Donald (Don) Keith Stuart – Military Conscript

Donald Keith Stuart was born on 2nd November 1917[i] the youngest of six sons born to Kathleen Isabella (nee Boulton) and Charles Stuart.  Don, as he was known, was born in Wellington where his father was serving with the New Zealand Police at the Mount Cook jail. Charles left the police in 1919 to take up farming in Pauatahanui where both the Boulton
and Stuart families had land.

Don is listed as attending Judgeford School as did three of his older brothers before going farming in the Pauatahanui
area. With the outbreak of World War Two,  Don’s four brothers joined up leaving Don to run the family farm. Don was selected in the Compulsory Military Service ballot and his father appealed the selection. The Evening Post carrying the follow item;[ii]

                'Four Sons overseas appeal by farmer
                A Pahautanui farmer, C Stuart who has four of his sons overseas
                with the New Zealand forces, was granted an adjournment sine die
                for his fifth son  by the Armed Forces Appeal Board today.
                He appealed on behalf of Donald Keith Stuart farm hand and manager,
                on the grounds of public interest and hardship-. The appellant said this
                son was the youngest of his five sones and was the only one who could
                look after the farm. The other four were serving with the forces overseas
                – one of them was missing – and this son had also volunteered for overseas
               service. He had already done three years training in the Territorials.
               The Appelant added that a manager he had put on the property had left with
                the forces also, and he was compeled to go back to the farm himself. He was
                suffering from bad health, and the son for whom he was appealing managed
                the farm. His duties including getting up every morning about 4:30 winter and
                summer and getting the milk ready for the lorry at 6:30.'

The missing son was 41503 Gunner Charles Keith Stuart, another son 35456 Private John (Jack) Stuart was a POW having been wounded then captured in the Battle of Crete.

Don continued farming until after the war and became a local carried in the district selling the company in 1968.[iii]

Donald Keith Stuart died in 2008.

Don’s  father Charles Stuart served in the 2nd Boer War as SA3420 Trooper Charles Stuart, 6th Contingent, New Zealand Mounted Rifles.[iv]
By 1941 four of five surviving sons were with the 2nd NZEF
One son Keith Charles was died in 1914 as the result of an accident.
35456 Private John (Jack) Richard Stuart, 19th Infantry Battalion  Killed while a POW
38802 Private Edward Lyle (Lyle) Stuart, 22nd Infantry Battalion Killed in Action
41503 Gunner Charles Keith Stuart, NZ Artillery
43629 Private Ronald Kenneth Stuart, 29th Infantry Battalion

Paperspast  Online
NZ BDM Online
Pauatahanui – a local history
NZDF archives

Pauatahanui Hall and bridge c1912

[ii] Four Sons, 30th July 1941, Evening Post
[iii] Pauatahanui – a local history
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files ​​


Pauatahanui Hall and Stream