Douglass Walter Masterson (1889‒1928)

Douglass Masterson
Douglass Masterson

Douglass was born in 1889 in Cambridge, Cambridgshire. He was the youngest of ten children born to George William Masterson and Julia Masterson (née Wallis).

Douglass married Eleanor Frances Marsh (1889‒1955) on 5 June 1915 at St Cuthbert’s Church, Manaia, New Zealand by the Rev. O. M. Stent, M.A., Vicar of Opunake. (Eleanor had been taken to New Zealand by her mother ‒ how she and Douglass met is unclear.)  They had two daughters: Patricia Eleanor (1919‒77); and Mary Elizabeth (1925‒96). Their first daughter was born on 1 October 1919 at Nurse Brown’s Private Hospital, Cotswold, Devonport.

Douglass Masterson
Douglass Masterson

Douglass enlisted as 2/1946, 1st Battery, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. His next of kin on enlistment was his sister, Dora, whose address was Park Mansions Hotel, Knightsbridge, London. He initially left Wellington, New Zealand to go to the Suez in Egypt on 13 June 1915. He was wounded at Gallipolli and transported back to New Zealand on a hospital ship. In mid-1916 Douglass Masterson arrived in New Zealand as one of the sick and wounded on board the hospital ship TSS Manganui. He was listed as a Quarter Master Sergeant in the Field Artillery, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

Masterson Medal Certificate
Masterson Medal Certificate

According to his family Douglass spent much of his time in hospitals because of his wounds and shell shock from the war. As a result he was not very mobile and had to use a basket chair with wheels and then two sticks. His eyes often gave him trouble and his ability to control his hands and arms was limited making eating and writing difficult. In 1923 he was spoken of as the ‘Reverend D. Masterson’ and ‘preached sermons’ around the South Island of New Zealand.

After two or three years Douglass’s health deteriorated with a brain tumour and he was hospitalised at Hanmer Springs Hospital. He died on 20 November 1928 in Waikari Hospital and was buried in Wellington Cemetery in New Zealand. His last known address was 20 Armagh Street, Christchurch.

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Masterson grave



Lat Lon : 52.203835, 0.13773505 – click here for location

Parish : St Andrew the Less

See family grave page for more information






New Zealand and Australian Division
Census: 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837‒1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837‒1915
England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837‒1915
New Zealand, Death Index, 1848‒1964
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858‒1966
UK and Ireland, Find a Grave Index, 1300s‒Current
New Zealand Army WWI Nominal Rolls, 1914‒1918
Dominion, 12 June 1915
New Zealand Herald, 3 October 1919
Evening Post, 31 May 1916
Evening Post, 22 November 1928
Photographs by kind permission of Merilyn Hamlin

By Emma Easterbrook and Merilyn Hamlin (granddaughter of Douglass Masterson)

Douglass Walter Masterson