Brigadier George Palmer CADE (DSO), 1909-1987
Service no. 20009, 29th Field Battery, 5th & 6th Field Rgt., 2NZEF; RNZ Artillery; NZ Division; NZF Malaya; 2 NZ Infantry Brigade.
George Palmer CADE, born 10th May 1909 in Hawera, New Zealand. Enlisted as a regular soldier, age 19, in 1928, with 29th Field Battery, 2NZEF. Served as a Lieutenant with the 5th and 6th Field Regiments in the 2nd New Zealand Division in Greece, Crete, North Africa, and Italy. The 6th Field Regiment arrived at the Maadi Camp in September 1940; moved to Helwan 9 – 14 of December 1940; assisted in the defence of the Aliakmon line and the Servia Pass, and then moved with the New Zealand Division to Thermopylae and saw action near Molos; evacuated Greece by 25 April 1941; disembarked at Souda Bay in Crete. CADE appears to have transferred to the 5th Regiment and saw action at Maleme; evacuated to Egypt on 27th May. CADE served as Captain of the 47 Battery with the 5th Field Regiment in Operation Crusader 18 November–30 December 1941. The Allied operation crossed the Egyptian frontier into Libya on 17 November 1941; CADE saw action at Belhamed, east of Ed Duda and near the Tobruk Perimeter. CADE was appointed Major after 6th February 1942. Awarded DSO in November 1942 during the second battle of El Alamein. In late 1943 the 2nd New Zealand Division was moved to Italy on two ships, the Reina del Pacifico and the Dunottar Castle, taking part in Eighth Army's campaign on Italy's Adriatic coast which ground to a halt at the end of the year. CADE was appointed Brigadier-Major in 1943. On the Gothic Line in Italy in 1944, Cade was medically graded and “thereby robbed of the distinction of leading the 6th Field in their final campaign.” CADE was awarded the 1939-45 Star, the Africa Star, the Italy Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal 1939-45 (and Mentioned in Dispatches), the NZ War Service Medal, and the Greek War Medal 1940-41.
Post-WWII, was the Director RNZ Artillery from 1948-53, and General Staff Officer (Grade 1) of the NZ Division 1954-7. CADE was commander of the NZ Forces in Malaya 1957-60. The 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Regiment was deployed in March 1958, and the 2nd Battalion in 1959. Upon return, in 1960, CADE was given command of Central Military District (CMD) in New Zealand and the 2nd NZ Infantry Brigade, and retired in 1964. He died 26th September 1987, 78 years of age.
DSO citation: (From the New Zealand Gazette, 21 September 1944)
“On 24 October 1942 during the attack on Mitieriya Ridge, Major Cade was acting as L.O. at Brigade H.Q. Early in the action he found that both of his OPs [Observation Points] had been knocked out, one Troop Commander being killed and the other with a number of OP personnel, wounded. Immediately on release, at his own request, from his liaison duties, he proceeded to the heavily mined OP area under constant mortar and small arms fire, the last portion of the distance having to be covered on foot. Owing to the intensity of the fire, he had constantly to move his OP during the day and the greater part of the time he was actually forward of our own infantry, without any form of personal protection. In spite of the difficulties, he was able to cover by shell fire the consolidation of the infantry positions and to engage enemy strong points while his frequent tactical reports were of the utmost value. As he has done in every previous action, Major Cade once again displayed the utmost coolness and courage combined with most aggressive action. His bold OP policy combined with extensive reconnaissance under heavy fire enabled him to engage targets that could not have been otherwise engaged and through the action he was a constant inspiration and example to all about him. At a later period in the same battle, he again distinguished himself by his gallant and highly aggressive OP work. Handing over his own armoured OP to a new Troop Commander he pushed forward in an unarmoured vehicle right to the area where our tanks were operating, established his OP within a few hundred yards of the enemy, engaged infantry and antitank guns and was able by his bold action to give vital assistance in the breaking up of an enemy counterattack on our own infantry.”
Military Awards: DSO, 1935-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, War Medal 1939-45 (and Mentioned in Dispatches), the NZ War Service Medal, the Greek War Medal 1940-41, General Service Medal 1918-62 (Malaya), and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.