44466 Lance Corporal Walter Richard Ferris – Wellington Infantry Regiment

William Richard Walter Ferris was born in Wellington on the 25th April 1894 the eldest son of Katherine Florence
(nee Nattrass) and William Henry Ferris. There were five other children; Reginald Luke (1896), Aubrey Gladstone (1898), Ruby Kathleen (1901),Gerald (1911) and Mary Magdala Ferris (1912).[i]

William Henry Ferris had come to New Zealand in 1883 and had a long association with the flax milling. In 1903  he joined the NZ Department of Agriculture and when his son enlisted, in 1916, was the government’s Chief Hemp Grader.[ii]
William Richard Walter Ferris, was also known as Walter Richard Ferris, possible to prevent confusion with his father William snr. Walter Richard Ferris entered Military Camp on the 8th January 1917 his military files list him as a single man,
a self employed Dairy Farmer working at Makomako, Pahiatua.

44466 Private Ferris following basic training left New Zealand on th 5th April 1917 in
B Company 24th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Regiment. The Reinforcements
arrived in England in June 1917, at Sling Private Ferris was allocated to the 2nd Battalion,
Wellington Infantry Regiment. Time with training was short and less than a month later
Private Ferris was shipped to France attached to the 7th (Wellington West Coast) Company,
3rd Battalion, WIR on the 24th July 1917.

Private Ferris was in hospital on a number of occasions with influenza and bronchitis
remaining in France and moving between WIR Battalions. Private Ferris was promoted to
Lance Corporal Ferris in December 1918 but then was in hospital, in France,  with a viral
infection through February and March 1919. On discharge Lance Corporal Ferris was
shipped to England and the process of being repatriated to New Zealand.

Lance Corporal Ferris left England in May 1919 and was discharged, in New Zealand on
3rd August 1919 ‘on the termination of period of engagement.’

44466 Lance Corporal Walter Richard Ferris  c 1919 

Initially Walter Ferris went to live with his parents in Wellington but by Janaury 1921,
when his medals were sent to him, he is listed as a Motor Cycle Agent, Dickens Street, Napier.

Willian Richard Walter Ferris in 1924 married Norma Sophie Oldham, the couple had two children Lois and Peter Richard (1929).

The family had moved to Lower Hutt by 1926 and to Wanaka Street, Titahi Bay by 1938.[iii]

On the 2nd July 1940 Walter Richard Ferris volunteer for service within New Zealand during WW2. The 46 year old
married man lists two children and that they are living in Titahi Bay, Porirua where he was employed by a printing
company as a reporter and admin manager for the NZ Farmers Union[iv].

William Richard Walter Ferris died on the 30th May 1960.

Catherine is also spelt as Katherine in NZ BDM
The William Richard Walter (Walter Richard) Ferris connection to the Porirua District is not strong but has been included given the research has been completed.

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 44466 Lance Corporal Walter Richard Ferris

Lance Corporal Walter Richard Ferris – Auckland Cenotaph

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] W H Ferris Obituary, 4th January 1939, Press
[iii] Welcome To, 25 June 1938, Evening Post
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 44466 Lance Corporal Walter Richard Ferris

44466 Lance Corporal Walter Richard Ferris