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Thomas Robinson Beckitt



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Thomas Robinson AWMM
  • Surname
    Beckitt AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    L36258 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    18 August 1927 AWMM DewsburyYorkshire AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    1963-1966 AWMM
    Malaya 1963-1966 AWMM
    "Indonesian Confrontation (1963-1966) The Federation of Malaysia (Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak) came into existence on 16 September 1963. Indonesia had voiced its strong opposition to the Malaysia plan and immediately severed all diplomatic ties with Kuala Lumpur, announcing that Indonesia would "crush" Malaysia. In January 1963 the Indonesians announced a policy of "confrontation" against Malaya. Subsequently, the British Embassy, cricket club and countless British-owned businesses were vandalised or burnt to the ground. The confrontation took the form of armed Indonesian invasions across the borders of Sarawak and North Borneo from Indonesian Kalimantan. Indonesian terrorists began landing on the coast of the Malay peninsula but were quickly killed or captured by the security forces. Australian units fought as part of a larger British and Commonwealth force in Australia's most unrecognised and secret war, the campaign to defend the newly established Malaysia against confrontation by Indonesia.. Similar to Australia's role in the Malayan Emergency, operations against Indonesia in Borneo and West Malaysia were part of the Australian government's contribution to the Far East Strategic Reserve. This was an "undeclared war", largely unpublicised in Australia and overshadowed by the commitment of troops to Vietnam. In 1966 President Sukarno was ousted from power and the new government was not keen on continuing the confrontation. A signed peace agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia brought the conflict to an end. The Philippines also dropped its claim on Sabah and recognised Malaysia. Twenty-three Australians were killed during the confrontation. Meanwhile, political differences had surfaced between Malaysia and Singapore. On 9 August 1965, Singapore left the Federation and became an independent nation." FROM AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    L36258 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
    • WW2 7 June 1945 AWMM
    • Post WW2/Regular Military Service 16 February 1955 AWMM AWMM
  • 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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  • British Army - 1945 - 1952

    Thomas first enlisted in the British Army on 13 April 1945. It was soon found he was underage and he was promptly transferred to the Reserve. He was eventually called up for basic training in Bovington Camp on 7 June 1945. On completion of basic training he entered Barnard Castle for Royal Armoured Corps training and on completion of this training he was posted to the training staff at Barnard Castle Thomas took his discharge on 15 October 1947, re-enlisting with the same unit on 16 October 1947.

    In February 1948 he moved to Palestine on posting to 17/21 Lancers. He remained there until posted to 13/18 Royal Hussars in North Africa. He returned from North Africa to the Royal Armoured Corps School for training as an electrician vehicle and plant.

    In January 1950 he returned to the 13/18 Hussars and moved with the unit to Malaya in July 1950. On return from Malaya he was posted back to the Royal Armoured Corps school at Bovington. Tom transfered to the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers on 1 January 1952 and was discharged from the British Army on 1 April 1952 after serving at home and with the Middle East Land Forces, doing two tours.

    New Zealand Army 1955 - 1977: L36258 Warrant Officer Class Two

    Tom enlisted in the New Zealand Army (whilst in England) on 16 February 1955. On arrival in New Zealand Craftsman Beckitt was posted to Central District Motor Transport Workshop, Waiouru, as an Electrician Vehicle and Plant. In 1955 Thomas represented the New Zealand Army in Boxing. Tom remained in Waiouru completing various courses until posting to Northern District Workshop, Papakura, in November 1957. Tom was promoted to Lance Corporal in August of that year and to Corporal in April 1960.

    Tom moved to Burnham in May 1961 on posting to the 1st Battalion, New Zealand Regiment, returning to Malaya with the Battalion in November of that year. He was promoted to Sergeant in April 1963 while with the Battalion. On return to New Zealand in November that year he was posted to Central District Motor Transport Workshop, Trentham. Tom remained with the CDMT workshop until 31 December when, on formation of 1 Base Workshop, the two units amalgamated.

    During 1969 Tom completed his artificer courses and was promoted Staff Sergeant in October that year His promotion also included trade reclassification to Artificer Electrical. He attended his Warrant Officer promotion course over the period April to May 1971. Tom moved from Trentham to the then headquarters Home Command in January 1973 in the appointment of Technical Advisor. This was followed in December the same year with a move to the Army Supply Documentation Centre in Upper Hutt and promotion to Warrant Officer Class Two.

    Tom took his release from the New Zealand Army on 6 January 1977 after some 30 years service in both the British and New Zealand Army. His field of expertise being an A Grade Auto Electrician MINZMI and Warrant Officer II


    Tom continued his association with the Army for many years working as a civilian at the Army Supply Documentation Centre and maintained his membership of the Trentham Camp Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess until his death in 2006.

    He also worked for several years as a Parliamentary Messenger in Wellington.

    There is an entry for Thomas in the publication 'The New Zealand Roll of Honour 1845 - 1945

    His funeral service was held with military honours and his body cremated. His ashes are interred in the Returned Services section at Akatarawa Cemetery, Upper Hutt.

    He is survived by his wife Margaret, daughter Sandra, son Antony (Tony), grandson Alexander, granddaughter Chelsea and two great grandsons Harrison and Connor. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    17 November 2006 AWMM
    Upper HuttWellington AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    RSA section, Akatarawa Cemetery AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    Taylor, A. (1998). The New Zealand roll of honour : New Zealanders who have served their country in peace and war : 150 years, 1845-1995. Auckland, N.Z.: Roll of Honour Publications. AWMM


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27 March 2017MargaretTweed Heads, AustraliaWife
10 March 2017SandraGold Coastl AustraliaChild
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