Reg No: 
Given Names: 
cecil henslowe
South Island Regiment - E Squadron
Norfolk 19 April 1902
clovelly north belt christchurch
Next of Kin: 
heslop mrs
Next of Kin Address: 
st albans lane christchurch
Relationship to Soldier: 

Download service record for Cecil Henslowe Cheesman -note spelling (Archway).

Spelling of surname changed from 'Cheeseman' to 'Cheesman' based on information in official service records, including letters signed by him - though both versions seem to have been used.  Also death certificate for his father (Walter Henslowe Cheesman).

Brother of Walter Cheesman, who also served in the South African War.

Service records online

Most of the South African War service records for soldiers in this database have now been digitised and are available by searching the Archives New Zealand Archway website.

Community contributions

5 comments have been posted about cecil henslowe cheesman

What do you know?


Posted: 30 Dec 2012

William is also my greatgrandfather. I am researching Walter Cheesman, Cecil's brother and my great uncle. Later known as Walter Templer Powell. famous actor and theatre director, interesting man. Married to actress Ida Molesworth, no children.


Posted: 20 Dec 2012

Hi Sarndra

Cecil was definitely born in 1879, in September in Wandsworth, Greater London. I don't think he was a juvenille delinquent, as he signed up for the Boer at age 17 and seems to have served well for NZ in that war. I think WWI must have changed him, as it did so many young men. However now I have made contact with a relative of Cecil's brother Dudley, I feel the Cheesmans were a little secretive even if they needn't have been. Part of me wonders if Cecil even knew he had a daughter but that is a feeling, as my Great Aunt says he was just unreliable and came and went. But who knows, it is certainly intriguing and I really hope I find out more than what I have read in records. He appears much like his father in being educated etc. I wonder whether the Freemasons connection is partly reason for not so much information. Good news is since this post I have found his mother. Isn't the internet fabulous! I will post more as I learn more. Thank you again, this is a story that will keep unravelling I am sure! :)


Posted: 20 Dec 2012

Nicci you are more than welcome. That's the joy of adding random research to the net - it helps people out like yourself!

He's a rather fascinating person isn't he! Yes i read he had been injured - often they 'lived for the moment' when in service so maybe that had an impact also and helped a ways towards his criminal record. I wonder if he was a juvenile delinquent prior to joining up though?

Fancy enlisting at age 64 to not even really take part! There's a huge story there I'm sure! Fascinating with regard to his daughter but I bet you're thinking thank goodness he had her though :)

A search of shows that William Henslowe CHEESMAN married Dec 1878 in the Wandsworth district volume 1d page 944 and by deduction his wife was Jane Anne T. POWELL. However as Cecil was born in 1876 this throws a bit of a spanner into the spokes. Children out of wedlock weren't all that uncommon and some anecdotes i've read state that parents often just slipped away and got married on the quiet - the ministers just pleased that parishioners just did the 'correct' thing . I can not find any other marriage prior to 1878 for Cecil's father on freebmd.

In the 1881 England census William and Jane are living at 5 Grange Road, Clapham. He was a Clerk bankers, born Norfolk, Kings Lynn aged 27 and Jane was born at Brixton, Surrey. Cecil is listed a 1year [conflict with army information which indicates he was born 1876] and they also had a 1month old son. They also had living with them a female servant and a monthly nurse - so were reasonably well off too afford to hire staff.
[They don’t appear in subsequent census’s that I can see].

Cecil’s baptism was held on 25 Feb 1880 at North Brixton Christ Church and born 26 Aug 1879. Father listed as William Henslowe CHEESMAN and mother Jane Anne Temple CHEESMAN in the parish of Lambeth [].

Another baptism at North Brixton Christ Church on 8 April 1881 is for Walter Augustus born 13 March 1881 son of William, Bankers Clerk and Jane of same address as previous paragraph. Walter served in the Boer War also, number 5641, Lance Corporal 8th Contingent – his military file online []

With this quickish bit of research I cannot find Janes death but will delve further tomorrow for you. My eyes are falling out!

Kind regards


Nicci Foster

Posted: 17 Dec 2012

Cecil Henslowe Cheeseman is my Great Grandfather. Despite having no record of any children, Cecil had a daughter, Clarice Cecile Cheeseman in 1920. Thank you Sarndra, I am so thrilled to read these links and find out more about Cecil, as my own family's knowledge is less than mine. I know there are huge gaps in my understanding of him. He was injured in WWI and may have felt some injustice, might explain his criminal issues in that war. He also signed up for WWII, at 64, then went AWOL from 30 days in until the end of the war. If anyone knows anything about his mother, even her name, that would be fabulous.


Posted: 13 Dec 2012

His Boer War records available on Archways [ArchivesNZ] spell his surname as CHEESMAN.

Interestingly I also just found this online:
CHEESMAN Cecil Henslowe 1274 Pte 2 Remts 5 Sqn to AAOC UK 7-16 charged civil crime aiding and abetting at Westminster court 27-1-17 to DCo/1Bn 6-17 WIA 18-9-18 L/thigh & knee at Epehy FGCM 18-10-18 desertion/Mutiny sentenced 3 years PS to No 11 Military Prison 12-18 to HM Prison Portland 3-19 F&B disch SNLR (Boer War 10 Cont ESqn/NZMR (9153) AKA Cheeseman Ex GCo/6Bn disch 29-8-14 brother Walter NZEF Boer War [accessed 13 Dec 2012].

He joined the Australian Army in WW1 and was a rather ...colourful...character! Digital record available to read here which gives details of the charges above:

I was a bit sidetracked and was doing some research on his father William Henslowe CHEESMAN and the connection to his [Wm's] Presidency of the Federal Club in Christchurch in the early 1900's. Love to know if you've any information on that institution also which donated money to Nurse Maude so she was able to get a car [and much other community-minded funding]. Federal Club appears to be largely into sports and quite a few items on Paperspast.

Also as an aside, Cecil's father William wrote some reminiscences about his own father for the Star which are also interesting: