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Bernard Joseph Adams



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Bernard Joseph AWMM
  • Surname
    Adams AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 209584 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    28 October 1884 Cenotaph data entry form WarwickshireEngland Cenotaph data entry form
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 c/- Mr Joseph Dollimore, Paraheka Valley, Aria District AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Edward Adams (father), Ashby House, Bitteswell, Lutterworth, Leicestershire AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Navy AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 209584 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 10 August 1914 Cenotaph data entry form Rabbit trapper/Civilian Cenotaph data entry form
  • 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
    Wounds Diseases Etc., WWI AWMM
    Hearing impairment, and burned fingertips ( as a gunner) AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Served on: HMS Torch (RN Barracks, Wellington), HMS Victory and Excellent (Portsmouth), HMS Attentive (Myrmidon) of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla; Victory, and Sandhurst (Trenchant) of the 15th Destroyer Flotilla

    Royal Navy as boy cadet 10 May 1900- 22 October 1902: Ordinary Seaman 28 October 1902 - 31 March 1904: Able Seaman 1 April 1904- 6 January 1909 (deserted in Auckland from HMS Powerful)

    Campaigns: Dover Patrol (HMS Myrmidon, sunk 1917),
    and Grand Fleet (HMS Trenchant) 1917-1919

    ADAMS, Bernard Joseph, b.Warwickshire, 28 October 1884; the 7th of 13 children, - second son of Edward and Elizabeth Adams. He began his schooling at the village school in Pailton, but may have transferred to Monks Kirby convent school when his older brother went away to a preparatory school

    Bernard joined the Royal Naval School in Portsmouth, 10 May 1900, as a Boy Cadet. .He trained aboard a wooden square rigged sailing ship, a steel sailing and steam ship, and a sea-going brig, before being drafted in 1901 to HMS Juno, serving in the South Atlantic.
    In 1902, he was commissioned as Ordinary Seaman to HMS Bacchante, a newly-built first class cruiser, and was rated Able Seaman in 1903 before being sent to Portsmouth to qualify in Gunnery.

    Drafted to HMS Good Hope in 1905, he was in the crew that won the 1907 Jamestown Exposition International Gigs Race.

    The rating as Leading Seaman 1 April, 1904 is not signed and was crossed: Passed for Leading Seaman 13 June 1907 - this rating was deferred without explanation, despite ‘very good’ assessments of ‘character’ and ‘ability’ throughout his service record, and despite attending a private Navigation School while in Portsmouth – and discharge was denied.

    He sought a draft to HMS Powerful based in Sydney: arrived there 14 August 1908; and ‘jumped ship’ in Auckland, 4 January 1909.
    As ‘James Duffy’, he worked some months in the timber yards in Putaruru, then, from August 1909, as head of rabbit poisoning gangs for the Department of Agriculture covering an area from Lake Taupo to Mokau.
    He first went to Aria 14th August 1909, and was welcomed by the Joseph and Annie Dollimore (whose eldest daughter Bernard married 14 February, 1920)
    Great Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm, 4th August 1914:Bernard went by coach to Te Kuiti, Monday 10th August, and by train overnight to Wellington, to rejoin the Royal Navy.
    He was aboard SS Moeraki, and ‘took’ German Samoa on 29 August; returned to Wellington, and sailed to Portsmouth via Egypt with the first contingent of troops.
    He served as a gunner on HMS Myrmidon, 6th Destroyer Flotilla on the Dover Patrol - in the English Channel and North Sea. The Myrmidon sank March 26 1917, off Dungeness, and Bernard was transferred to HMS Trenchant with the 15th Destroyer Flotilla, based at Scapa Flow and operating in the Arctic Ocean and the North Sea as far as the German coast.
    Discharged 5 March 1919, Bernard returned to Aria to work on the Dollimore family farm in Paraheka, Aria district.
    Ellen Dollimore was nursing in Auckland, and Bernard and Ellen married there in 1920; then bought the Dollimore farm, where they raised six children. Their eldest son, Bernard Jnr, took the farm over around 1949.
    Ellen and Bernard retired to a small holding at Aria and Bernard was secretary at the Aria Cosmopolitan Club for some years.
    They were a hospitable couple, and Bernard loved telling stories to family, friends and neighbours: - children especially enjoyed them.
    Ellen died in 1961 aged 65; Bernard in 1979 aged 95. They are buried together in the Aria cemetery. (Source:family source) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    31 October 1979 Cenotaph data entry form
    Age 95 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Aria Cemetery, Barclay Road, Aria AWMM Plot 27/28:Of your charity pray for the repose of ELLEN FRANCES Beloved Wife of BERNARD JOSEPH ADAMS DIED 6th Sept 1961 AGED 65 years AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • Bernard Joseph Adams was my maternal grandmother's eldest brother. My grandmother was Madeline Burke, née Adams. I met my Great Uncle Bernard in January 1968 when I was in the merchant navy working on board the P&O Orient Lines cruise ship S.S Oriana as a steward. We docked in Auckland and I was met on the quay by Bernard and his son Ted. We then drove in a 14 year old Morris Oxford car to the family home of Ted near Te Kuiti in Aria, King Country, where I met several generations of the family and enjoyed a meal before being returned to my ship. Bernard had not met any relatives from Europe since leaving the navy after absconding from his ship, HMS Powerful, at the end of the First World War.
    I have subsequently lost track of all his descendant family in New Zealand.
    I would love to learn from any relations and intend to visit my brother in Canberra and another Adams cousin in NSW soon.
    Public - Timothy Edward - Other relative - 24 August 2018



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  • External links
  • References
    • Cenotaph data entry form AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
24 August 2018Timothy EdwardBath, Somerset, United KingdomOther relative

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