Joe Atkins Unknown date of birth - Died 15 December 1941 PDF Print Share Key details Contribute › Service number39642 AWMM Also known asJoe Atkins Hamilton AWMM ForceArmy AWMM Last rankPrivate AWMM28 (Maori) Battalion AWMM WarWorld War II, 1939-1945 AWMM Lay a poppy Hide sources Show empty fields Identity About Contribute › Title ForenamesJoe AWMM SurnameAtkins AWMM Ingoa Also known asJoe Atkins Hamilton AWMM Service number39642 AWMM GenderMale AWMM Iwi Hapū Waka Rohe Religion Images and documents Images Contribute › Documents Contribute › Civilian life About birth Contribute › Date of birth Place of birth Birth notes Occupation before enlistmentWW2 Labourer AWMM Post war occupation Address before enlistmentUnknown C/o J. Morgan, Eureka, Hamilton, New Zealand AWMM Next of kin on embarkationMr T. Atkins (father), Tikitiki, East Coast, New Zealand AWMM Relationship statusUnknown Single AWMM Service Wars and conflicts Contribute › WarWorld War II, 1939-1945 AWMM CampaignsWestern Desert AWMM ForceArmy AWMM Service number39642 AWMM Military service Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers Miilitary decorations Contribute › Medals and Awards Training and Enlistment Contribute › Military training EnlistmentWW2 Unknown AWMMMatamata, Waikato, New Zealand AWMM Age on enlistment Embarkations Contribute › Embarkation detailsWW2 Private AWMM; 28 (Maori) Battalion AWMM; Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, 2nd Echelon AWMM Prisoner of war Contribute › Capture details Days interned Liberation date POW liberation details POW serial number Medical history Contribute › Medical notesKilled in Action, Cause of Death AWMM Last known rank Contribute › Last rankPrivate AWMM28 (Maori) Battalion AWMM Biographical information Biographical information Contribute › Joe Atkins was the son of Tom and Maferoa Atkins of Tiki TikiThe circumstances leading up to the death of Private Atkins are outlined in The Story of the Maori Battalion by Wira Gardiner. "On 10 December 1941, the Maori [Battalion] were on the move westwards past Menastir, the scene of their recent triumph, and on toward Gazala. 5 Brigade was to move west towards Gazala but not get involved in serious fighting. Seventeen miles west of Tobruk, the battalions were given their tasks. 23 Battalion was to move down the main coastal road. The Maori were to move along a track on the escarpment overlooking the coast road. 22 Battalion moved further south.The 28 (Maori) Battalion's first objective was Sidi Mgherreb, 'a slight rise dominated by a little hill hardly more than a pimple on the desert'. It was a very strong position, protected by a minefield on its left flank and by a line of 26 anti-tank guns, interlaced with machine guns and mortars on its right." Using simple if unorthodox tacts the battalion was successful and took over 1000 prisoners.Two days later and 12 km further west the 28 Battalion was in action again, this time the objective was Point 181. The assault (as recorded by Cody in 28 (Maori) Battalion) was a replica of the first. "Colonel Dyer placed Captain Royal in charge with orders to consolidate while he returned to his headquarters back on the first objective. Royal in turn instructed A Company and 17 Platoon to consolidate while he went forward with B. Company to exploit in case there were more enemy about. They found a field ambulance, medical stores, a food truck, a car and several motor cycles.The Arawas had taken time off to sample the Italian hot coffee in the food truck when the approach of daylight disclosed still more enemy in trenches close by. They did not offer much opposition and the Maoris took over their weapon pits. B Company's adventures were not yet over for at first light another enemy group was seen about 400 yards away, apparently standing around waiting to surrender. The Maoris were proceeding to oblige them when the enemy suddenly turned and manned some guns behing them, whereupon B Company's men dived for the cover they had just left.By the greatest of good fortune a Vickers crew had arrived by this time and came immediately into action cleaning up the enemy gun crews, breaking up an incipient counter-attack, and ensuring that the guns remained unmanned. Captain Royal and Lieutenant D. Stewart were wounded by the same mortar shell and Lieutenant F.T. Bennett took command." The following day the fighting continued around Points 154, 152 and 181. A good map of the Battalion's position and progress during these days of the advance to Gazala can be seen on p. 164 of the Official History of the 28 Battalion. It seems likely that Private Atkins was one of those killed by a shell about two hours before the attack on Point 154 on 15 December. Lieutenant H. Te K. Green and seven others were killed at the same time. AWMM Read more Death About death Contribute › Age at death28 AWMM Date of death15 December 1941 AWMM Cause of deathKilled in Action AWMM Place of deathWestern Desert, North Africa, Africa AWMM Death notesWestern Desert, near Gazala AWMM Cemetery name Grave reference Memorial nameAlamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt AWMMAuckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM Memorial referenceColumn 102 AWMM Obituary Roll of Honour Remember Joe Atkins by laying a poppy. Jerry Atkins Jim Atkins Joe Atkins John Augustus Atkins John Thomas Atkins Lay a poppy for 2015 Leave a note Leave a tribute or memory of Joe Atkins Leave a note Contribute › Processing Sources Sources Contribute › External linksCommonwealth War Graves Commissionhttp://www.cwgc.orgSources UsedCody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington: Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. Digital copy.http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2Maor.htmSources Used28th Maori Battalion Website 1941-1945http://www.28maoribattalion.org.nz/Further Reference DocumentsAuckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMMSoutar, M. (2008). Nga tama toa = The price of citizenship : C Company 28 (Maori) Battalion 1939-1945. Albany, N.Z.: David Bateman. AWMMSecond New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMMWW2 2: WW2 11 AWMMSoutar, M. (2008). Nga tama toa = The price of citizenship : C Company 28 (Maori) Battalion 1939-1945. Albany, N.Z.: David Bateman. AWMMPortrait published in Soutar (2008) AWMM Seen an error on this page? Tell us about it.