Monday, July 1, 2013

Walter Harry Meddings

Major Walter Harry Meddings 
 New Zealand Staff Corps.
killed in action 
11th October 1917 Ypres, Belgium aged 46 years

Advice was received yesterday that Major W. H. Meddings, N.Z.S.C., was killed in action on October 11th. The late Major Meddings was very wellknown in Christchurch, where he had lived practically all his life. He was the only son of the late Mr W. G. Meddings, Inspector of Telegraphs, and was born in 1871.

He was educated at the Christchurch Boys High School, and from his earliest days took a very keen interest in volunteering. He commenced his career in the High School Cadets, and in 1892 was non-com. in the old Christchurch Rifles, subsequently joining the City Guards. He left that corps on the formation of the Highland Rifles, in which he served under the late Lieut- Colonel D. Macbean Stewart as coloursergeant.

He remained with the Highland Rifles until 1903, when he joined the Linwood Rifles as lieutenant, and in the following year he was promoted to captain of that corps. Under the old volunteer system he passed his lieutenant's examination in 1903, and his captain's in 1904, received his P.S. in 1905, and passed for his majority in 1906.

In the latter year he was appointed A.Q.M.G. to the Canterbury district, and held that office until  December 1910. When the Territorial system came into existence at the beginning of 1911 he attended the officers' course of instruction at Tauherenikau, and was then appointed group officer at Nelson with the temporary rank of captain.

In August, 1912, he was appointed A.Q.M.G to the Canterbury Military District, which office he held tilt his departure for the front. He was promoted major on August 10th. 1914.

Major Meddings left New Zealand in charge of the 23rd Reinforcements, and almost immediately after his arrival in England was sent on to France in charge of the No. 2 Canterbury Battalion.

Major Meddings was recognised as one of the most capable officers on the New Zealand Staff, and very general regret was expressed in both military and business circles yesterday when the news of his death became known.

Amongst his many military qualifications, Major Meddings was an exceptionally fine rifle shot, and narrowly missed representing the Dominion at Bisley on one occasion. Prior to his joining the New Zealand Staff in 1911, Major Meddings was Customs clerk at the Farmers' Co-op., whose employ he entered in 1898.

In 1901 he married the younger daughter of the late Mr J. T. Garforth. of Christchurch.
Press, Volume LIII, Issue 16037, 20 October 1917, Page 11

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