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Harold Frederick Harding

Portrait, awarded MBE from Weekly News; 19 January 1944 - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, awarded MBE from Weekly News; 19 January 1944 - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Harold Frederick AWMM
  • Surname
    Harding AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    17901 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 September 1908 AWMM DunedinOtago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 1941 AWMM St Chad's Vicarage, Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs L.H. Blyth (aunt), 49 Ranfurly Street, St Albans, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO: NZ Gazette, 30 April 1946. Citation: "This officer has been Padre to this unit [23 Battalion] for nearly twelve months. During the period the battalion was in the line west of Faenza he visited the companies daily and on Sundays visited every platoon, outpost or detachment of men in the battalion area exposing himself at times to the heaviest shell and mortar fire and even amid small arms fire. On 10 February 1945 Casa Quarantina was practically demolished by exceptionally heavy gunfire and troops were buried under rubble. The first rescue party suffered severe casualties by further shellfire, but undaunted by this, Padre Harding moved fearlessly into the danger area with complete disregard for his personal safety and after an extremely dangerous and hazardous journey brought back the wounded. This action is typical of all his work during the advance to Florence and all advances north of Rimini he always disregarded personal safety in bringing the R.A.P. jeep or carrier forward to evacuate wounded and has at times had the vehicle shot up. No area was too dangerous for him in the execution of his valuable work. He has always greatly exceeded the normal duties of a padre and by the risks he has committed, and the cheerfulness with which such risks have been accomplished he has been an inspiration to all and done much to maintain the high morale and spirit of this battalion during difficult periods." AWMM
    • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) 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
    • Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
    • British Empire Medal (BEM) AWMM

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

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Represented NZ Chaplains Department at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

    A sympathy letter written by The Reverend Harding to the family of Fred Smith ((16343) who died of wounds has been kept by Smith's family.

    He died on his 64th birthday in 1972. AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    23 September 1972 AWMM
    Age 64 AWMM
    DunedinOtago 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

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  • External links
    Underhill, M.L., Waters, S.D., Ross, J.M.S., Winhall, N.E. (1950). New Zealand chaplains in the Second World War. Wellington: Dept. Internal Affairs, War History Branch. Digital copy at
    Sources Used
  • Documents
    • Haigh, J. (1983). Men of faith and courage: the official history of the New Zealand Chaplains Department. Auckland, N.Z.: The Word Publishers. AWMM
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Ross, A. (1959). 23 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Military Service Record AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 5 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1941 to 30 September, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 5: WW2 89 AWMM
    • Rev. M. L. Underhill ... [et al.] (1950). New Zealand chaplains in the Second World War. Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
29 March 2020Andrew Chesham, United KingdomResearcher
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