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James Wairata Brown

1NZ 1961-1963 WOs and Sgts (In Mess Kit). 4th Row: SSgt DJ McFarlane, Sgt AW Packer, Sgt DMW Vinten, Sgt W Lloyd, Sgt AEP Parker, Sgt K Friend, Sgt AD Nixey, Sgt M Anderson, SSgt AA Mansell, Sgt ER Gosney, Sgt TCR Scott, Sgt EG Shuker.
3rd Row: Sgt R Pankhurst, Sgt AJS Don, Sgt RE Cross, Sgt WAJ Marychurch, Sgt RW Rowe, Sgt AL Johnstone, Sgt RF McKenzie, SSgt MH Edwards, Sgt MC MacDonald, Sgt LM Taylor, Sgt RA Jenkins.
2nd Row: SSgt DW Gargett, Sgt G Schofield, Sgt BE Malloch, SSgt CM Kennedy, Sgt WF Tyms, Sgt M Rangiuia, Sgt W Elliott, SSgt JD Desmond, Sgt DWG Taylor, Sgt RC James, Sgt JE Millar, Sgt HJ Hyndman, Sgt MJ Hellyer, Sgt JW Brown.
1st Row: SSgt WFD Croxson, WOII RA Manning, WOU MR Taucher, WOII JH Moonlight, WOII DG Turnbull, WOI CM Schwass MBE (RSM), Lt Col LA Pearce MBE (CO), WOI AJ Aitken, WOII DF Williams, WOII AG McNearnie, WOII CG O'Brien, WOII RA Gibson, WOII PE Wischnowsky. Image kindly provided by Bill Russell, Vice President of the Malayan Veterans Association (December 2020).

1NZ 1961-1963 WOs and Sgts (In Mess Kit). 4th Row: SSgt DJ McFarlane, Sgt AW Packer, Sgt DMW Vinten, …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Wairata AWMM
  • Surname
    Brown AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • J. W. Brown AWMM
    • Jim W. AWMM
    • Waerata AWMM
    • James AWMM
  • Service number
    • Vietnam 37575 AWMM
    • Malaya 537575 AWMM
    • Malaya 37575 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    3 May 1940 AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Malaya Waimana AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • N.Z. Soldiers in Malaysia Win Valour Awards
    Lieutenant James Wairata Brown
    Lieutenant Brown of Waimana, Bay of Plenty, was one of six recipients of awards for gallant and distinguished service in Malaysia recently announced by the Governor General, Sir Bernard Fergusson. He received the Military Cross.

    The citation says that while he was commanding a platoon on operations one of his sentries fired on and wounded an Indonesian Scout. Lieutenant Brown quickly organised a patrol which captured the men who subsequently gave much valuable information.

    A few weeks later Lieutenant Brown's platoon came under heavy fire. Calling for covering fire, Lieutenant Brown moved forward to within hand grenade range of the enemy and inflicted heavy casualties before returning to supervise the withdrawal of his men.

    Only two Military Crosses have been awarded in the New Zealand Army in the past nine years. The other recipient was Lieutenant Eru Manuera (Te Ao Hou Issue No. 54).

    Amongst the other five recipients of awards announced by the Governor Gneeral at the same time were two other Maoris, Private Tahu Ashby of Pakaraka, Bay of Islands, who gained the Military Medal, and Sergeant Winiwini Ahitapi McGee of Whangarei, who was mentioned in despatches.

    The citation for Private Ashby's Military Medal tells of three engagements in which he figured. On 30 June 1965. Ashby was fired on by two Indonesian infiltrators from close quarters. Firing from the hip with his Bren gun he killed one and wounded the other. On 1 July his platoon was covering a withdrawal when it came under enemy fire. He maintained his position during the attack and enabled the withdrawing troops to move safely. On 28 July when Private Ashby's company was ambushed, he managed to locate one of the enemy machine guns and silence it. This action turned what could have been a successful Indonesian attack into a failure. (Te Ao Hou September 1966 Page 25)

    Tuhoe affiliation. RF Cadet 1957. OCS Portsea graduate December 1963. Won MC in Borneo with 1 RNZIR. Coy 2 i/c W3 until June 1971, then OC A Coy, 2 RAR until RTNZ. Retired as Lt Col.

    Photo of 2/lt J.W. Brown in The Officers, 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (Terendak Camp, Malaya 1965)

    Photo of Sgt J.W. Brown in 1st Battalion The New Zealand Regiment, WOs & SGTs (Terendak Camp, Malaya 1962) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    30 May 1997 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    • Manukau Memorial Gardens, Manukau, Auckland AWMM
    • Tataiahape Marae Urupa AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a tribute or memory of James Wairata Brown

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  • Jim was born on the 3rd of May 1940 and died 30 May 1997. S37575 James Wairata (Jim) BROWN-MC, [BV-Lt, W3-Capt] (OC Charlie O73/75, OC Spt 75/76) 30 May 1997 aged 57. Buried at Tataiahape Marae Urupa, 3 Matahi Valley Rd, Nukuhou, Waimana, Eastern BoP 3196. [-38.16621, 177.11117] LEST WE FORGET.



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  • External links
  • References
    • Subritsky, M. (Ed). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: The second ANZAC adventure. Papakura, N.Z.: Three Feathers Publishing Co. AWMM
    • Hall, C. (2014). No front line : inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War. Auckland, New Zealand : Penguin Books. AWMM
    • This record was created from data kindly provided by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. AWMM
    • H.E. Chamberlain, Nominal Roll – 1 RNZIR, 18 May-1 October 1965, in Gurr, Robert. (2009). Voices from a border war: Borneo 1963-1965. 2nd Edition. Christchurch, N.Z.: Wilson Scott Publishing, pp.151-156 AWMM
    • Gurr, Robert. (2009). Voices from a border war: Borneo 1963-1965. 2nd Edition. Christchurch, N.Z.: Wilson Scott Publishing AWMM
    • 1NZR Roll 1961-1963 - Bill Russell, Malayan Veterans Association Scrapbook – 40th Anniversary edition. AWMM
    • DECEASED, 1 NZ Regiment, 1961-63 – Internet resource. AWMM
    • Nominal Roll 2NZ Regiment 1959-1961. Kindly provided by Alan (Archie) Dawson February 2021. AWMM
    • This record was partially created from Cemetery research completed by Carol Foster (2021). AWMM
    • Fry, P., & New Zealand. Army. Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. Battalion, 1st. (1983). The First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment : Journal / [P.J. Fry, editor] (25th anniversary commemorative ed.). Singapore: The Regiment. AWMM
    • FARELF Nominal Roll Part 2 1962-1963- Archives New Zealand, Wellington, CAJN CH189/Box70 41/4/11 (R21234083) AWMM
    • Medals and Stars - General Service Medals Borneo - Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R12456000) AWMM
    • Black, E. A. (n.d.). N.Z. armed forces honours & awards : Korea, Malaya, South Vietnam, 1950-1972. Wellington, N.Z.: Defence Headquarters. AWMM


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