William Hardham

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William Hardham
William Hardham VC.jpg
Captain William Hardham, April 1916
Born (1876-07-31)31 July 1876
Wellington, New Zealand
Died 13 April 1928(1928-04-13) (aged 51)
Wellington, New Zealand
Buried at Karori Soldier's Cemetery, Wellington
Allegiance New Zealand
Service/branch New Zealand Military Forces
Years of service 1895–1919
Rank Major
Unit 4th New Zealand Contingent
Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment
Battles/wars Second Boer War
First World War
Awards Victoria Cross
Mentioned in Despatches
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 award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Hardham 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.[1]

Following the end of the war, he went to the United Kingdom and received the decoration in person from the Prince of Wales during a large coronation parade of colonial troops in London on 1 July 1902.[2]

Further information[edit]

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.[3]

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.


  1. ^ "No. 27362". The London Gazette. 4 October 1901. p. 6481. 
  2. ^ "The Prince and the Colonial Contingents". The Times (36809). London. 2 July 1902. p. 12. 
  3. ^ Hardham Cup

External links[edit]