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Harry Ernest Oppenheim

Portrait, standing with bicycle - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait, standing with bicycle - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Harry Ernest AWMM
  • Surname
    Oppenheim AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Openneim AWMM
  • Service number
    South African 3006 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    4 March 1881 Noel Smith Research Project
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Ernest Oppenheim (father) AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    South Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    South African 3006 AWMM
  • Military service
    One year with E Battery in Christchurch AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and 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

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Harry was the son of Ernest Oppenheim and Helen Kate Oppenheim of Leithfield. Ernest was the proprietor of the local pub. He was one of thirteen children, two of whom were born after Harry was killed. He put his age up by a year or so when enlisting. He also recorded that he had previous military experience with E Battery. His employer was Mr Gorrie at Sefton, north of Christchurch.

    The fighting in which Oppenheim died took place at Rhenoster Kop about forty miles east of Pretoria. Making their way to Eerste Fabricken, where they spent two days, they came in contact with the Boers on 26 November. They kept up a running fight until 29 November. The description of the action on that day in New Zealanders and the Boer War suggests fierce fighting with high casualties. It reads:

    'The first man hit was Farrier-Sergeant Smith (Second Contingent), mortally; then Oppenheim. MacBride carried Oppenheim out of the fire, only to get hit himself. Captain Crawshaw, then dangerously wounded, was attended by Hill, Beath and Foreman dropping. Hill ran to them, and was shot badly through both hips himself. Sergeant Henderson then carried Hill out of the zone of fire. Meanwhile Corporal Stephens was going backwards and forwards carrying ammunition through the rain of bullets.' (p. 90)

    An account of the circumstances surrounding Trooper Oppenheimer's death appears in The New Zealand Herald, 3 January 1901.

    Originally his grave was at Reitfontein Farm near the battle site at which he died. He is now buried at the Diamond Hill Garden of Remembrance.

    Name transcribed as Openneim on the Marker at Diamond Hill for those killed at Rhenoster Kop and reburied at Diamond Hill

    Father was named Ernest Oppenheim.

    Name incorrectly spelt as Opperheim on South African Roll of Honour at Auckland War Memorial Museum. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    29 November 1900 Noel Smith Research Project
    Age 20 AWMM
    Rhenoster KopTransvaal AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Diamond Hill Garden of Remembrance, Donkerhoek, South Africa AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 3 or 4 January 1901 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Ranfurly Veterans' Home, 539 Mount Albert Road, Three Kings, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Memorial plaque, 2nd New Zealand Contingent, Boer War 1900, Ranfurly Veterans' Home, Auckland AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, South African War Memorial 1899 - 1902 AWMM

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • References
    • Stowers, R. (1992). Kiwi versus Boer : the First New Zealand Mounted Rifles in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. Hamilton, N.Z.: R. Stowers. AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • Auckland Star AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives of New Zealand. AWMM
      Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives. 1901. H.6E AWMM
    • Hawson, S. E. (1907). New Zealanders and the Boer War : or, Soldiers from the land of the moa. Christchurch, N.Z.: Gordon Gotch. AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 3 or 4 January 1901 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • This record was partially completed by information provided by Noel George Smith (2020-2021). AWMM

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