Charles Upham (1908 - 1994)

Where can I find information about Charles Upham?

Junior Secondary

(Years 7-10)

Black and white photo from 1941 showing Charles Upham being congratulated by his platoon sergeant after the presentation of the Victoria Cross. They are surrounded by members of his platoon.

Image: Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and members of his platoon by [unknown]. Collection: Alexander Turnbull Library, Ref: DA-02108.

Entry last updated: 16/02/23


Charles Upham was a New Zealand soldier who fought in World War II in Europe and North Africa. He received many awards for bravery, and was the only fighting soldier to be decorated with the Victoria Cross (VC) and Bar (a second VC).

General websites

These sites have information about Charles Upham's early life, his war achievements, including winning his Victoria Cross and Bar, and his experiences as a prisoner of war.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This is an excellent starting point for all questions about people, events and places in New Zealand Aotearoa.

  • Search using the keywords 'Charles Upham'.

  • Look under Biographies to find the story of Upham, Charles Hazlitt.

  • Go to Te Ara stories to read more about Charles Upham's military career and his bravery awards.

  • Select Images and media to watch a Roadside Story about his statue located in his home town of Amberley.


This is another reliable New Zealand website with lots of information about New Zealand people and history.

  • Go to the People section and select U for 'Upham'.

  • Select the page called Upham, Charles Hazlitt.

  • This page brings together some different resources, including this in-depth article about Charles Upham.

Tips: These two websites are great for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. They both belong to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

NZEDGE Legends

NZEDGE was set up by a New Zealand businessman to celebrate New Zealand culture, innovation and achievement.

  • Look down the list of Legends to find the story about Charles Upham.

  • If you search the website for 'Charles Upham' you will short film called Mark of the Lion.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

National Army Museum | Te Mata Toa

This website showcases New Zealand's military history. It has lots of stories about Kiwi soldiers and their experiences of war around the world.

Articles, pictures and videos

These sites have newspaper articles and documentaries about Charles Upham, as well as images and interviews.


DigitalNZ is a search site that brings together lots of historical resources about New Zealand from libraries, museums, universities and government sites all at once.

  • Search for Charles Upham.

  • You can choose to limit results to Images, Audio or Video clips.

  • Select an item to look at.

  • If you want to use an image, look down the record page to find out its copyright status and what you can do with it.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

Biography (Gale In Context)

This is one of the EPIC resources, a set of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. You may need a password from your school or local library to access it. This overseas site has a mix of different sources.

  • Search for Charles Upham to bring up the topic page about him.

  • This has magazine and newspaper articles as well as biographies.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

NZ On Screen

This website includes films and documentaries that have appeared on New Zealand television.

Online Cenotaph

This comes from the Auckland War Memorial Museum and is a living memorial to New Zealanders who served in international conflicts.

  • In the Find a person box enter 'Charles Upham'.

  • Select the record for Charles Hazlitt Upham.

  • Look down the page for Service to find details for the campaigns he was involved in, his military decorations, and prisoner of war details.

  • Look further down for Biographical Information for a biography which includes details of different escape attempts.


There have been a number of books written about Charles Upham. Visit your school library or local library for more information. Some recommended titles are:

SCIS no: 1857367

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