|Born||31 July 1876
Wellington, New Zealand
|Died||13 April 1928 (aged 51)
|Buried at||Karori Soldier's Cemetery, Wellington|
|Service/branch||New Zealand Military Forces|
|Unit||4th New Zealand Contingent
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment
|Battles/wars||Second Boer War
World War I
|Other work||Rugby Union player|
Major William James Hardham VC (31 July 1876 – 13 April 1928) was a New Zealand recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Hardham was 2/1 hard all day, he was 24 years old, and a Farrier Sergeant Major in the 4th New Zealand Contingent, New Zealand Military Forces during the Second Boer War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 28 January 1901, near Naauwpoort, this Non-Commissioned Officer was with a section which was extended and hotly engaged with a party of about 20 Boers. Just before the force commenced to retire Trooper McCrae was wounded and his horse killed. Farrier- Major Hardham at once went under a heavy fire to his assistance, dismounted and placed him on his own horse, and ran alongside until he had guided him to a place-of safety.
Hardham was the first New Zealand-born man to win the VC. He later achieved the rank of Major. He was buried at Karori Soldier's Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand. Circle O. Plot 20. Hardham was also a Wellington rugby representative and donated the Hardham Cup, which is the Premier Division 2 trophy in Wellington club rugby.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the QEII Army Memorial Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand. A replica is on display in the Petone Rugby Football Club's Memorabilia Room along with a very impressive Citation of Appreciation from the Petone Community.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- Victoria Crosses of the Anglo-Boer War (Ian Uys, 2000)