Army Medal Rolls 1860 – 1919

Genealogists love military ancestors as they leave such wonderful records behind them, they are a gift to family history ! If you have young men and in some cases women in New Zealand who were of the age where they may have been in the army then this is a genealogy resource that you need to look at.

New Zealand Army Medal Rolls, 1860-1919

NZ Army Medal Rolls Family HistoryThis collection on is an index compiled from “The NZ Official Yearbook” published 1919 and “Defenders of New Zealand” published 1887 of all those who received medals for military service. It is known that the index is not complete so if you do not find your ancestor in this index a search of the official yearbook may locate them. The NZ Official Yearbooks 1893 – 2008 are now available online free of charge. The book “Defenders of New Zealand” is also online on the Internet Archive website. Links below.

During the time period covered by this collection there were three major conflicts in which New Zealanders were involved. The first was the NZ War 1860 – 1870, then the 2nd Boer War 1899 – 1902 and lastly WW1.

Military Medal Roll Genealogy

The awards included in this index are :-

  • Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), awarded to non-commissioned officers for bravery
  • Distinguished Service Order (DSO), generally awarded to officers ranked Major and higher for distinguished war service
  • Imperial Service Order, awarded on retirement to the administration and clerical staff of the Civil Service throughout the British Empire for long and meritorious service
  • Meritorious Service Medal (MSM), awarded for distinguished service or gallantry, principally by non-commissioned officers
  • Military Cross Medal (MC), awarded to commissioned officers of Captain and below, as well as Warrant Officers, for valour during active operations
  • Military Medal, awarded to non-commissioned officers for bravery in land battle
  • The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, an order of chivalry appointed to individuals who had rendered important services in relation to the Commonwealth or foreign nations
  • The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry appointed to individuals for civil or military merit
  • The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, generally awarded to senior military officers and senior civil servants
  • New Zealand Cross, awarded for gallantry to members of local volunteer forces during the New Zealand Wars
  • New Zealand Medal, awarded to volunteers and militia from New Zealand who fought with the British Army during the New Zealand War of 1860–70
  • Royal Red Cross, awarded for exceptional services in military nursing
  • Victoria Cross Medal (VC), awarded for valour in the face of the enemy
  • Miscellaneous Foreign Decorations & Medals

This index was compiled by the late Anne Bromell one of New Zealand’s leading genealogists. I had the privilege of knowing Anne and enjoyed many conversations with her about the intricacies of family history. Thanks to her family for allowing her work to be enjoyed by others via Ancestry.


Ancestry Australia

New Zealand Official Yearbooks 1893 – 2008

Defenders of New Zealand