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John Walter Churton

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Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Walter AWMM
  • Surname
    Churton AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 35484 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1940-1941 AWMM Brunswick Rd., Wanganui AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs. Mary Churton, Putiki, Wanganui (mother) AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1940-1941 AWMM Single/WWII AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 35484 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal and bar (MM*) AWMM
      26 October 1944 AWMM
      'On the night of 16-17 May 1944 in the LIRI VALLEY, Italy, the tank Sergeant Churton commanded was engaging a numerous and stubborn enemy. At about 2000 hours, while directing the fire and movement of his tank he was badly wounded in the face by shrapnel. He slid down into the turret and closed the hatches, meanwhile telling the crew he was quite all right and directing them to keep on fighting. His wounds were bleeding profusely. As the tank was stationary and being hit repeatedly by mortar fire, Sergeant Churton struggled off the floor and ordered the crew to take the vehicle forward and continue fighting. The crew carried on under command of the operator and remained in action until darkness had fallen, encouraged and heartened from time to time by Sergeant Churton, who spoke to them from the turret floor. After dark the crew, with several other rescued tank crewmen aboard and their spare driver unconscious from shell-shock, discovered they were lost among a series of blazing tanks and haystacks, in enemy territory and under fire. When he became aware of this Sergeant Churton ordered the crew to support him as long as his strength would last while he looked out of the turret hatches and made an effort to judge the position and bearing of the tank. Then for nearly three hours, until the tank finally reached our lines, there followed a period of exceptional mental stress for the crew and their wounded passengers. Through all this time, as his strength permitted, they were encouraged by Sergeant Churton and when the tank finally reached Squadron Headquarters he was still conscious and unshaken, although very weak from exhaustion and loss of blood'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Churton, John Walter. (Ref. WO 373/7/114). Bar to Military Medal. AWMM
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      3 August 1944 AWMM
      'On 16 March 1944 in the action at CASSINO Italy, Corporal Churton saved his tank from destruction and extinguished a dangerous fire in an ammunition dump in circumstances that required the greatest coolness, presence of mind and courage. The dump was set on fire by enemy shelling and Corporal Churton’s tank, which was nearby, also caught fire, the flames taking a strong hold around the turret. Disregarding completely the heavy shell and mortar fire, Corporal Churton left his tank and with a fire-extinguisher put out the flames and then turned his attention to the dump. In spite of the danger from blazing ammunition he extinguished the fire there also, suffering burns to his arms and hands. After treatment at the Regimental Aid Post he returned to his tank and continued in command of it.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Churton, John Walter. (Ref. WO 373/7/114). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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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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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: Bar to the Military Medal to No. 35484 Sergeant John Walter Churton, M.M.' (London Gazette, 26 October 1944, p.4904.). Bar to Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36764/supplements/4904
      Further Reference
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy.' (London Gazette, 3 August 1944, p.3605.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36637/supplements/3605
      Further Reference
    • 'On the night of 16-17 May 1944 in the LIRI VALLEY, Italy, the tank Sergeant Churton commanded was engaging a numerous and stubborn enemy. At about 2000 hours, while directing the fire and movement of his tank he was badly wounded in the face by shrapnel. He slid down into the turret and closed the hatches, meanwhile telling the crew he was quite all right and directing them to keep on fighting. His wounds were bleeding profusely. As the tank was stationary and being hit repeatedly by mortar fire, Sergeant Churton struggled off the floor and ordered the crew to take the vehicle forward and continue fighting. The crew carried on under command of the operator and remained in action until darkness had fallen, encouraged and heartened from time to time by Sergeant Churton, who spoke to them from the turret floor. After dark the crew, with several other rescued tank crewmen aboard and their spare driver unconscious from shell-shock, discovered they were lost among a series of blazing tanks and haystacks, in enemy territory and under fire. When he became aware of this Sergeant Churton ordered the crew to support him as long as his strength would last while he looked out of the turret hatches and made an effort to judge the position and bearing of the tank. Then for nearly three hours, until the tank finally reached our lines, there followed a period of exceptional mental stress for the crew and their wounded passengers. Through all this time, as his strength permitted, they were encouraged by Sergeant Churton and when the tank finally reached Squadron Headquarters he was still conscious and unshaken, although very weak from exhaustion and loss of blood'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Churton, John Walter. (Ref. WO 373/7/114). Bar to Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7350742
      Further Reference
    • 'On 16 March 1944 in the action at CASSINO Italy, Corporal Churton saved his tank from destruction and extinguished a dangerous fire in an ammunition dump in circumstances that required the greatest coolness, presence of mind and courage. The dump was set on fire by enemy shelling and Corporal Churton’s tank, which was nearby, also caught fire, the flames taking a strong hold around the turret. Disregarding completely the heavy shell and mortar fire, Corporal Churton left his tank and with a fire-extinguisher put out the flames and then turned his attention to the dump. In spite of the danger from blazing ammunition he extinguished the fire there also, suffering burns to his arms and hands. After treatment at the Regimental Aid Post he returned to his tank and continued in command of it.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Churton, John Walter. (Ref. WO 373/7/114). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7350742
      Further Reference
  • Documents
    Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
    p.85 AWMM
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