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Peter John Begley

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Peter John AWMM
  • Surname
    Begley AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 437596 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    19 December 1916 AWMM HastingsHawkes Bay AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1944 AWMM Plunket St., Hastings AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs. J.E. Begley, Plunket St., Hastings (w) AWMM
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 437596 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      18 October 1945 AWMM
      'On the night of 5-6 April 1945 during the attack across the SENIO RIVER, Italy, Lance Sergeant Begley was with the left forward platoon of his Company after the river had been crossed and the Company had consolidated. At this juncture his platoon was ordered to exploit to the left. During this operation a Panther tank, which was hidden behind a house, rushed the platoon and overran it. Showing great determination and courage, Lance Sergeant Begley took his PLAT gunner, chased the tank up the road and at a range of 8 yards directed fire at it, registering three direct hits which crippled it and forced it into a ditch. The crew were taken prisoner by neighbouring troops. During this running action the tank crew engaged Lance Sergeant Begley with small-arms fire which he completely ignored. His prompt action and initiative contributed very largely to the success of the operation and undoubtedly saved the platoon from many casualties.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Begley, Peter John. (Ref. WO 373/14/270). Military Medal. AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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

Embarkations

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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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Sergeant P. J. Begley, MM; Hastings; born Hastings, 19 Dec 1916; butter maker; wounded 11 Apr 1945. (Source: Kay, R. Italy Volume II : From Cassino to Trieste. p.418.)

    'When a Panther tank rushed and overran one of C Company's platoons, Lance-Sergeant Begley and his Piat gunner gave chase and at a range of eight yards scored three direct hits, which forced it into a ditch.

    The leading companies of 24 Battalion (A and B) had such difficulty in keeping direction that they changed places without colliding with each other before they reached the intermediate objective. They took up their correct positions during the pause before going on to their objective, close to the Canale di Lugo. Patrols found the canal undefended and its bridges intact.

    Although the village of Barbiano had appeared to be deserted when the leading troops of 24 Battalion passed through its outskirts, D Company, following B on the left, saw three tanks emerge from it. The Piat gunners waited alongside the road and fired into the rear of each tank as it passed. The last one showed signs of distress and later was found to have broken down about half a mile away. The village was cleared and some prisoners taken. C Company, in rear of A, struggled through vines and across ditches to the Barbiano-Lugo road, along which a tank with lights approached slowly in the darkness. Corporal Pountney, who sheltered with some men in a ditch, saw four Germans armed with rifles riding on the back of the tank. He Sapperang up and threatened them with a tommy gun, which induced them to dismount and surrender. The tank continued on its way. Sergeant P. J. Begley, MM; Hastings; born Hastings, 19 Dec 1916; butter maker; wounded 11 Apr 1945.; 25 Battalion - Lance-Sergeant Begley who was with the left forward platoon of his company had a very similar experience. After the company had consolidated his platoon was ordered to exploit to the left; it encountered a Panther tank which rushed and overran the platoon. With his Piat gunner Sergeant Begley chased the tank up a road and at a range of eight yards secured three direct hits, forcing it into the ditch; the Germans were taken prisoner by a neighbouring unit. Begley's prompt action no doubt saved the platoon from many casualties. He was awarded the Military Medal.' (Source: Kay, R. Italy Volume II : From Cassino to Trieste. p. 418.; Puttick, E. 25 Battalion. pp. 593-4.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy.' (London Gazette, 18 October 1945, p.5102.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/37310/supplements/5102
      Further Reference
    • 'On the night of 5-6 April 1945 during the attack across the SENIO RIVER, Italy, Lance Sergeant Begley was with the left forward platoon of his Company after the river had been crossed and the Company had consolidated. At this juncture his platoon was ordered to exploit to the left. During this operation a Panther tank, which was hidden behind a house, rushed the platoon and overran it. Showing great determination and courage, Lance Sergeant Begley took his PLAT gunner, chased the tank up the road and at a range of 8 yards directed fire at it, registering three direct hits which crippled it and forced it into a ditch. The crew were taken prisoner by neighbouring troops. During this running action the tank crew engaged Lance Sergeant Begley with small-arms fire which he completely ignored. His prompt action and initiative contributed very largely to the success of the operation and undoubtedly saved the platoon from many casualties.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Begley, Peter John. (Ref. WO 373/14/270). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7355707
      Further Reference
  • References
    • Puttick, E. (1960). 25 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.593-4. AWMM
    • Kay, R. (1967). Italy. Volume 2. From Cassino to Trieste. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      p.418. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 13 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1944 to 31st March, 1944). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.11 AWMM

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