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Last updated: 10 March 2011

Walden, Herbert J. (1897 - )
Biography (person)


Herbert Walden was born in Foxton on 29 December 1897. He attended Eltham District High School and in 1914 when aged 17 travelled to San Francisco. By 1917 he had moved to Vancouver and enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps through the RFC Recruiting Mission then operating there. He trained at Fort Worth, Texas and Beamsville, Ontario before being shipped to Britain in 1918. Further training at Scampton in 1918 followed. He arrived on the Western Front at at No.2 ASD on 9 November 1918, two days before the Armistice. On 23 November he joined 23 Squadron RAF on Sopwith Dolphins. After a period of leave he was transferred to 208 Squadron RAF on Sopwith Snipes and served in France and in Germany. In August 1919, he crashed badly and shortly afterwards returned to London, where he attended several Medical Boards and was hospitalised for a period. He appears to have been discharged in November 1919.

He returned to California, living in Berkeley and then Los Angeles, working as a clerk. In 1938, he appears to have had a complete mental breakdown, featuring delusions and was hospitalised. This was possibly due to his crash in 1919 and a combination of the gloomy war news from Europe. After considereble difficulty he was returned to New Zealand in 1939 to be nearer his family , albeit without any pension and was admitted to Auckland Mental Hospital. He appears to have remained there for possibly the restof his life. His date of death is not known.

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