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Displaying 1 Record
Rank Last Held:
Also Known As:
World War II, 1939-1945
Date of Birth:
22 August 1921
Place of Birth:
Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
First Known Rank:
Occupation before Enlistment:
Next of Kin:
Mrs Teowaina Shelford (mother), Tikitiki, New Zealand
Wainui Beach, Gisborne, New Zealand
Height: 5 foot 10 1/2 inches
26 January 1940
Body on Embarkation:
Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
28 (Maori) Battalion, C Company
8 November 1940
Nominal Roll Number:
Page on Nominal Roll:
Transferred to D Company Maori Battalion 1941
Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
Africa Star (8th Army clasp)
War Medal 1939-1945
New Zealand War Service Medal
London Gazette 20 February 1942
During a night attack on 14 December 1941 he showed outstanding heroism and courage. Private Shelford volunteered to cover 300 yards to the enemy firing from the rear and clean it out. He covered the 300 yards under fire from anti tank guns, MMGs, LMGs and rifle fire, walking, running and firing.
Wounds and Diseases:
Egypt, Camp Hospital 19-23 February 1941
Hospitalised immediately after the Gazala incident with leg injuries
3 February 1945
Last Unit Served:
28 (Maori) Battalion, D Company
Reason for Discharge:
End of war
Place of Death:
Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand
Date of Death:
7 May 1984
Age at Death:
Year of Death:
Cause of Death:
Killed as a pedestrian in a hit and run road accident
Mangere Public Cemetery, Auckland, New Zealand
Death Notice: RSA Review Last Post
He was the son of Tame Shelford and Te Owaina Kirikiri Puihi of Tikitiki. Raised by Atareta and Paratene of Tikitiki
Married Lilias May (known as Maisie and Blue ) Beazley in 1948
Aged 18 years at enlistment, as he increased his age by three years to enlist his military records have his birth date as 1918
Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal after the action at Gazala, Libya, North Africa. The recommending officer, 2nd Lieutenant Rangi Logan later recalled that he had actually recommended Shelford for the Victoria Cross. Feelings about this never really died away and were the subject of a newspaper report some 40 years later at the time of his tangi.
Was hospitalised after the Gazala episode as his legs were giving him trouble and was transferred to duties with transport as a driver initially for Rangi Logan and later delivering ammunition to distribution points close to the front line.
Described as a legendary figure for his exploits during service bravery, bucking authority and the rules, and for his success in collecting loot and booty for resale and trade.
Returned to New Zealand 31 October 1944 and discharged in February the following year having served 5 years 9 days
He was closely associated with the Newmarket Returned Servicemens Association. The club still holds an annual pool competition in which members compete for the Charlie Shelford trophy.
Closely associated with the Te Unga Waka Marae, Clyde Street, Epsom, Auckland; kaumatua and one of the first Maori Warden
Tangi held at the Te Unga Waka Marae
Description of Image:
Portrait; original held in the Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne
Headstone, Mangere Public Cemetery
28th Maori Battalion Website 1941-1945. URL:
Awatere, A. (2003). Awatere : a soldier's story. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia.
Essay. Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. URL:
Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington: Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. Digital copy.
Joyce, B. (2004). Charles Shelford. New Zealand genealogist.
Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941.) Wellington: E.V. Paul, Government Printer. 1941
Cenotaph data entry form
Unpublished papers: family papers
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. URL:
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