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Lieutenant A.H Grierson N.Z.E.F Nelson Rifles?


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Hello members, I am trying to research the above New Zealand Officer but have virtually very little on him. I scanned the internet and noticed he was serving with the Nelson-Marlborough Mounted Rifles and 10th Mounted Rifles. Do any members know anything about him and his units he served, would love to know anything about him as had his medal lying around for some time and not had any luck!



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Given Name Alexander Hugh

Category Nominal Roll Vol. 2

Regimental Number 12691

Rank 2nd Lieut

Next of Kin Title Hugh K

Next of Kin Surname GRIERSON

Next of Kin Relationship Father

Next of Kin Address Solicitor Southampton England

Roll 31

Page 1

Occupation Farmer

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Alexander Hugh Grierson married Stella Marie Grange in 1919

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Hi, Mike.

The Mounted Rifles are not my strong point, but I'm fairly certain they followed similar 'rules' to the Infantry when it came to regions within New Zealand.

Basically, militarily they divided NZ into four districts - two in the North Island and two in the South Island named after existing provinces, and each had a regiment. They were Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago. Within each of these four military districts, there were then four smaller areas, each of which provided a Company.

Nelson-Marlborough is at the top of the South Island and was classed as being part of the Canterbury military district.

Within Canterbury, there was 'Canterbury', 'South Canterbury', 'Nelson-Marlborough' (sometimes just called 'Nelson' - but that could have just been for the Infantry - as I said, I'm not a Mounted Rifles expert by any means), and 'North Canterbury and Westland'.

So you might be wanting to look for things about what the 'Canterbury Mounted Rifles' were up to, as well as 'Nelson-Marlborough Mounted Rifles' and '10th Mounted Rifles', to get a broader view of what was going on.


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His file is held in Archives NZ, Wellington


Anyone can order & view this Record from the following office, please quote the Archives Reference (see below) or print this page.

Archives New Zealand, Head Office, Wellington

PO Box 12-050

10 Mulgrave Street


Ph: 04 499 5595

Fax: 04 495 6210

Email: reference@archives.govt.nz

Please quote this information to request this record

title years

GRIERSON, Alexander Hugh - WW1 12691 - Army 1914 - 1918

agency series accession box / item record part alternative no.

AABK 18805 W5539 54 0047840

It will cost you $25 NZ to obtain a copy

However there is another source where you could obtain a copy of his war record.

In the Alexander Turnbull Library, which is part of the National Library of NZ, there is a collection of biographical cuttings from newspapers, which has been indexed.

I was looking at the index, which is readily available, at my local library, and found this entry;

GRIERSON, Lt Alexander Hugh. fl. 1915-1919

details of war record TL 3/1/2

21 April, 4 May 1982

q920 Hogg Scrapbooks


statement after investigating allegations of being an enemy


With the help of the librarians, I worked out that this means there is a query letter -q920- held in the Turnbull Letters, Hogg Scrapbooks, something to do with these allegations.

This letter of query was received in 1982.


To find out what this is you would have to contact the Turnbull Library


I have looked through the catalogue for the Turnbull library- Tapuhi- and found this.

Grierson, Alexander Hugh fl 1915

Record 1 of 1.


Record Title : Hucker, Graham, fl 1991

Bundling out the Hun; the Women's Anti-German League in New Zealand during the first world war

Display Dates : 1915-1919, 1991

Reference Number : MS-Papers-5163

Issue Restriction : Unrestricted

Collection Status : COLLECTION

Issue Status : Issuable ITEM

Linear Metres : 0.01

Quantity : 1 folder(s) (30 leaves)

Physical Description : Typescript

Scope and Contents : Hucker describes origins of the Women's Anti-German League, its activities and public attitudes to German aliens and to the League

Names : Hucker, Graham fl 1991 (Creator)

Women's Anti-German League (Subject)

Grierson, Alexander Hugh fl 1915 (Subject)

Subjects : World War, 1914-1918 - Women

World War, 1914-1918 - Propaganda

Record Types : General records Research notes

General Notes : Donor/vendor - Donated by Mr G Hucker, Palmerston North, 1995

Source of Title - Transcribed

Provenance : Article written in 1991 while Mr Hucker was teaching Fellow in history at Massey University

Institution : Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand

One of the NZers on the Forum (Kooky?) is soon going to visit Wellington.

Maybe you could ask her to go to the Turnbull library and look up these references.


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he was serving with the Nelson-Marlborough Mounted Rifles and 10th Mounted Rifles


This is appears to be two names for the same regiment as the nomenclature changed during the war.

See: http://www.regiments.org/regiments/newzeal...av/10nelson.htm


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Members, Thank-you very much for all your help, I did not know were to start until you came to the rescue! Very much appreciated to all. I am very interested in this research project, I wondered what the "enemy allegations" could be? Does anyne know if he served at Gallipoli and if so was he an Officer at the time?

Thanks again.


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Just had some excellent information regarding Lieutenant Grierson and "The Grierson Enquiry". He was accused of being a German spy during the war by an MP in New Zealand and had visited Germany just before the war. He had been heard saying how efficient the German Army was. He was later cleared of the charges in a court due to lack of evidence I believe. I was also informed he was Killed during the war but he does not appear on the CWGC and for some strange reason he is not commemorated.

I wonder if there is some explanation for this or perhaps his death has remained a secret. I am now going to contact the NZ NA to obtain more information on him as I have a few more avenues of research.

I must thanks the forum members whom have helped me get this far in obtaining very valuable and interesting information!



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Alexander Grierson was a 2nd lieutenant on enlistment. His father was Hugh k Grierson and was a solicitor in Southhampton. Best regards Aaron.

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Hi Mike,

While I cant be certain, his regimental number strongly indicates he was part of the 12th reinforcements. He would be either 10th,11th or the 12th. In any case all of these reinforcements drafts arrived to late to serve at Gallipoli. Only the first six reinforcements from New Zealand served at Gallipoli. Also our records ( NZ Roll of Hounour) does not have him as a war casualty, which on the face of it, means he died after 1923. While the CWGC recognised serviceman who died up until 1921, our roll of Honour extended a couple of years beyond that.

Best regards Aaron.

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His father was Hugh Kirkpatrick Grierson, b. abt. 1860, who married Emma Gater (b. abt. 1868) in South Stoneham, Hampshire in June quarter of 1891. Alexander Hugh Grierson was then born about 12 months later.

The 1901 census shows Alexander had a younger sister Mabel (4) and a brother John (4 months). The family also had a Housemaid, a Nurse and a Cook.

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Thanks for the help, it just seems strange that I am informed that he had died during WW1, this was revealed by the chap whom had conducted a paper on the "Grierson Enquiry". I wonder if anyone could explain if he was killed during WW1, then surely his name would be commemorated?

many thanks.


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If the marriage quoted above is his, then he was alive in 1919

to be sure you would need to get a copy of the marriage registration


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Just had more information regarding Lieutenant Grierson. I have been informed that he is listed on the Auckland Memorial Museum Military personnel database as not surviving the Great War. I am baffled as to why there is no record of his death on the CWGC, does anyone know anything of help?



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The cenotaph lists his details, but does not list him as having died during the war.

Most of the servicemen and women listed on the database did in fact die of war related causes, but not all of them. People are allowed to have their relatives who served added, if they fill in a form and provide details and documentation. It is a database that is constantly being updated. However, people could be forgiven for thinking that because someone is on there, they must have died in the war.

The cornerstone of our military information system is Cenotaph, a biographical database of all New Zealanders who have died in the 20th century in conflicts from South Africa to East Timor.

The Cenotaph Database is primarily a roll of honour of those who died as a result of war service, but also includes some personnel who have died since.

His listing actually says:

Surname: Grierson

Forenames: Alexander Hugh

Serial No.: 12691

War: World War I (WWI), 1914-1918

Enlistment Occupation: Farmer

First Rank: Second Lieutenant

Embarkation Next of Kin: Hugh K. Grierson (father)




Embarkation Date: 6 May 1916

Embarkation Unit: New Zealand Rifle Brigade

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Looked up your man Greirson today, he survivied the war, he was struck off strength on the 4th of Jan 1919. He was attested on the 21st of August 1915, so there is quite a long time from his attestation to embarkation. He was given the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in March of 1916, and then promoted to Lieutenant on the 2nd of May 1917. I also wtn to look up the casualty lists to see if he was wounded at any stage, but somebody else had that at the Librbay I was in, and they kept it for most of theday, I popped in about 3 times to do the look up for you....most annoying. Anyway, trust you fimnd the above info helpful.

best regards Aaron.

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Aaron, Thank-you very much for sparing your time to help, it is very much appreciated and most useful information to me. Its a credit to the New Zealanders on this forum whom always find the time to help others, Ive had a great response from all, and would like to thank-you all once again.



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