
09 October 2015Nick ScottFeildingDirect descendant

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