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Betty Constance Browne

Portrait, Regimental Sergeant Major Betty Browne in uniform. - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait, Regimental Sergeant Major Betty Browne in uniform. … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Betty Constance AWMM
  • Surname
    Browne AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Betty Morris AWMM
  • Service number
    809687 AWMM
  • Gender
    Female AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    24 April 1921 AWMM Upper HuttWellington AWMM
    Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 23 February 1942 AWMM Gleek Road, Tennessee Avenue, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Edith Constance Browne (mother), Gleek Road, Tennessee Avenue, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 31 March 1944 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Drill Instruction from NCO, Narrow Neck, Auckland AWMM
  • Enlistment
    WW2 23 February 1942 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Shorthand Typist/Civilian 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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  • Betty Browne is the daughter of 2nd Lieutenant Randal Borthwick Browne (8/1153) of the Otago Regiment in Gallipoli and France during World War I.

    Her mother Edith Constance Browne (nee Knapman) served in the First World War as a VAD at Mt Felix, Walton-on-Thames, England.

    She also had three brothers who served overseas: Colin Browne (71670), 2nd Lieutenant 3rd Division, Pacific; Thomas Browne who trained in Canada and England and served in the RNZAF, RAF, WOPAG (NZ421355, Q4016230); and Randal Browne (Junior) (NZ433237) who also trained in England and Canada and served with the RNZAF, WOPAG

    Betty Browne details below her war experiences: I joined the Women's National Service Corps as a voluntary organisation in Auckland at its inception on 29 September 1939. We were being fully trained by army instuctors from Narrow Neck Military Camp. As the Corps increased in numbers, they were divided into platoons, consisting of transport, clerical, canteen, cooking and Maoris.

    Being in the clerical platoon, I used to do my normal day's office work, and then in the evenings I worked at Area 1 HQ typing attestation papers etc. as the male recruits were enrolling. I rose to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.

    On 23 September 1942 I was chosen as one of the first to be enrolled and attested into the army proper, with the regimental number 6/1/2, but when we became NZ WAACS our regimental numbers were altered, and mine became 809687.

    My first job was as a private doing secretarial duties. Then as the women were being recruited, I was detailed as a Corporal Instructor, drilling the new recruits at Area 1 HQ. Eventually we were transferred to Papakura Military Camp "A" Block. I served there as a Sergeant (Acting Sergeant Major) for about 18 months. I was then transferred to Narrow Neck and North Head on a course for Searchlights.

    At the end of the course I was invited to go overseas with the first of the clerical division. At this stage we all had to drop rank to Private.

    We left New Zealand with 2nd 11th reinforcements, and ended up in Italy. I was in "A" branch of HQ serving till the end when we had seen all the men's reinforcements sent home, with the exception of "J" force.

    We were given our rank back, and I ended up as a Sergeant. My length of service was 2 years 173 days within New Zealand and 2 years 5 days beyond New Zealand.

    I married Captain Stanley Albert Morris E.D. (63028) 20th Armoured Division.

    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the servicewoman in 2008 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    19 August 2016 AWMM
    Age 95 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    The New Zealand Herald 20th August to August 22nd 2016. AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
    12 Questions with Betty Morris
    Further Reference
  • Documents
    • The New Zealand Herald 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
      WW2 13: WW2 18 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Betty Morris. (2012, 25 April). The New Zealand Herald, p. A32 AWMM
    • Service Women Project: Sponsorship to research this record was kindly provided by the Auckland Returned Services Association, Returned Servicewomen's Branch; Marjorie Traill, Dorothy Grant, Daphne Shaw and Margaret Woollett. AWMM
    • Mangere Historical Society: This record was kindly researched by the Mangere Historical Society. 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.18 AWMM
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