BOURCHIER Walter John Majendie
The Household Cavalry
Blues & Royals
9th Lancers,
3542, Lieutenant, Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry
SPTS/2894, Corporal, 24th Royal Fusiliers
Second Lieutenant, Suffolk Regiment
Durham Light Infantry
South African Constabulary
French Foreign Legion
Canadian Northwest Mounted Police
25823 Legion of Frontiersmen, New Zealand

CITATION
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) civil
1950 Birthday Honours
Gazetted 8 June 1950, p2814
For services to ex-servicemen's organisations.

AWARDS
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) civil
Ashanti Medal
Queens South Africa Medal
Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Laing's Nek
Kings South Africa Medal
South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
Zulu Rebellion Medal 1906
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Coronation 1902 Medal
&c

Pioneer Axe [Awarded 1947]
Long Service & Efficiency Medal [Awarded 1946]

NOTES
Born 26 Feb 1877 Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, England
Died 31 January 1953 New Zealand
Cremated Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, New Zealand [Ashes Scattered]

LEGION OBITUARY
25823 Lieutenant Colonel Walter John Majendie BOURCHIER, MBE, MA, JP, Pnr
With deep and sincere regret, we have to record the death of a gradually diminishing band of long service members of the Legion, Lieutenant Colonel W.J.M Bourchier (Pioneer), which took place at Greenlane Hospital, Auckland, on January 31.  He had been in failing health for some time, and entered hospital on December 13, passing away at the age of 76 years.  The news of his death came as a shock to many of his associates who, although noting with concern a decline in his physical vigour when meeting at the Te Aroha Conference, little dreamt that it would be the last time he would take part in the deliberations of the Legion.
It is no exaggeration to state that he was one of the most arresting and colourful personalities who have ever served with the Legion in New Zealand.  Six feet two and a half in height, he carried himself like a guardsman in spite of his years, and commanded attention wherever he appeared.  One could feel his presence in a room before he spoke – and he talked but little although with such a background he could have discoursed unendingly
His military career was an imposing one, and he held the army rank of Colonel.  He served with the Household Cavalry, the Blues, 9th Lancers, Royal Fusiliers, Durham Light Infantry,  Suffolk Regiment, South African Constabulary, French Foreign Legion, and the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police.  Campaigns in which he took part were the Second Ashanti Expedition of 1898, Cuban Occupation, South African War 1899-1902, Zulu Risings 1906, Philippine Campaign 1910-11, World War One 1914-18, West of Ireland 1919-20. 
He was also a member of Scott’s Antarctic Expedition of 1912.  During the Boer War, he served as an Intelligence Officer although nominally in the Thornycroft Mounted Infantry, while in the Philippine campaign he was second in command of the coloured cavalry.  At the Coronation of King Edward VII, he was galloper for Lord Kitchener.  With the rank of Colonel – Commandant, he served in with intelligence in France and Belgium.  His service with the French Foreign legion, for which he was awarded one of the comparatively few desert medals issued, was on behalf of the British Government, who desired some information about how the campaign against the Riffs was being conducted.  He was the proud wearer of twelve medals and decorations.  His versatility and adventurous spirit was indicated by the fact that for a period he followed the sea, rising from Apprentice to Mate.
Born in Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire, England, he was the son of the Bishop of Bath and his family tree dated back to the days of William the Conquerer, while two of his uncles were Generals in the British Army.  He graduated MA at Oxford University, spoke 12 languages, and held the heavyweight boxing championship of the British Army for three years.  In 1948 he was made a J.P, and held also the office of Dominion President of the King’s Empire Veterans Association, President of the South African War Veterans Association, Military Representative on the Veterans’ Home Board, and Inspector of the Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals.
With such a grand record of service to the Empire, it was but natural that he should be attracted to the legion, and he joined up with ‘A’ Squadron in 1934, holding the office of Troop Leader in 1940, and Squadron Leader in the years 1941-42 and 1948-49.  His work in the Legion in general was recognised in 1947, when he received the highest award in its power, the Pioneer Axe, while during the previous year he was awarded the Long Service & Efficiency Medal.  In 1950 he was appointed to the office of Commissioner, holding the position with dignity and bringing sound judgement to bear in expressing his opinion on various problems.  No greater compliment can be paid him than to say that he really knew and appreciated all that the Legion stood for, and he was ever ready to do anything in his power to further its aims and objects; although his interests were so widespread, he yet found time to devote to the welfare of the organisation which he had adopted.
On 3 February, the mortal remains of this grand old warrior were conveyed to the Auckland Crematorium, following a service conducted by the Reverend Blackwood Moore, of St Matthews Church, where on occasion the Colonel had often read the lessons on the occasions of Church Parades.  The pall bearers were; Capt H.S PARSONS (OC ‘A’ Squadron), Lieutenant L.N BUCK (Pioneer), Lieutenant E.F HOOK (Squadron Adjutant), Fm A.C THOMPSON (Pioneer), Messrs A.G BERTRAM (Secretary of the South African and Kings Empire Veterans Association), and C.J LITT (Committeeman of the Kings Empire Veterans Association)
At the Crematorium, Lieutenant Hook’s place was taken Captain J.T COLE (Cadet Division) and was fitting that there was a good representation of members of ‘A’ Squadron and Cornwall Park Troop.  The concluding ceremony was a service by Masonic Brethren, the various symbolic acts being performed.
The deceased leaves a widow and two children, a daughter (Mrs Stringer), and a son (D. Bourchier, Palmerston North), to whom all members of the Legion will join in extending deepest sympathy in the great sorrow. [© The Frontiersman, April 1953)

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