Ward Richard Milton Pearce – Volunteer / Military Ballot

Ward Richard Milton Pearce was born on 4th March 1886 in Pauatahanui the youngest in a nine children born to
Leticia (nee Lawson) and James Pearce[i].

The Pearce family moved to Judgeford, Pauatahanui in 1867 farming in the Belmont Hills[ii]. The Pearce children all attended Judgeford School with Ward Pearce enrolled at the school in 1893 following his fifth birthday.[iii]

Ward was active in Pauatahanui playing for the
Cricket Club  he is included in the 1909 photo of
the team.

Pauatahanui Cricket Club 1909
​Ward standing 4th left 

In 1914 Leticia and James Pearce retired and moved
to Upper Hutt and Ward took over running the farm
possible with  his older brother George Pearce.

Ward volunteered for service in May 1916 being
listed as one of the 16th Reinforcements going to
camp on 3rd May 1916. Ward had been passed fit
for the infantry prior to entering Trentham Camp
but failed the medical at the camp as he has no
military file registered.

Ward returned to farming and later on 4th October 1916 married Alice May Cottle. Alice was from another Pauatahanui farming family and Alice's older brother Edward William Cottle married Ward’s older sister Hannah Mary Pearce [iv].

In 1917 Ward was selected in the Military Ballot and is listed in February 1917 for the Wellington Recruiting District.[v]
An appeal was lodged and heard in April:

                In the case of Ward Richard Milton Pearce, it was stated that in view of having a certificate
                of unfitness he had assumed heavy liabilities in regard to his farm in the Horokiwi Valley,
                Pahautanui. On again going before a medical board he was passed fit. The appeal  was
                adjourned pending a further medical examination. Mr M. F. Luckie appeared for the appellant.

The medical must have indicated that Ward was still not medically fit for service as there is no record of him
entering camp.

The historic spelling of Pauatahanui is used in where quoted in newspapers of the day

Judgeford School Roll 1879 – 1935
Pauatahanui – a local history
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files

Pauatahanui Cricket Club 1909: Pataka Museum

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Pauatahanui – a local history
[iii] Judgeford School Rolls 1879 - 1935
[iv] NZ BDM
[v] Wellington Recruiting District No 5, 13th February 1917, Evening Post 

NZ Samoa Expeditionary force landing in Samoa 1915