Memorials, Memories & Medals
Anzac Day 2002. Waimate. The wreath made with poppies and other flowers were laid during the service at the clock tower.
South Canterbury, New Zealand 

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A Day to Remember!

'Killed in action' say the cables, that's all the tale they tell
Of the brave young lad who loved us and the lad we loved so well.
How the life was sped we know not, what the last word, look or thought
Only that he did his duty, died as bravely as he fought. 


The Times, Saturday, May 08, 1915; pg. 7
The Gallipoli Landing. Countless Deeds Of Bravery
Dardanelles, April 28

Throughout the night of April 26 the Turks harassed our lines, creeping up and endeavouring to snipe the Australians and New Zealanders in their shelter trenches, but never daring to press home an attack, although in overwhelming numbers compared with our force ashore. At one section of the line they paid dearly for their temerity, for the New Zealanders charged them with the bayonet and drove them off in disorder.
    It was obvious on the morning of the 27th that the Turks had not recovered from the terrible hammering they had received on the previous day, and had no stomach for another big attack. The Australians and New Zealanders were determined from the first rather to die to a man than to surrender the ground so dearly won on April 25, and every man knew that his only hope of safety lay in victory, as it would have been impossible to re-embark the whole army, once the ring of the hills commanding the beach had been lost.
    The stretch of foreshore and cliffs occupied by the Australian and New Zealand troops has been named Folkestone Leas. On going ashore through an avalanche of bursting shrapnel you land on a beach about 39 yards wide between the water and the cliffs, which then rise very steeply for several hundred feet. The regiments waiting to move to the trenches, fatigue parties unloading boats and lighters, others making great pyramids of tinned meat and biscuits, others fetching water, of which a supply has been found on shore. There were trains of mules endeavouring to drag field guns into position, Indians in charge of mountain guns, dressing stations where the wounded are hastily tended before being piled into barges and sent to the ships. Other fatigue parties are lying telegraph and telephone wires, and others carrying supplies up the cliffs. Thousands of hardy New Zealanders and Australians are concentrated on this narrow shore, each engaged in some occupation, for no sooner does a man get out of the front trenches than he is required for fatigue work, and very few have had more than a few hours sleep for days past. General Birdwood said he could not praise the courage, endurance, and soldierly qualities of his Colonials enough, and said the manner in which they hung on to the position the first day and night was a magnificent feat, which seldom, if ever, been surpassed considering their very heavy loses, the deficiency of water, and the incessant shrapnel fire to which they were exposed without cover, not to mention unceasing attacks of the enemy's infantry. That night, when they were obliged to retire to a more contracted line, and when that line was reached, they set their teeth and refused to budge another foot. This Colonial colony suddenly planted on the shores of Gallipoli is now assuming a definite form. The whole face of the cliffs is being cut away into roads, dugouts, and bombproof shelters. Thus a kind of improvised town is rising up as the troops slowly dig themselves in and make themselves comfortable. As you climb up the newly made paths to the front trenches you realize some of the difficulties the Australians and New Zealanders had to face when they first advanced from the beach on April 25th.

==============================

Armistice Day: In Timaru an RSA member lay wreaths at the remembrance rock at the RSA in Wai-iti Road. During a short ceremony the Prayer of Remembrance was said. The Last Post and Reveille were played and those present placed poppies on the remembrance rock. Service

Today we remember with thanksgiving those who made the supreme sacrifice for us in time of war. We pray that the offering of their lives may not have been in vain. Today we dedicate ourselves to the cause of justice, freedom and peace; and for the wisdom and strength to build a better world.


VE & VJ Day
From the Timaru Herald

"The war in Europe ended on 7 May 1945 when the Germans gave an unconditional surrender. A citizens VE Thanksgiving Service was held at the Sound Shell and this was followed in the evening by a torchlight procession and bonfire on the bay. At the citizens service, the children marched from King Georges building along Church St, into Stafford St, and to the Bay via the viaduct. The Timaru Municipal Band, the Timaru High School Band & Salvation Army Band marched to the strains of "Colonel Bogey". [ so familiar as the theme tune for the British film 'Bridge on the River Kwai']. The procession was led by the Timaru Main School, South School, Waimataitai and West Timaru schools and then the Timaru Girls High School. The Pipe band led the Boys Brigade, Girls Life Brigade and Girl Guides and they were then followed by the Harmonica Band. Later on the procession was joined by the Boy Scouts and the Red Cross. The service opened with the National Anthem and this was followed by an address from the Mayor. The hymn was "All people that on earth do dwell" played by the Municipal band and the Choral Society under the conductorship of Mr A C McInnes sang "Te Deum".  Thanksgiving and prayers were followed by "God of our Fathers". Mr Clyde Carr, MP, delivered the address and this was followed by the "Hallelujah Chorus" sung by the choral society. The service concluded with the NZ National Anthem. Later that day, the torchlight procession moved off from the National Chambers led by the Municipal band, Boys High school band, Salvation Army Band, Highland Pipe Band and the Harmonica Band. (some remember this procession well as they had made flaming torches from a rag soaked in oil on a long stick which lasted the whole time). At the Bay it was ablaze with lights: the procession was guided to form a circle round the bonfire which had been built on the sands, on a pedastal and surmounted by the letters "VE". Ignition was supplied by two fireballs which, when they were towed by ropes on a pulley, lit the fire, and they were greeted with loud cheers."

On August 15, 1945 the surrender of Japan was announced and, according to the Timaru Girls High magazine, "pandemonium broke out". Girls rushed to the hall and the School Haka was performed which was thought up by Miss Lee the Gym Mistress. The pupils of the schools careered around the empty streets, with tins, whistles and rattles. There was a Victory Concert in the afternoon when Miss Marriott played the mouth organ and Miss Wallace proved to be an accomplished actress.  There was another torchlight procession and bonfire on the bay, but it was more "restrained" than on VE Day. Information courtesy of June Castle. Posted 26 Sept. 2000

Commemorations to mark, VE day, marks the news of Germany's surrender to Allied forces, but it does not mark the day the war, that cost at least 50 million lives worldwide which was proclaimed on May 8, 1945. War continued in the Pacific until August 15.  The allies had agreed to celebrate victory on May 9, 1945 but journalists broke the news of Germany�s surrender prematurely, prompting mass rejoicing on May 8.  The Soviet Union kept to the agreed date and Russia still marks victory in Europe on May 9.  The Soviet Union lost 26.6 million people in World War 2, which Moscow calls the Great Patriotic War, making the Victory Day celebrations one of the most solemn days in their calendar. New Zealand sent 140,000 citizens to serve abroad in World War 2.  We suffered 11,625 deaths - the highest ratio of those deployed of any Commonwealth country.   New Zealand had declared war on Germany independently of Britain, and it sent an autonomous military unit to the war, rather than dispersing its troops among foreign units as it had in the past. 


VJ Day Christchurch

Japan surrendered to the Allies on Wednesday August 15 1945. Everyone was expecting the surrender after the atomic bombs were dropped. Atomic bombs had devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki nine days earlier.  People listened to the BBC each day.  Thousand-bomber raids had flattened parts of Tokyo and other industrial cities and ports. Russia had joined the Allied effort, completing the circle.  When the news came, it was a feeling of relief. That surrender also marked the end of World War 2, with hostilities in Europe having ceased when Germany surrendered on May 8.  While most New Zealanders expected the surrender within a day or so, they did not expect its announcement in broad daylight, because it would be night time in the United States and Britain.  British Prime Minister Clement Attlee's good news was relayed by radio through New Zealand at 11am.. The formal Japanese signing of the surrender took place on September 2, on board USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Thousands of New Zealanders were sent to fight in the Pacific theatre and 300 were held as prisoners of war. Five hundred and seventy-eight never returned. Troops were in New Caledonia in 1942 and 1943 and moved to the Solomon Islands in 1944. The "mopping-up operations" against the Japanese and the capture of Nissen Island was in stifling heat and under terrible conditions. Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender and countermanded the order for all the POWs to be executed so many made it home from prisoner of war camps in Japan, Singapore and Java and other countries.  The POWs were prepared for the surrender for they had prior knowledge because secret radios.  Captivity was a time of near-starvation, cold and callousness and an occasional smile from civilian supervisors of work projects.  New Zealand soldiers with the occupation force (JForce) saw the destruction of Hiroshima were traumatised by the sights and suffering. The desolation of Hiroshima was a shattering experience of a horror that can never, ever, be described. Some buildings were still standing but everything was empty, everything was gone. The hillsides were just black. Shadows on the footpaths and roads were where people had dissolved physically and only their shadows were left.

Christchurch radio listeners heard British PM announced Japan's surrender. Anticipation had been building. Everyone felt joyous, all laughing and happy. The crowds that poured into the Square pre-empted plans being laid by the city council for official victory celebrations. The council was quick, though, to activate arrangements for a civic service of thanksgiving later that afternoon at Lancaster Park, led by the Anglican Dean of Christchurch, the Very Reverend Alwyn Warren, drew 6000 people. The Post Office staff shredded waste paper and threw it from upper windows onto the street as confetti was in short supply. Staff in other businesses followed suit. A lone figure with bagpipes in Cathedral Square blasted bleary notes. He was quickly surrounded by singing, chanting, dancing masses. Someone pulled a piano onto a balcony overlooking the Square and began pounding out victory tunes. His vigorous playing was soon drowned in the general celebration. Schools and work places closed. Factory, office and shop workers packed into the Square. From about 1pm The Square was gay with the celebration of victory with citizens smiling and waving Union Jack flags. Groups of merry-makers were singing all the old songs � Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles, Roll Out the Barrel. Bands were playing and the cathedral bells were pealing. People were grinding clackers, hooting hooters and blowing whistles. The spontaneity and din reflected the excitement people felt because, at last, the war was over. A group of American servicemen on R & R joined in the fun. The excitement built during the afternoon as more and more people arrived in the city centre. Flags, streamers, bunting and coloured lights, which had been kept ready for just such an occasion, were hurriedly strung from Cathedral Square buildings. More bands joined in, prompting groups of revellers to dance and sing on the pavements.  Further afield, car horns honked, train and factory whistles shrieked, sirens wailed, bells pealed, to spread the word that the war that had engulfed the world was over. Attempts by many to inform relatives and friends of the good news jammed the Christchurch telephone exchange. Festivities continued in the Square until evening.  More celebrations were held the next day, as the council had planned. Bands, squads of armed services personnel, decorated vehicles, trick cyclists, performers and all sorts of groups, from trade unions to representatives of the Chinese community, all bearing banners, marched from Latimer Square to Hagley Park. The route crossed the Bridge of Remembrance, in a salute to the soldiers who had marched over it in the other direction, from the King Edward Barracks to their troop trains, on the way to war. The bridge was a popular vantage point. The procession took 20 minutes to pass over it, while so many citizens watched that The Press suggested: "All suburban Christchurch appeared to have arrived in the central area." Official speeches were delivered at Hagley Park, followed by an artillery battery firing 21 salvoes. Industry and Commerce Minister, and former Christchurch Mayor, Dan Sullivan described the thousands who attended as probably the biggest crowd yet known in Christchurch. Crowds in Cathedral Square were smaller than on the previous day but increased in the evening when entertainers presented an open-air concert from a platform in front of the Post Office.  Many people had lost loved ones in the fighting and many still had husbands, sons, fathers and brothers serving overseas. There was no note of sadness or longing in Cathedral Square that day. The people of Christchurch dispersed, many to begin the wait for contact with loved ones overseas and indications of when they would come home.

Auckland Star, 28 November 1945, Page 4 N.Z. Naval Men Tell Story Of Effects Of The Atomic Bomb
Wellington, this day. TWO New Zealanders who returned in the destroyer Wizard yesterday were within close range of the atomic bomb when it fell on Nagasaki and described its devastating effects. They were Signalman I. Shipman, of Timaru, and Stoker G. Paterson, of Wellington. Both were in British ships sunk in 1942 and were in a prison camp six miles away when the atomic bomb hit Nagasaki. "After the first bomb hit Hiroshima the Japs got into an awful panic," Signalman Shipman said yesterday. "When the plane carrying the second bomb came over Nagasaki we thought little of it, having no idea what it was about to drop. It was just before eleven o'clock" on a fine clear morning. We saw four parachutes come down and thought they were incendiary bombs. Then there was a terrific flash, like the flash of a photographer's lamp magnified a million times. Two seconds later there was a blast that I couldn't even describe. It brought terrific heat�about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, I should say and a 100-mile-an-hour gale. "When we left in September it was still impossible for anyone to go into the area, about, a mile or -a mile and a half square, where the bomb struck. Anyone who did so dropped dead about two days later. There was just an enormous pall of smoke over what had been Nagasaki. The Japanese were absolutely bewildered. I was knocked fiat by the blast and by the time I recovered it was all over. We suffered so much from shock that we couldn't speak, but just wandered round looking at one another. Two days later they told us it was some new type of bomb.


Call to Commemoration

On this day, we remember all those who served our nation to bring about Victory in Europe during the Second World War.
We remember with pride their courage, their compassion and their comradeship. We remember what they accomplished for New Zealand, and indeed for the freedom of humanity.
We honour those who died or were disabled in the tragedy of war.
They adorn our nation�s history.
We remember those who fell on the sands of the North African desert, among the mountains and olive groves of Greece, Crete and Italy; in the skies over Europe and on the surrounding seas.
We remember those who suffered as prisoners of war, and those who died in captivity.
We remember kith and kin whose sacrifices also were great.
We remember staunch friends and allies, especially those who fought alongside us during that theatre of war.
Our servicemen and women have left us a splendid heritage. May we and our successors prove worthy of their sacrifice.


New Zealand Herald  Thursday 16 July, 1942. Place =  next of kin. NZ Expeditionary Force casualty list was issued to-night:-
Killed in Action:
SEAMAN M.C. Timaru

Previously reported wounded:
HOWELL R.H. Cave

Missing:
ARMSTRONG W.H. Timaru
CHILES W.S. Timaru

Wounded:
HIGGS I.S.W. Timaru
McLEAN F.G.L. Waimate
NORRIS P.T. Geraldine


Royal New Zealand Air Force's 75th Squadron was originally formed during World War 1, was resurrected during World War 2 when 30 Wellington aircraft bought by the New Zealand Government and awaiting delivery in the United Kingdom were offered to Britain�s Royal Air Force. Some New Zealanders joined the RNZAF in New Zealand in 1942, sailed to Canada in August 1942 to train with the RCAF and graduated December 1942 as a pilot officers. They travelled to England in January 1943 where training as a bomb aimer continued and was completed in August 1943. Now Flying Officers they were attached to the 75th NZ Bomber Squadron where they remained until the end of the war, completing two tours of duty. By attending a bomb aimers leaders course they were promoted to Flight Lieutenants in December 1944 and often concluded their service as an instructor, and finally returning to New Zealand in September 1945. An Avro Lancaster bomber tail gunner, joined the air force as 18-year-olds, training in New Zealand and Canada before serving in England. During the war, the bomber squadron flew both night and day raids targeting mostly oil sites and rail marshalling yards. It took part in Operation Manna, a crucial food supply operation into occupied Holland as World War 2 ended, which saved many from starvation. There last war mission  was 26 May 1945 when seven Lancasters flew to Brussels with 71 Belgian repatriates and 120 ex-prisoners of war were brought back from Europe to Britain on the return flight.  Of the 11,000 New Zealanders in Royal Air Force squadrons during World War 2, 4000 did not survive.


Air Vice-Marshal Siegert

Lieutenant G. Studholme, RNZNVR, born Timaru 3 Sep 1908 son of Harold and Charlotte Elizabeth Studholme (nee McCulloch); husband of Lesley H. Studholme, of Featherston, Wellington; clerk; died on active service. H.M.S. Ping Wo, Royal New Zealand Naval Vol. Reserve who died on Tuesday, 17th February 1942. Age 34.

Lieutenant G. Studholme was killed onboard the HMS Tanjong Penang, a small tug. Onboard were 150 women and children, survivors from three other ships, the tugboat had picked up from a island 68 miles from Singapore when she was attacked and sunk by Japanese warships. Lieutenant Basil Shaw, RNZNVR, the commander, got many of the women and children on to rafts. He became separated during bad weather from the rafts and landed on Bangka Island and was captured and shot 21 Feb 1942. Lieutenant E.S.Gerard, RNZNVR, b. Christchurch, first lieutenant of the Tanjong Penang, was left weak by wounds and drown.

6/2156 Private Ivo Harrison, 2nd South Canterbury Regt. Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company, 5th Reinforcements, NZEF died at sea of TB on 23rd November 1915 aboard H.M.N.Z.T No. 25 (SS Tahiti). Son of John and Anne Harrison, of Greenhays, Temuka. Iva was a  labourer. Served at Gallipoli. Remembered on the Temuka War Memorial, Timaru Memorial Wall, Canterbury Provincial Memorial is situated in Christchurch Cemetery, in Ruru Road, Bromley, Christchurch. Born 16th January 1883 Orari.  Attested at Trentham 14th February 1915. Enlisted 13th February 1915, he joined his Battalion on the 09th Aug 1915 at the Darnanelles. On the 28th August he was admitted to Hospital ship Karapara, Mudros, for night blinding. 2nd October 1915 admitted to No.1 N.Z Stationary Hospital at Port Said. On the 7th he was transferred to School Hospital at Port Said of Enteric. On the 30th he was transferred to the Government Hospital Zagazig with Tb.

The Royal New Zealand Naval Memorial stands at the Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, within sight of the main gates and in front of the chapel of St. Christopher. The memorial commemorates over 300 officers and men of the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve and the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve who died in all parts of the world during the 1939-1945 War and who have no known grave; the greater part lost their lives at sea, but some died in captivity at the hands of the Japanese. Nearly half of those commemorated went down with HMS Neptune in 1941.  Inscription: ROYAL NEW ZEALAND NAVY THOSE WHOSE NAME ARE HONOURED HERE DIED SERVING THEIR COUNTRY AND THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM AND HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE and underneath the names are the dates 1939 - 1945.

The HMS Neptune, a sister ship of the Achilles and Leander, Leander class light cruiser, but not a New Zealand ship, was on its way to New Zealand to join the newly formed Royal New Zealand Navy when it sank in the Mediterranean on a stormy 19 December 1941 morning after running into a mine field off Tripoli, Libya. The cruiser was about to engage an enemy convoy when it hit three mines.  Three hours later she hit another mine and within minutes had rolled over and sunk. The death toll of New Zealanders was the greatest of any New Zealand naval action.  764 died, 151 of them New Zealander sailors many succumbed to exhaustion and thirst. One survivor. Four of the dead were from Nelson and in 2001 Governor General Dame Silvia Cartwright unveiled a granite memorial at the Nelson Yacht Club. HMS Neptune (Captain R.C. O'Connor), 7,175 tons, eight 6in. guns, was built at Portsmouth Dockyard and completed in 1934. 

The HMS Kandahar, (Commander W.G.A. Robson, D.S.O., D.S.C., R.N.) which was cursing near, immediately went to the rescue, and herself immediately went to the rescue, and herself ran into the minefield, one of the mines damaging her and making her un-navigable.  For hours the Kandahar drifted helplessly. Enemy aircraft flew overhead, but did not attack. Meanwhile signals were flashed across the Mediterranean, and in spite of terrible weather a British destroyer sped off to her rescue. The destroyer tried to take the Kandahar in tow, but after a struggle lasting several hours the attempts to save the ship were abandoned and they were forced to sink her, the rescue work went on in a sea thickly sown with mines. HMS Kandahar  was a destroyer of 1,690 tons, six 4.7 in. guns, built by Messrs. Denny and completed in 1939.

The British Merchant Navy ships ran a gauntlet of Japanese mines, ships and planes, as they carried cargoes of New Zealand food to Britain. Delivered half of their food, three-quarters of materials for their industries and almost all their oil. It transported Allied troops. Sailors crossed the Pacific several times in the war. They met similar dangers in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. They were torpedoed and bombed and many luckily enough to be rescued and to sail again.

Navy History: A complete Royal Navy and Royal Marine casualty list from pre 1914 - 2008
Maritime Disasters of WWII

The Times, Friday, Jun 21, 1940; pg. 7; Issue 48648; col G
A British Port, June 20
The first contingents of Australian and New Zealand forces are safely here. The troops had the best kind of passage - an uneventful one. Included in the New Zealand contingent is a party of 25 officers and 250 ratings of the New Zealand Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who have come over to serve with the Royal Navy. A long way off each ship one knew whether its cargo was from Australia or from New Zealand by the characteristic shape of their wide-brimmed felt hats, though many were hatless, and otherwise absorbing all the sunshine they could with the minimum of clothing on their browned bodies. They lined the rails; almost every porthole had a cheerful head protruding; and here and there were groups of army nurses in scarlet capes. On board one ship from New Zealand was a Maori battalion with Maori officers, and other units had a sprinkling of Maoris. Their padre, the Rev. K. Harawira, postponed his ordination to fight in the last War, and became a sergeant.
    The two ships which we boarded had each its distinctive but equally inspiriting atmosphere. The Australians in one ship crowded round to listen attentively to the speeches. the New Zealanders in the other ship, on the contrary, were on parade, squatting close-packed on one of the decks. But there was nothing to choose between them for lustiness of their three cheers for the King in thanks for his message. In conversation all were anxious first to hear the latest about the war. There was not the smallest sign of gloom or despondency when they learned how grave was the news. One received the impression, indeed, that it did not particularly surprise them - almost as if they took it for granted that without Australia and New Zealand we could hardly expect to be getting on very well. It will take a lot to disconcert the Anzacs.
 

CURNOW, William James. Petty Officer 1st Class. 229258. Royal Navy. HMS Aurora. Died on Monday 28th October 1918 age 32 from influenza and bronchial pneumonia on board HM Hospital Ship Garth Castle, at South Queensferry, Scotland. Eldest son of James and Jane Curnow of Cliff Cottage, Newlyn and later of Timaru, New Zealand; husband of Mary Curnow of 3 Regent Terrace, Penzance. Born at Penzance. Interred in Penzance Cemetery (S2A.II). Listed on St Mary�s Church War Memorial, Penzance War Memorial and in Penzance Book of Remembrance. HMS Aurora, an Arethusa class light cruiser, was launched in 1905 and sold for scrap in 1927.

Duty demands of us as soldiers not words but deeds. 


LINKS

RSA 
New Zealand Military History Internet Research Resources
New Zealander's who died at Gallipoli 1915 [names A-M]  N-Z
NZ Servicemen who died at Gallipoli 1915
Troopships which transported NZ troops
Auckland City Library  WWI soldier portraits
One Soldier's Footsteps
Land Forces
NZ Electronic Text Centre: The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War search
Soldiers profiles soldiers from Papanui
NZ Soldiers Recuperating in Barwell
Robinson,  Clifford Kossuth
NZ War Art

'He who, when dangers fierce surround,
To work out duty's plan,
Does hold his life at little cost,
Is truly called a man.'


ANZAC Day April 25. Their names shall live for evermore.Evening Post, 19 September 1914, Page 7
METHOD Of EMBARKATION 

In order to facilitate the embarkation of the Main Expeditionary Force, barricades will be erected at the entrances to the wharves at, the various ports and strong forces of police will be available on the day of embarkation. Only those actually on duty on the wharves in question will be allowed oh them on the day of embarkation, until such time as the Staff Officer in Charge of Embarkation notifies the embarkation is complete, when at the discretion of the Officers Commanding Districts, friends of men leaving may be allowed on the wharf (but not on the ship).
    Mounted units will commence embarking their horses some little time before the hour notified for sailing. A hospital will be established in a quiet position on each ship to accommodate at least 1 per cent of the men on board, and also an infectious hospital on each vessel in an isolated position to accommodate half the number on board. All ranks will be made to understand that the supply of water on transports is very limited, and must be strictly conserved. Sentries will be placed on all Water-taps to prevent infringement of orders regarding waste. Special guards will be mounted on guns, ammunition, explosives, and inflammable or valuable stores, whilst in transit from magazines, stores, etc. whilst on the wharves, and until they, are safely stowed on board ship.
    TROOPSHIPS AT THE WHARVES The troopships Maunganui, Arawa, and Limerick are all now at the northern wharves, after lying out in the stream for some time past. The ships are replenishing their bunkers and taking in water and final supplies.


The farewell. 21st August, Timaru Railway Station

W.W.I Campaign Medals

August 4th 1914 Britain declared war on Germany. On Anzac Day some of the young people wear medals belonging to a departed war veteran relative on their right jacket lapels, rather than the left side, which is reserved for people who earned the medals. 

My grandfather. He was a medic at Gallipoli in WW1 also served in WW2 so the first three medals are from WW1.  Note he is also wearing a poppy.

Name 		McMILLAN, James
Category Nominal Roll 	Vol. 1
Regimental Number 	3/133A
Rank 			Private
Body or Draft 		Main Body
Unit or Regiment 	Medical Corps
Embarkation Date	16 October 1914 from Wellington
Transport 		HMNZT 3-12
Destination 		Suez, Egypt 
Marital Status 		S
Last NZ Address 	Mental Hospital Sunnyside
Next of Kin 		J. BEWS
Next of Kin Address 	C/- National Mortgage and Agency Co. of NZ LTD Dunedin
From CD 101

Arthur Lichfield 	Serial No.3/132A 
NOK Wm Lichfield, Flying Horse Hotel Reyworth Derby ENG
Marital 		Status Single
Enlistment Address 	Mental Hospital Christchurch NZ 

McMILLEN, JAMES 
Waitakere Cemetery
Plot : SOLDIERS BURIAL K Row 2, Plot 77 
Age : 76 
Occupation: PENSIONER 
Date Of Death : 11-Nov-1965 
Funeral Director : Fletcher Brown Funeral Services 
Head Stone Details : Y 

Issued to British and Imperial Army Service Corps service persons.

1914 -1915 Star, British War Medal (1914 -1920), Victory Medal (1914 -1919)
The 1914/15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

1914 -1915 Star : Issued to New Zealand troops serving in Samoa on 27 August 1914, and in Gallipoli and Egypt between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The ship's company of H.M.S. Philomel qualified for this medal. This medal is always issued with the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Ribbon: red, white and blue stripes. details 

1914 -1915 Star : A bronze four-pointed star, 1.75 inches wide and 2.25 inches top to bottom, with its uppermost point replaced by crown. Across the face of the star are two crossed swords, (blades upward) with the blades and hilts protruding to form four additional points of the star details. Issued to all who saw service in any theatre of war against the central powers between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 except those eligible for the 1914 Star, (aka Mons Star) the design is the same as the 1914 Star.  The 1914 Star was awarded to troops serving in Belgium and France between 5 August and 22 November 1914. Only two awards are known to New Zealanders and these are to New Zealand nurses. 

British War Medal (1914 -1920): Issued to all New Zealand servicemen and women serving overseas during the First World War, between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Yellow centre stripe has faded was orange. Borders royal blue. The recipient's name, number and rank is engraved on the rim for the first issue. details 

British War Medal (obverse side)   British War Medal (reverse side)             

Victory Medal (1914 -1919): aka the Inter-Allied War Medal. Awarded to all New Zealand troops serving overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war, excepting those in Samoa after 27 August 1914 and those serving in Great Britain only. Those personnel who gained a Mention-in-Despatches between 4 August 1914 and 10 August 1920 wore a bronze spray of an oak leaf on the medal's ribbon. Ribbon - double rainbow with a red centre strip and indigo edge. Issued 1919. Size 36mm. The recipient's name, number and rank are engraved on the rim for the first issue. A circular, copper medal, lacquered bronze, 1.42 inches in diameter.  details

 The obverse side of the bronze Victory Medal (1914 -1919)   Reverse

Evening Post, 22 October 1920, Page 8 NOW BEING ISSUED BRITISH WAR MEDAL 100,000 RECEIVED.
By a recent steamer from Home the Defence Department received 100,000 of the British General War Service Medal, 1914-18, for distribution among members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who served abroad during the Great War. The issue of these medals, with ribbons, has already commenced, but the distribution at first will be slow, because the only available machine for engraving the names and numbers on the medal is unfortunately defective. A new machine has been ordered from England, and when that arrives the rate of issue will be considerably increased. It is expected that the work will take several months to complete.
    The medal, which is in silver, is about the size of a five-shilling piece. On the one side is the head of His Majesty King George V., and on the other the central figure represents St. George, mounted, triumphing over Prussia, his horse trampling over the Prussian shield. Below are the skull and crossbones, as a reminder of the eternal infamy of the submarine campaign of Germany. Each medal is estimated to be worth 7s 6d. The riband is: Centre orange, watered with stripes of white and black on each side, and with borders of royal blue.
    The issue of the 1914-15 Star in New Zealand has now been practically completed. A large number, however, are lying in Wellington unclaimed belonging to men to whom notices have been sent and have been returned: "Gone, no address." or ignored altogether. Any member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who reached a theatre of war in France or Egypt prior to midnight on 3tst December 1915 or participated in the actual taking of Samoa, is entitled to the Star, and should make application for same if he has not already received it. The next medal to be issued will be the Allied Victory Medal, which, however, has not yet, come to hand. Those to be issued in New Zealand will also total 100,000.

Memorial Plaque
Issued to the next-of-kin of the 18,166 New Zealand servicemen and 12 women who were died as a result of war service while serving overseas. The plaques are also accompanied by a parchment scroll.

Gallipoli Star. This award was designed to be issued to Australian and New Zealand troops who took part in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign but difficulties arose after the announcement of the award owing to strong objection being taken by some British Members of Parliament and the English press as the Gallipoli Star would not be conferred on British troops who fought at Gallipoli. The award of the star was thus abandoned, although some troops had already been issued with the appropriate ribbon.

Some of the above information was extracted from "Orders, Decorations and Medals awarded to New Zealanders - an illustrated guide for collectors" by Geoffrey P. Oldham and Brett Delahunt.

NZEF soldier's Certificate of Service. A common certificate officially issued to all those who served with the NZEF. There is also a certificate of differing design, for those honourably discharged due to wounds, and a version of this one you have linked to, done in purple ink, for those who died. It was published by the Department of Defence circa 1919. There was probably a similar certificate for Home Service. There was a design contest.

Returned Sailors Badge - rare.  My Great Uncle, a New Zealander, joined the NZEF WW1 and later transferred over to the Australian Navy and was issued the Returned Sailors Badge.

The badges had their own unique number on the back.


W.W.II Campaign Medals and Clasps

Just five medals in a cardboard box. No names, no references.
Waikato Times | Saturday, 21 July 2007

But they suggest an incredible story. The unfortunate thing is because there is no record of the name of the man who earned them, the story can only be guessed. Unlike the South Africans and the Australians, the British and New Zealand authorities didn't engrave the names and numbers on their service people's awards. So when the five medals turned up in the garage sale box for a few dollars there was nothing more than the medals themselves to tell the tale.

The first was the 1939-45 War Medal. Nothing special because all fulltime members of the British and Empire armed forces received it as long as they spent more than a month on active service. But there were also four campaign medals which can at least tell some of the man's story. There were eight campaign stars awarded for service with British and Empire units in the various theatres of World War II. My man got four of them, but one has a clasp showing he was eligible for a fifth. Everyone who spent at least six months in operational areas was awarded the 1939-45 Star. That's the first one.

But the Atlantic Star showed he spent at least another 180 days either in Atlantic, North Russian or British home waters. The Atlantic Star was intended to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic and designed to primarily reward those on convoy and anti-submarine duty. The silver rose on the medal ribbon denotes the award of a clasp which shows the recipient also qualified for the France and Germany Star and/or the Air Crew Europe Star.

"Just five medals in a cardboard box. No names, no references." His two other campaign stars were the Africa Star, which was awarded for service in the North African campaign between June 1940 and May 1943, and the Italy Star, awarded for service in the vicinity of Sicily and Italy from June 1943 to the end of the war. The medals don't tell me what branch of the services my man served in, but I can make some guesses. He didn't have an Eighth or 1st Army clasp, or the African 42-43 clasp, on his Africa Star which suggests to me he didn't serve in the army.

The Atlantic Star suggests a naval or merchant marine background. He could also have been in the Mediterranean in the middle part of the war, which would have earned him the Africa Star, and then been involved in naval support as the Allies fought their way up through Italy to earn the Italy Star. The clasp on the Atlantic Star might have been awarded for D-Day duty.

There is no NZ War Service Medal, although it might have been lost. That medal was awarded to all Kiwis who had spent at least a month fulltime service in any of the services. Because it is missing it could suggest he didn't serve with New Zealand units and is likely British.

Of course, that's all supposition, but this serviceman was obviously in the thick of it for much of the war. And that's why it's a shame there is no record of who he was and what he did. It's also a shame that someone could dispose of his medals for just a few dollars in a garage sale. What are they worth? Not a lot. There were hundreds of thousands of men and women on active service during World War II, and with so many reaching the end of their lives in the last couple of decades many medals have come on to the market. But medal collectors have to watch the authenticity of many medals offered for sale because there are now many replicas around.


War medals are worn in order of date of participation in campaign or operation for which awarded. No one person could receive more than five stars and the two WWII medals. Also no one person was awarded more than one clasp to any one campaign star.

My father's. He never missed an ANZAC Day service.
The 1939-45 Star | The Africa Star clasp inscribed "8th Army"  | The Italy Star | 
The Defence Medal | The War Medal 1939-45 | The NZ War Medal
 

Significance of ribbon colours:

The 1939-45 Star: Represents the three services - Navy, Army and Air Force. Awarded to any military personnel serving for six months in an operational command between September 3 1939, and September 2 1945. Operational service brought to an end through death, disability, or wound, also qualified for the award of the 1939-45 Star, irrespective of length of service.

The Africa Star: The ribbon represents the desert with tan, red for the Army, dark blue for the Navy, and light blue for the Air Force. North Africa 1942-43 bar issued to Naval forces, 8th Army and the 1st Army. Awarded for entry into an operational area in North Africa between 10 June 1940 (the date of Italy's declaration of war) and 12 May 1943 (the end of operations in North Africa), but service in Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Somaliland, Eritrea and Malta also qualified for the award. A silver numeral 1 or 8 worn on the ribbon denoted service with the First or Eighth Army between 23 October 1942 and 23 May 1943. A clasp inscribed North Africa 1942-43 was awarded to personnel of the Royal Navy Inshore Squadrons and Merchant Navy vessels which worked inshore between these dates. RAF personnel also qualified for this clasp, denoted by a silver rosette on the ribbon alone. Source - Medal Yearbook 1998

The Italy Campaign Star: The colours of the Italian Flag.

The Defence Medal: The orange (flame colour) represents the enemy attacks on the green land of England and the black represents the black-outs. Awarded for twelve months non-operational service outside New Zealand, or for six months service if area was threatened by by raids or possible invasion. Most of the Second Expeditionary Force and Air Force personnel serving in Europe qualified for this medal. Reference: Orders, Decorations and Medals Awarded to New Zealanders, by Geffrey, P. Oldham  & B. Delhunt. 1991 an illustrated guide for collectors with prices. 

The War Medal 1939-45  was awarded to all full time personnel of the Armed Forces serving for 28 days or more, between September 3, 1939, and September 2, 1945.

The New Zealand War Service Medal, 1939-45, was awarded to military personnel for at least 28 days service between September 3, 1939, and September 2, 1945.

The Pacific Star : A campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II. The medal was awarded for operational service in the Pacific Theatre between 8 Dec. 1941 and 2 Sept. 1945. The Pacific Star was authorized for immediate bestowal to any soldier who had been killed or wounded in combat. British uniform regulations stipulated that Burma Star would not be awarded to a recipient of the Pacific Star. Personnel qualifying for both the Pacific Star and the Burma Star were awarded the first star they qualified for, and a clasp in respect of the second star. Subsequent entitlement to the Burma Star was denoted by the award of the Burma Star clasp.  The reverse is plain, although Stars issued to Australian and South African personnel have recipient names engraved.

Atlantic Star : The ribbon is watered silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.

Oak Leaf: A single oak leaf emblem attached to the War Medal ribbon denotes a Mention-in-Despatches; the silver oak leaf, a King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. Even if a person had several "mentions", he would only have one emblem. The following codes may be found on the record: OLE


1939-1945 British service medal, 1939-1945 NZ service medal, 1939-1945 Defence medal, Italy star, Africa star, Pacific star, France and Germany star (Atlantic), Burma star, 1939-1945 star.

WW1 N.Z.E.F Honours Database

Medal Enquires: Staff Office of Medals (ph 4 527 5270) handles all enquires regarding medal entitlement and issue of replacement ribbons and medals. Replacement medals are only issued during the lifetime of person whom the medals were originally awarded unless the medals were not issued during their lifetime, the next of kin may apply. For New Zealand Defence Force personnel (Army - Navy - Air Force) from 31 December 1920 to now, write to: New Zealand Defence Force
Base Records
Trentham Camp
Private Bag 905
Upper Hutt
Wellington

London Gazette Supplement, 1 January 1919
Awarded the Military Cross
New Zealand Force
Capt. Arthur Ernest Timaru Rhodes, Canterbury Mtd. Rif.

The Army Museum at Waiouru  ph toll free 0800 369 999 have a repository for unwanted medals or for families to leave in their care the decorations belonging to their loved ones. They will have them on display if requested, at least this way the medals will be safe and not exploited.

QEII Army Memorial Museum
Curator of Archives
P O Box 45
WAIOURU 5164

Defence personnel files prior to 1920 handed over to Archives

The New Zealand Defence Force handed over to Archives New Zealand the files of all personnel who served in the New Zealand forces prior to 1920 in a ceremony at Trentham Military Camp on 14 April 2005. In recognition of their importance in the historical record of New Zealand, the Chief of Defence Force Air Vice Marshal Bruce Ferguson, and Chief Archivist Dianne Macaskill have agreed to transfer the 170,000 files of former service personnel to Archives New Zealand. Archives New Zealand, as the keeper of public records, will provide a temperature and humidity controlled environment for these important records. They will be kept in perpetuity at Archives New Zealand where they will be available to this and future generations of families, researchers and the public.  South African War (1899-1902) (6000 files) and First World War (1914-1918) (approx. 170,000 files)

For personnel archives - servicemen records Archives NZ - Wellington
Archives New Zealand (formerly the National Archives of NZ) 10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, in Wellington  
The Reference Section of the Archives New Zealand accepts reference requests by electronic mail.  You're entitled to one free search if you live in NZ (up to 30 minutes) at one Archives New Zealand Office per year and after that it's $25.65 per half hour (minimum charge). 

Archway, Archives New Zealand
Advanced search   Records
Keywords  WWI N/N
Officers as well as other ranks had a Regimental Number in the NZEF.
For South Africa extent the date to 1899 and look for SA.
Keyword: View Digitised Record  may need to view with Firefox
For WW1 records add:  AABK as the Agency, 1914  1919 for years and Held at Wgtn
At the Wellington office of Archives one can't just go and look at a WW1 record - unless it is a paper record. The majority of the WW1 files are only on microfilm. Archives are in the process of scanning these files to computer. A registered reader can order the file on site. Archives then scan the microfilm file in due course and post a printout to the reader's registered address - but there is a delay of a week or three. Alternatively, one can order a copy of the file from afar. There is only ONE EXCEPTION to the above. If the Archway reference says "Duplicate file", that will be a paper file able to be ordered for viewing in the normal way, and available for production of photocopies posted to a nominated address after a day or three.

A statement of service can be requested free of charge. Requirement for membership to the R.S.A.

Fee: 1 File within a 12 month period no charge. Otherwise normally $28/ file (no credit card transactions). Personnel Archives A-L  ph   4 527 5273 and L-Z  ph  4 527 5274  The person enquired about must be deceased before information is released from the file to a third party. They do not hold photographs or details on early militia (write to the Reference Section, Archives NZ P.O. Box 12050 Wellington) or merchant seaman.  

Military personnel files
AABK 18805 W5530/22 0020611 BURNS, Edward Timaru - WW1 48904 - Army
AABK 18805 W5537/23 0032710 DAWSON, Gordon Timaru - WW1 9/809 - Army
AABK 18805 W5537/58 0036276 DUNNAGE, Spencer Timaru - WW1 23531 - Army
AABK 18805 W5541/110 0065409 KNOWLES, Percy Timaru - WW1 48968 - Army
AABK 18805 W5541/118 0066284 LANGUISH, Timaru Frank - WW1 24/1105 - Army
AABK 18805 W5549/9 0079396 MAUGER, Philip Timaru - WW1 46528 - Army
AABK 18805 W5549/105 0088971 OSBORNE, Timaru Easton - WW1 N/N - Army
AABK 18805 W5550/69 0097367 RHODES, Arthur Ernest Timaru - WW1 7/109 - Army
AABK 18805 W5553/95 0111988 TASKER, Frederick Timaru - WW1 7/2316 - Army 
AABK 18805 W5557/34 0117808 WAKEFIELD, Timaru - WW1 82084 - Army

Books

Ailsby, Christopher Allied Combat Medals of World War 2 - Volume 1: Britain, the Commonwealth and Western European Nations 1989

Corbett, DA. (David Ashley) The Regimental Badges of New Zealand: An illustrated history of  the
badges and insignia worn by the New Zealand Army. Rev. enl. 2nd ed. 1980.  Ray Richards publisher. Hb. Dj.  An excellent book suitable for both beginners and advanced collectors. Cap badges, collar badges, shoulder titles and buttons. 320 pages with photographs of over 1000 badges. An illustrated history of the badges, mottoes and battle honours of the Regular and Volunteer units of the New Zealand Army from the 1840's to the 1970's.�

Lowe, Geoffrey J, New Zealand Reinforcement Badges 1914-1918, Privately published in Auckland by the author 1987. pp56  Illustrated with many photos etc. of the badges, plus photos which show the badges being worn by members of the NZEF during WW1.

McDonald, Wayne Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918 /  Napier [N.Z.] : Helen McDonald, 2001. Awards of the Victoria Cross, Military Medal and Cross, Distinguished Service Order, MID, DCM  Softcover book of 350 pages detailing awards to NZ soldiers and nurses of the 1st NZEF.  Surnames alphabetically listed. e.g.

FARQUHAR, Alan 6/452
MC 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd Bn, Canterbury Regiment
LG 4 February 1918, p1607
Citation Lg 5 July 1918, p 7937
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in carrying out a reconnaissance of the enemy's wire defences in bright moonlight. Though continually fired on by machine guns at close range, he reconnoitred the enemy's wire along the whole sector. KIA France 24 August 1918.

Oldham, G. Military Badges of New Zealand  with photo's and price guide

Oldham, Geoffrey P, Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army, Auckland: Oldham Books, 1997. 88pp Illus B&W.  An illustrated price guide to cap and collar badges, insignia and shoulder titles of the NZ Army, Police and Militia from 1867 to 1997.

Oldham, Geoffrey P. and Brett Delahunt. Orders, Decorations and Medals awarded to New Zealanders - an illustrated guide for collectors. 1991 ed. Soft cover with 115 pages.  Many illustrations. A colour section on medal ribbons. Price guide and photos of all medals, etc.

The Medals Year Book 2002 the latest on all British and commonwealth medals, the collectors bible with new sections and prices, includes recent sale and market trends, 487 pages 

Stower, Richard The New Zealand Medal to Colonials (1998) Has detailed medal rolls for officers and men. and  may cover eligibility for the medal. Archives NZ, Wellington have some lists of officers in the Militia (19 centenary); their appointments also appear in the New Zealand Gazette.

Thomas, Malcolm, New Zealand Army Distinguishing Patches, 1911-1991. Wellington: M. Thomas and C. Lord, 1995

Jordan, Major William Sydney (1909-1983)
Conquest without Victory -
A New Zealander in the Greek and French Resistance.  (1969, Holder)  (reprinted Bedford UK and Crows Nest, NSW: Little Hills Press: 1989) His autobiography. 256 pg.  Maps. A legendary hero. Describes his experiences in the Resistance Movements in both Greece and France, including murderous dealings with the Greek Communists and also "The Truth about Greece" (pub. Araluen Press, Melbourne, 1946).  Observations by an officer in the British Military Mission to occupied Greece on the Greek resistance movements and the Communists' actions from December 1942 to March 1944. In 1963 Maj. William JORDAN was a teacher of French and Economics at St. Ignatius' College, Sydney.  Later "Father Jordan." He was the parish priest of Te Puna & Bethlehem near Tauranga when he died, and had also been a priest at/near Gisborne. He was ordained in 1970 aged 60y, having started training at 57y; and having trained at Aquinas Academy, Sydney and Bede College, Rome. Before then he had been a journalist, then a lecturer. He had moved to Sydney, then to Europe (going to Greece in the summer), ref his book.
    JORDAN, William Sydney MC, MID &  MBE and Greek and guerrilla decorations (Royal Order of George I Knights Silver Cross with Swords, National Resistance medal)was born Timaru 20th November 1909. Before listing for active service with the first intake of First Echelon soldiers, he was a member of the reporting staff of NZ Herald. After preliminary training at Ngaruawahia, 2627 Major "Bill" JORDAN served in the Middle East with the NZ Divisional Cavalry. He left the NZ Forces in 1942 to join a special Operations Group, and was parachuted alone into German-occupied Greece 17 December 1942 and served with Greek guerrillas until 24 February 1944, 15 months, and was evacuated to the Middle East for hospital treatment.  Then he was attached Special Operations Executive France from June to September 1944.  Again parachuted behind enemy lines in southern France. He broke a leg on landing but, although in splints promptly took up his duties with the Maquis. He often directed sabotage from the front seat of a motorcar, usually with a tommy gun across his knees and a "rear gunner" in the back seat. His duties in France ended only on VE-day.  

From Memory - a new oral history project. This project aims to encourage the public in recording the memories of the veterans of both World Wars.

Canadian Military Medals  and Decorations
RSA badge worn on the right lapel. RSA formed in 1916 by returning Anzacs during World War One to provide support and comfort for service men and women and their families.
'NZ' and 'Royal N.Z. Artillery' cap and association badge
Ribbon Chart  ribbons
The Orders, Decorations and Medals of New Zealand

NZ Medals

Cleaning medals: The brass / bronze medals, best left "as is".   If silver use only good quality silver polish - such as Silvo - and burnish with a SOFT cloth. Place a piece of grease proof paper under the medallion so as not to get polish on the ribbon.

Special Medal for service in Greece. Returned Servicemen had to fill out an application form in the 1970s which had to be completed and returned to the Consulate for consideration. There was a section stating that the medal could be claimed by next-of-kin if the person had been killed in action or had since died. The ribbon has a grey centre stripe, each side of which is royal blue which is edged in white. The medal itself is gold and depicts a head, presumed the head is of King George of the Hellenes, with a crown above. On the reverse side, gives the date 1940-41 and some Greek words. This medal always follows or is below other medals worn. Issued by the Greek Consulate in Wellington  and an accompanying scroll which read: "Taking this opportunity I wish to inform you that the Medal is awarded by Presidential Decree No 1/21.12.78, to all ex servicemen and servicewomen whom served in Greece - Crete during the Second World War 1940-1945."

"Furthermore, I wish to inform you that when we receive all applications we will forward them to the Greek Ministry of Defence, together with the statements of service, for consideration by the appropriate Committee as stipulated by the Greek Law, and afterwards the Minister will make the awards and forward the Medals together with the DIPLOMA. In due time we will notify you as to the date and place where the Medal will be bestowed to the recipient. To this effect we will consult with the NZ authorities and the NZ R.S.A."

South Canterbury Branch of the NZSG has the following fiche at their library in the South Canterbury Museum, Perth St, Timaru.

Microfiche available at research facilities throughout New Zealand:
NZ Contingents to the South African War 1900-1902 (and 1903 Casualty list)
NZ Expeditionary Force & Reserves List 1914-1918
NZ Expeditionary Force nominal rolls 1939-1948

NZSG Cemetery fiche for Public Memorials - War

The medals were like suitcases with labels on them, from where you have been.

a.   b.  c.
a. NZ Operational Service Medal, Korea Medal,_______, General Service Medal (Peacekeeping Operations),_______
b. Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the BE, NZ Operational Service Medal, Vietnam Medal, General Service Medal (PK Operations), ______
c. Korea Medal


Memorial - Caroline Bay, Timaru
Photo taken April 2007 by Margaret Todd.

Caroline Bay Victoria Cross Memorial Sundial was installed by the Caroline Bay Association in memory of those awarded the Victoria Cross. If you walk around Caroline Bay, Timaru you will see the lengthy knee-high  350 metre Memorial Wall built in 1929 that list the names of the 101 battles New Zealanders fought in during WW1 on locally made bronze plaques. It also marks the line where land and sea once met. Finished in plaster and Moeraki shingle, the cost was 616 10s 11d. In the centre of the wall near the playground there is a sundial, a memorial, to New Zealand's eleven recipients of the Victoria Cross who paid the supreme sacrifice during WW1.  The sundial cost 117 8s 0d The sundial had four balls around it with a plaque beneath each:
Right back: Phis Douve
Right Front: Le Quesney
Left Back: Poperinghe
Left Front: Messines

Roll of Honour
-Pro Patria -

Corpl	 C.R. Bassett	 VC
Sergt	 D.F. Brown	 VC x
Sergt	 S. Frickleton	 VC
Corpl	 L.W. Andrew	 VC
Pvte	 H.J. Nicholas	 VC x 
Sergt	 R.C. Travis	 VC x
Sergt	 S. Forsyth	 VC x 
Sergt	 R.S. Judson	 VC   medals
Sergt	 H.J. Laurent	 VC
Sergt	 J.G. Grant	 VC
Pvte	 J. Crichton	 VC
x - Killed in Action

1914   1914
Lest We Forget
1914        1918

Victoria Cross - inscribed "For valour", is the highest honour in the British and Commonwealth military.  Such is the level of courage required for the award that it is estimated the chances of surviving an act worthy of the medal are one in 10.  16/09/2006 The VC was created at the behest of Queen Victoria in 1856. Since then, 1,355 have been awarded; today only 12 recipients are still alive. Six holders of the Victoria Cross are to be immortalised on a set of UK stamps to mark the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the medal including Charles Upham, a New Zealander, who was sent to Colditz. IWM

Thirty three years later a New Zealander who was accorded the Victoria Cross for great valour at Gallipoli, Lieutenant Colonel Bassett, returned to the battlefield and wrote: "I stood among men who once had been our mortal foes. We had hated them, but we had never despised them. We had admired their stubborn gallantry, their tenacity to endure. With such a race, loyal to themselves and to their country, we had become friends again. Between us lay the bond of mutual respect. Our dead had mingled, and in our mutual homage, I think we gained a lot that day."  The Ataturk memorial bears his famous healing words to the families of those who died: "You the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well."

All prisoners of war were asked to fill in a "liberation questionnaire" when they arrived back in Britain after the end of the war. Theses are available at the National Archive under WO 344.  Capt Charles Upham, a NZ infantry officer, records acceptable treatment by the Germans who initially took him prisoner in North Africa in 1942. He is, however, scathing about the behaviour of the Italians who later took over responsibility for him. "We were overrun by the German 21st Panzer division, who behaved correctly, were then handed over two days later to Italians who robbed, abused, starved and behaved very badly in North Africa."

Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, VC and bar, MC, RAMC. Born: Oxford, Nov 9, 1884. Died: Brandhoek, Aug 4, 1917. He was like a character in Chariots of Fire, and one of only three individuals to be awarded the Victoria Cross and Bar - curiously he was related by marriage to one of the other two, New Zealander Charles Upham. Chavasse was medical officer of the 10th (Liverpool Scottish) Battalion, the King's (Liverpool) Regiment and was initially best known as an outstanding athlete at Oxford University, going up to Trinity College with his twin brother, Christopher, in 1904.

Holders of the Victoria Cross in NZ As of 2006 nineteen families had given or lent Victoria Crosses to New Zealand museums, seeking nothing in return.  Victoria Crosses are valuable pieces of military memorabilia and are likely to fall under the Antiquities Act, which allows the Government to bar the export of historically, culturally or scientifically significant items. There are only 1353 VCs ever made since 1856 for the entire British Commonwealth, and of that there are only three double VCs. Upham  Shout 

Extracted from London Gazette No 27347 dated 20th August 1901
Evening Post, 7 October 1901, Page 5
HARDHAM WJ, Farrier Major 4th Contingent. Bravery in rescue at Cyferfontein.

Capt. W.J.  HARDHAM, of Wellington, a member of the 4th Contingent, earned his V.C. during the Boer War for conspicuous and self-sacrificing bravery : On January 28, 1901, near Naauwpoort, when, as a non-commissioned officer, he was with a section which was extended and hotly engaged with a party of about 20 Boers. Just before the force commenced to retire a trooper named McCRAE was wounded and his horse killed. Captain Hardham, who was at the time a farrier-major, at once went - under heavy fire - to his assistance, dismounted and placed him on his own horse and ran alongside until he had guided him to a place of safety. [AWN 10.02.1916]  Served with distinction at Gallipoli where he was severely wounded.

Otago Witness, 18 May 1867, Page 2
The "Victoria" Cross maybe henceforth conferred upon Militia and Volunteers throughout the British Empire. The first recipient of the honor in New Zealand is Major Heaphy, of the Auckland Militia for your gallantry at the skirmish at Mangapiko, in February, 1864.

The New Zealand Cross was a medal instituted in New Zealand in 1869 for valour during the Maori Wars. It was awarded to New Zealand servicemen of the time and is equivalent to the Victoria Cross but is of particularly New Zealand origin.

The Queen's Scarf
Private H D Coutts, NZMR, Taranaki, First New Zealand Contingent, No.1 Company, had been awarded one of the four woollen scarves knitted by Queen Victoria for distribution to the four most distinguished private soldiers in the forces of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. His Majesty the King decided to award to the four scarf-winners a gold star and clasp, which will equal to the V.C, and carry with it the same distinction.

Evening Post, 7 October 1911, Page 9
The only Victoria Cross ever presented to a member of an. auxiliary force for service in New Zealand or ever likely to be, has just been handed to the Mayor for safe keeping on behalf of the City of Auckland. This plain little bronze cross with its simple motto, "For Valour," was give to Major Heaphy for conspicuous action at Maungapiko in February, 1860. The medal and certain documents were handed to the Mayor to-day by Dr. B. J. Dudley, who stated that under the will of his late aunt, Mrs. Chas. Heaphy, the Victoria. Cross bestowed upon her husband, the late Major Chas. Heaphy. was directed to remain in the custody of her brother, the, late Mr. W. H. Churton, for his life-time, and after that to be handed over to the Auckland Art Gallery. It had now become his pleasant duty to hand over this Victoria Cross to the Mayor for safe custody. The medal was accompanied by a Copy of the New Zealand Gazette giving a brief account of the gallant action for which the Cross was bestowed, a clipping from a daily paper contemporary with the conferring of the honour, and a copy of the Illustrated London Times, of 21st May, 1864, in which illustrated the special action of Major, then Captain, Heaphy and a general plait of the action at Maungabiko. Captain Heaphy, Auckland Rifle Volunteers, took charge of a party and ably directed it in gallantly assisting a wounded soldier of the 40th, who had fallen into a hollow among the thickest of the concealed Maoris. He became the target for a volley at a few feet distant. Five balls pierced his clothes and cap, and he is slightly wounded in three places. Though hurt himself he continued to aid the wounded to the end of the day."- The return of causalities in the Gazette shows that in the engagement six white men were killed, three severely wounded, and four slightly wounded.

The Times, Saturday, May 12, 1945 Buckingham Palace, May 11
The King held an Investiture this morning, at which His Majesty decorated the following with the Victoria Cross:-  Sergeant Hilton, New Zealand Military Forces.
During the fighting in Greece on the night of April 28, 1941, a column of German armoured cars, guns and mortars entered Kalamai and converged rapidly on a large force of British and New Zealand troops awaiting embarkation on the beach. The order to retreat to cover was given, but Sergeant Hinton, ignoring this order, rushed up to the nearest gun and hurling two grenades, completely wiped out the crew. He then came on with the bayonet followed by a crowd of New Zealanders and dealt with German troops who had retreated into two houses. They held the guns until attacked by an overwhelming force when Sergeant Hinton fell wounded and was taken prisoner.

Greatness, no matter how brief, stays with a man. GH, Y2k


Operation Valour, the ongoing investigation into the theft of gallantry medals from the Waiouru Army Museum.

Stolen Victory Crosses
Update: The Press, Monday, 18 February 2008
Police said "an amount" of the reward had been paid, but did not say how much. Upham's two Victoria Crosses were among 96 medals returned on Saturday after thieves handed them back to authorities via an Auckland lawyer. The medals, including nine Victoria Crosses, were taken amid lax security at the Army Museum on December 2.

24 March 2008 - A 10-week investigation led to the medals' return. Nine stolen Victoria Crosses and other military medals have been recovered after Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative Party's deputy chairman, paid a 75,000 ( $NZ200,000 ) reward. Lord Ashcroft owns 154 VCs, the largest private collection of Britain's highest military honour and one tenth of the total awarded since 1856.  "It really needed a radical move to precipitate the return of the medals," he said. "My worry was that they might have been destroyed, buried, or lost for ever. "I believe it was important that there was a serious incentive to avoid that happening." A lawyer acted as a go-between and the medals were delivered to his office. No immunity from prosecution or support for reduction in any sentence for any offender was given in return for the medals. Lord Ashcroft added: "The police are now free to pursue their inquiries. If they catch and convict those who took the medals, who is the loser in the financial stakes? Myself. And I don't care." "You may be half a world away, but the connections between the United Kingdom and New Zealand are very close."

They stole from veterans and New Zealand. Early Monday morning, December 3, 2007, thieves in four minutes smash and grabbed nine of the 22 Victoria Crosses awarded to New Zealanders from the Army Museum at Waioura, 185 miles north of Wellington on the Desert Road. It is a crime against the national, probably stolen to order, and the medals will probably to be taken off shore as soon as possible. NZ has signed up to international conventions to return elicit property to NZ. "Even if they don't show up for 100 years, these medals will still be known to be stolen medals. If someone has agreed to take them, then they know they will never be able to display them."
Gone are the medals of :
* Samuel Frickleton, VC -- WW1
* Leslie Andrew, VC -- WW1
* Randolph Ridling, Albert Medal -- WW1 (awarded for lifesaving)
* Reginald Judson, VC, DCM, MM -- WW1 (Distinguished Conduct Medal, a Military Medal)
* John Grant, VC -- WW1
* Harry Laurent, VC -- WW1
* Jack Hinton, VC -- WW2
* Clive Hulme, VC -- WW2
* Keith Elliott, VC -- WW2
* Charles Upham, VC and Bar -- WW2
* David Russell, GC -- WW2
* Ken Hudson, GC. (awarded to civilians for great bravery)
and about 90 other medals.

Upham's Victoria Cross and bar had been sold to Britain's Imperial War Museum in London by the Upham family last year and then lent to New Zealand for 999 years. Upham, (died in 1994) was only the third person, as well as the only combatant soldier, to have been awarded the medal twice. The heist must sound a warning to the guardians of our other treasures. The gallantly and campaign medals and other medals are valued around 12 to 14 million dollars. "Their pathetic little adventure being an attack against symbols that represent some of the greatest acts of bravery in our nation's history. Victoria Cross winners faced real danger. Not a stubbed toe on a wooden cabinet in the dark. VC winners put themselves into danger for others. Their bravery was for others and they acted with a selflessness of such magnitude that it's difficult to grasp." "It is not the first time the country has been caught out. The America's Cup was also accessible when an activist took to it with a hammer in 1997. That was a bizarre attack and it would change the fabric of New Zealand society if trophies like the Ranfurly Shield, which are frequently passed among supporters at games, were put under a permanent lock and key." The medals were national treasures will be almost impossible to sell within New Zealand. It is impossible to sell them on the open market. Somewhere out there is a collector who has no soul.

A total of 1,355 VCs have been awarded since they were first instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856 following the Crimean war. Only 12 have been awarded since 1946. Twenty-one VCs and one Bar were awarded to New Zealanders before the Victoria Cross for New Zealand was instituted in 1999. The latest, which went to Corporal Willie Apiata, Auckland. He was the first member of the New Zealand military to be awarded the medal since 1946, and only the 14th person in the world since the end of World War II. He received the VC for an episode in Afghanistan in April 2004, where he showed little regard for his own life to carry a wounded colleague for 70 metres under heavy fire, to safety and treatment. The soldier would have died from the loss of blood. The last time the nation's highest military decoration was awarded in New Zealand was in 1946. Corporal Apiata becomes one of only 13 living recipients of the VC worldwide. Corporal Apiata will be like other recipients before him and will be humble and carry on with his life.
    April 24th 2008. Corporal Apiata, age 35, gave his medal away to the New Zealand Special Air Services Trust to keep it safe, it can never be sold.

One of three VCs won by airmen in World War 2 is held by the Air Force Museum in Christchurch but is kept in a vault while a replica is on display. Larger museums such as Waioura would usually display the originals. One of the three Victoria Crosses won by airmen in World War 2 is held by the Air Force Museum in Christchurch - but is not on display. Museum chief executive said last night that a replica of the actual Victoria Cross won by bomber pilot Leonard Trent in May 1943 over Amsterdam is displayed. "The problem which is likely to be increased by this most recent development is that people won't be inclined to display the original medal."

Manawatu Standard  Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Keith Elliott was born on Anzac Day, 1916. He farmed at Marima, southwest of Pahiatua, and helped clear a slip on the Pahiatua Track so he could enlist at Palmerston North. At dawn on July 15, 1942, in North Africa's Western Desert, Sergeant Elliott's battalion was attacked by tanks on three flanks. He led his platoon to a ridge and was wounded in the chest. He then led his men to another ridge, where they came under heavy machine - gun and mortar fire. Sgt Elliott led seven men on a bayonet charge, capturing four machine guns and an anti-tank gun. His section came under machine- gun fire, but he single-handedly captured that post. He suffered three more wounds. "Owing to Sgt Elliott's quick grasp of the situation, great personal courage and leadership, 19 men, who were the only survivors of B Company of his battalion, captured and destroyed five machine guns, one anti-tank gun, killed a great number of the enemy, and captured 130 prisoners," his VC citation said. "Sgt Elliott sustained only one casualty among his men, and brought him back to the nearest advanced dressing station." One of his sons, Graeme, who also lives in Palmerston North, was born exactly five years later, on July 14. Keith Elliott became an Anglican minister and his services were in hot demand throughout New Zealand for Anzac Day commemorations.

Medals are important objects - should not be for sale. There are some things that are beyond value - courage and bravery are.


Otago Witness, 22 March 1894, Page 22
Samuel Mitchell was drowned in the Mekonui (W.C.) river on Friday, and his body was found on the beach 18 miles south on Monday. It is surmised he tried to cross the river to secure his boat and was carried down by the flood. He was missed on Friday night, but his fate was not definitely known till Monday. He was an old man of-wars man, and held the Victoria Cross. He leaves a wife and grown-up family. It is believed his life was insured for �500 in the Government office.

Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War Royal New Zealand Navy by S.D. Waters. Page 530 The First New Zealand Navy
"On the 29th April 1864 General [Sir D.A.] Cameron made the attack on Gate Pa [near Tauranga] with a force of 1,700 of all ranks. One hundred and fifty seamen and marines under Commander Hay ("Harrier"), and a equal number of the 43rd Regiment under Lieut. Colonel Booth, formed the assaulting party. Commander Hay and Lieut. Colonel Booth fell mortally wounded. Total dead 12; wounded 29. "For bravery in carrying Commander Hay, when wounded, off the field, Samuel Mitchell, captain of foretop, and captain's coxswain, was awarded the Victoria Cross, which was presented to him by Sir. J. Young, Governor of New South Wales, in Sydney in October."

Standing in the cemetery, between innumerable rows of white marble crosses, I found myself on the verge of tears. I pictured Spielberg's images, heard Corporal Upham's words from the film, echoing Tennyson: "Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die." The fiction of the film had made the location all the more affecting.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Friends during the war are friends for ever.


DEPARTURE OF THE TIMARU VOLUNTEERS FOR PARIHAKA.

The trumpet is sounding, the banner of war
Is waved on the hills, and the burning red star
Is high in the heavens, and ocean and land
Are stirred with the tidings that war is at hand.

A voice from the North� "Who will come to our aid ?
Who will face the dark Maori with bright gleaming blade?
Loud are the shouts that the far echoes fill,
As the brave Timaruvians answer " We will !"

Ah ! few are the moments to mourn or prepare,
Comes the dreaded farewell that is fraught with despair ;
And Timaru watches, with tear-blinded eye,
Her heroes departing, it may be to die !

Brave hearts of the South ! win as great a renown
On the hills of the North as here was your own;
Let the fierce Maori tremble as up to the blue
Ascends the loud war-cry of proud Timaru.

And ah ! if it be that some never return,
For them shall the maidens of Timaru mourn,
And join their lament with the wail of the tide
That weeps evermore for the warriors that died.

Temuka ! Mackenzie ! where Timaru leads
The path is to glory and glorious deeds.
Follow her, then, in the high road of Fame ;
Win for the South an unperishing name !

from the book The Spirit of the Rangatira, and other Ballads. By Jessie Mackay


"New Zealander's distinctively "Kiwi" way of doing things serves the New Zealand Defence Force well.
These traits include: resourcefulness, enterprise, common sense and daring."
Jan. 9 2009