MERTON, John Llewellyn Charles
6/2890, Captain, Canterbury Rifles
20716, Legion of Frontiersmen
Gazetted 1 Jan 1917, p45
As Intelligance Officer, this officer showed conspicious ability during the operations round FLERS from the 16th to 28th September. He went forwward and ,ade a thorough search of all dugouts and dead and wounded men, and sent back some verry valuable information and papers. He also went forward on several occasions and brouight back valuable information as to how the situation was progressing, which was of great assistance to me.
British War Medal
Pioneer Axe (Awarded 1965)
Silver Fern (Awarded 1959)
Legion Meritorious Service Medal
Legion Long Service & Efficiency Medal (Awarded 1948)
Born 11 October 1883 New Zealand
Died 14 November 1965, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Ashes buried Kelvin Grove Cemetery, Palmerston North
20761 Major John Llewellyn Charles MERTON, MC, TD, Pnr, SF, LMSM
It is with deep regret that we have to report the loss of a very valued member of the Legion, who passed over to a better world on Wednesday 24 November 1965. ‘Lin’ as he was affectionately knownby all who had contact with him, was of a quiet and unassuming nature, never trying to force his ideas on anyone. His wise and helpful counsel was always greatfully received and at all Conferences which he attended, whether as a Frontiersman or an Officer, men listened attentively when he spoke, for there was always a soundness in what he had to say. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. His life was a life of service to the community and to his church. Major MERTON first joined the Volunteers in Christchurch in 1901, becoming a Lieutenant in 1905. In 1912 he transferred to the Hawkes Bay Regiment (Territorials) as a Company Commander. He went into camp with the 7th Reinforcementsand was in Command of ‘C’ Company. On the voyage to Egypt he was Ships Adjutant on the Warrimoo. He served overseas for over four years with the Canterbury Regiment as Intelligence Officer, Adjutant, Company Commander and finally as Second-in-Charge. He was promoted to Captain in 1916 and Major in 1918. Returning to England after serving with the Army of Occupation in Cologne, he was engaged in Staff Duties until he sailed for New Zealand in November 1919. On return to New Zealand he rejoined the Territorials as Company Commander of the Wellington West Coast Regiment. Major MERTON joined ‘N’ Squadron, Legion of Frontirsmen in 1933 and for upward of twenty years he has been in office in the Squadron, including eight years as Adjutant and a term as Squadron Leader. In 1962 he was seconded to New Zealand Headquarters as Chief of Staff and Records Officer, which post he held until his death. He was awarded the Long Service & Efficiency Medal (1948), Silver Fern (1959) Legion Meritorious Service Medal (1963), and the Pioneer Axe (1965). Of all his decorations, he was most proud of his Pioneer Axe.
A Tribute To
Major John Llewellyn Charles MERTON, MC, TD, LMSM, Pioneer
It is with deep regret that that we have to report the loss of a very valued member of the Legion, who passed over to a better world on Wednesday 24 November 1965. To Mrs MERTON and family we tender our sincere sympathy and condolences; we know what a great loss Lyn is to you. God Guard Thee. The service was held at the All Saints Church, Palmerston North, at 2pm on Friday 26 November 1965, some 29 Legion personnel attended the service in uniform plus two or three in civvies, then at the crematorium the pall-bearers were Legion personnel, who were the following: Captain BURLING, Captain FUNNELL, Major PUKLOWSKI, Pioneer HONORE, Lieutenant PEARCE, Pioneer WALLIS. Colonel CONGREVE gave the Legion prayer. Now he is serving God, our great Commander. The following is a record of his service to the Legion. Joined ‘N’ Squadron 15 March 1933 and has held office in the following order:-
Troop Leader 1940 and again 1946-47
Squadron Leader 1951-52
Squadron Treasurer 1958
Squadron Sergeant Major 1959
Lieutenant, Adjutant 1961-62
Chief of Staff & Records Officer 1 July 1962 - 24 November 1965
Awarded – LSEM 1948, Silver Fern 1959 and Pioneer Axe 1965.
I have worked with the Major for just on sixteen years in the Legion and he was a great help in all Legion matters and was willing to help all Legion personnel where he could give advice. He will always be mostly remembered by those who camped with him and shot with him on the range. Lyn was fond of bowls, indoor and outdoor; he played both. The Major served his church and community well and for this he will be remembered. For his 82 years he served his God and Sovereign and country well. We salute you Sir. We shall remember him.
[© The Frontiersman March 1966]