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William Sutherland Laurence McRae


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Sutherland Laurence AWMM
  • Surname
    McRae AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    19907 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1 December 1913 AWMM BlenheimMarlborough AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Stonyhurst, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs H. McRae (wife), PO Box 61, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 21 July 1943 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
      18 October 1945 AWMM
      Lt. (T/Maj.) McRae commanded a company during the attack from San Lugo to Santterno River on 10 April 1945. In the vicinity of Fratturo his company met heavy enemy resistance from Spandau fire and guns from prepared positions along the canal. Manoeuvring his company and tanks into position, he attacked immediately. The enemy resisted very stubbornly, thus holding up the battalion's advance. Acting on his own initiative, Lt (T/Maj.) McRae re-positioned his tanks, and under their covering fire he led his men from a neighbouring battalion's sector, assaulted fearlessly and destroyed all enemy resistance. Many casualties were inflicted on the enemy and the battalion was able to penetrate the enemy's inner defences with ease. Due to his initiative and aggressiveness, his company was able to destroy the enemy, upset his balance and gain tactical advantage for the battalion. During this action he showed outstanding leadership and courage of the highest order and was an inspiration to those who fought under him. (London Gazette 18/10/1945) The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for McRae, William Sutherland Laurence. (Ref. WO 373/14/231). Military Cross. AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal 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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  • Maj W. S. L. McRae, MC; Little River, Canterbury; born Blenheim, 1 Dec 1913; station manager; twice wounded. (Source: Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. p.400.) AWMM


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



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of William Sutherland Laurence McRae

Leave a note

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  • He was an outstanding man in every respect: a great dad, a community leader, and deeply connected to the natural world of land, sea and sky.
    Public - Brigid Halmai Te Kahui - Child - 24 July 2018



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  • External links
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 12 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1943 to 31st December, 1943). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 12: WW2 127 AWMM
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.400-1, 455, 467, 481. AWMM
    • Ko te Reo Huringa Tau o te Ope Maori Tuarua, i noho ki Remuera, Ohaeawai, 1942-43: The Anniversary Magazine of the Second Maori Battalion, Remuera, Ohaeawai 1942-1943. Patrick Smyth Papers, MS-2002-147, Auckland War Memorial Museum. AWMM
    • Nominal Roll of Members of the 2nd Maori Battalion, 26th January 1943. Part of the 2nd Maori Battalion Anniversary Magazine. (MS-2002-147). Auckland War Memorial Museum. AWMM


Command item
Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
24 July 2018Brigid Halmai Te KahuiWellingtonChild

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