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Farewell John Arthur Ross

Portrait of John Arthur Ross, CJX409843 (2014). © NZIPP Photograph by Andrea Chalmers 1124-2377. CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Portrait of John Arthur Ross, CJX409843 (2014). © NZIPP Photograph by Andrea Chalmers 1124-2377. CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.

We acknowledge the passing of John Arthur Ross on 5 February 2021.

John Ross was born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands on 15 May 1925. John first joined the Merchant Navy at 15 during World War II, attending the Prince of Wales Sea School  in February 1940, later transferring to the Royal Navy. He was discharged in 1946, and made his way to New Zealand where he worked as a carpenter. In 1952 he enlisted in the New Zealand Navy and served in Korea until 1954.

John volunteered at Auckland War Memorial Museum since the opening of the Armoury Information Centre in 1996. During that time he undertook research using a variety of dispersed sources (specifically on ships, ship losses and military medals) which has led to the enrichment of Online Cenotaph records and provided the foundation of new digital resources. 

His work has meant that hard-to-find and dispersed information is freely available online to any researcher, anywhere, and at any time. He also undertook a worldwide trawl of useful stories and anecdotes about animals at war for use by the Museum’s educators in their teaching programmes. John delivered talks and conducted groups of dignitaries and other visitors on tours relating to the merchant navy, animals at war, and the arctic convoys.

John was member of the Swanson RSA for over 20 years, and was a welfare officer for this organisation for many years. He provided an inquiry service for the Swanson RSA, and frequently acted in a liaison role between Museum curators and veterans or others in the community wishing to donate items to the Museum. He showed great initiative in developing programmes such as a local RSA based service where he delivered meals to around 30 elderly veterans each week, particularly where these are people too proud to access normal Meals on Wheels.

John volunteered at Auckland Museum from 1997 to 2017  and was the recipient of a Auckland Museum medal in 2016 - Associate Emeritus of Auckland War Memorial Museum. He is survived by his loving wife Aniva and Maria, Renee, Susan, Andrea, Helen, Grant and Stewart.

Cite this article

Auckland Museum staff. Farewell John Arthur Ross. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 10 February 2021. Updated: 10 February 2021.