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Herbert Alfred Heley

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Herbert Alfred AWMM
  • Surname
    Heley AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 36099 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    2 September 1904 AWMM New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1940-1941 AWMM 16 Cheshire St., Parnell, Auckland AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs. I. Heley, Station Rd., Takanini (mother) AWMM
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 36099 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    3 August 1944 AWMM
    "In support of the attack on the Cassino railway station Sgt. Heley rendered outstanding and valuable service. On 16 March 1944 at 0900 hrs while the railway station was still in enemy hands Sgt Heley went forward with a patrol to inspect the railway embankment and bridges forward of our forward defensive localities. At the Little Rapido River the patrol came under sharp small arms fire and was forced to withdraw with two of the party casualties. It was important that a knowledge of the engineers work required should be obtained and Heley's platoon commander went out again at 1700 hrs but was wounded and had to be evacuated. On learning of this Sgt- Heley immediately went forward alone and under considerable fire made the necessary reconnaissance and brought back an accurate report on the demolitions and both bridges. During the night 17/18 March 1944 Sgt. Heley was in charge of a party sent out to clear two fields of mines and wires along the railway route beyond the Rapido River. These were particularly dangerous minefields, and also the party was subjected to concentrations of shell and mortar fire. By his calm and courageous bearing, Sgt. Heley set an excellent example to his men, and it was due to his leadership and organising ability that the clearing work was completed in good time for the bulldozers to pass through. Sgt. Heley carried out many hazardous tasks during the battle for Cassino, and on every occasion he displayed leadership and gallantry of a high order. The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Heley, Herbert Alfred. (Ref. WO 373/7/107). Military Medal. 03 Aug 1944. " AWMM

Training and 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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Sergeant H. A. Heley, MM; born NZ 2 Sep 1904; farmhand. (Source: Cody, J.F. NZ Engineers, Middle East. p.558.)

    'Lieutenant Whelan with fourteen sappers, who had reported to Maori Battalion headquarters for any work that might be required to get the Maoris back into the Cassino railway station again, had endured the enemy's intention of making tolerably certain with mortars that the railway station was not again attacked along the axis of the causeway. The sapper officer, with Sergeant Heley and a Maori escort, tried at dawn to ‘recce’ the bridge over the Little Rapido but could not get close enough because of the rain of mortar shells. Lieutenant Whelan and a Maori were wounded but not put out of action.

    Captain Morgan (7 Field Company) tried again from the north in daylight for a route to get the tanks on to Route 6, but one of his two sapper escorts was killed by a sniper's bullet and he later reported that it was not possible to work by day in Cassino. Major White confirmed this opinion after a flight in a spotter plane in the hope of being able to find from the air a possible route that could not be located from the ground.' (Source: Cody, J.F. NZ Engineers, Middle East. p. 558.) 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

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.558. AWMM
    • 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.208 AWMM

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