Thomas Stillingfleet Hamer

From auditor to soldier.

Tom Hamer, 1909.Thomas (Tom) Stillingfleet Hamer was from Wellington and joined the Audit Department in November 1907. He had married Alice Spragg on 29 May 1907. At the outbreak of WW1, he had attained the position of Audit Examiner, Class V, based at Wellington.

Tom joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in August 1914, aged 31, and was sent to Samoa in August 1914 as part of the Samoan Advance Party.

On return to Wellington in April 1915, Tom resigned from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. His discharge certificate described his character as “Very Good” and that he was leaving the New Zealand Expeditionary Force at his own request. He went back to work at the Audit Department.

While in Samoa, Tom had injured his leg, and this could be the reason why he did not re-enlist. He was later awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Tom was divorced in March 1920, and married his second wife, Dorothy Borwick, in 1924. Tom left the Audit Department in 1925. At the outbreak of WW2, he was working at the Native Land Court, Wellington. He enlisted in the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force in June 1940, aged 53. His medical assessment found him fit for home defence duties.

During WW2, almost 119,000 men and women served in the Home Guard. The basic unit of the guard was the platoon – about 30-40 soldiers. Platoons were intended to provide defence of their own localities, although some were used to patrol key strategic locations.

Tom was discharged from the Home Guard in September 1949. He was awarded the War Medal (1939-45) and the New Zealand War Service Medal.

Tom died on 7 August 1961.