John Robert AWMM
Also known as
NZD 3938 AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
Poisoned leg in 1942 and was treated at Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar. On returning to New Zealand it was discovered he had TB and he spent time in Cashmere Sanatorium. AWMM
Son of Dr Henry Kiver Allison
John Allison embarked with 24 fellow members of a Naval Scheme B intake. He served for several months in 1942 as an Ordinary Seaman in HMS Fernie (a Hunt Class destroyer) involved in E boat patrols in the English Channel, and the Dieppe raid (19 August 1942).
Mr Allison recalls his five months service on the Hunt Class Destroyer HMS Fernie: 'When we left Portsmouth to venture out on nightly E Boat patrols we (ie the seamen on the fo'c's'le (forecastle)) used to line up and out we went to the recorded band music of "Post Horn Gallop".
As a Commissioned Officer he served in HMS Rinaldo which was an Algerine Class Fleet minesweeper and flotilla leader of the 19th Minesweeper Flotilla. He was Asdic Officer and Deck Officer participating in the Anzio Landing (22 January 1944) - HMS Rinaldo being the leading ship.
HMS Rinaldo was engaged in minesweeping on both the West and East coasts of Italy and was also the leading ship for the South of France landings in mid-August 1944.
Mr Allison's career as an accountant began before he enlisted. He graduated from University of Canterbury with a B.Com. degree, qualified as an accountant and was in public practice. He contributed his services to community work for the N.Z. Historic Places Trust, Royal Christchurch Musical Society, the Arts Centre of Christchurch, Christchurch Civic Trust Friends of the Theatre Royal, Christchurch, being the first Honorary Treasurer for six years to 1986. He served as the Honorary Auditor of Elmwood Tennis Club for 25 years from 1959 to 1984. he was also keen on cricket and played for 65 years, and music.
Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1998. The background to the Anzio Landings (known as Operation Shingle) are briefly sumarised. In January 1944 four months after the Salerno landings the Allies had only moved on a further 70 miles and were still well short of Rome. Both Fifth and Eighth Armies had suffered badly and in an attempt to break the deadlock the decision was made to go ahead with landings at Anzio to coincide with fresh attacks on the Gustav Line and Monte Cassino. The landing area was to the north and south of the town of Anzio with 50,000 British and US troops to be landed. The British, Allied and US naval assault forces consisted of 4 cruisers, 24 destroyers, 90 other warships, and approximately 150 other LSIs, landing craft and ships (major only). The landings took place early on 22 January and the following day beachheads were secured with minimum of opposition. The South of France Landings (known as Dragoon) took place on 15 August 1944 and involved a total of nearly 900 vessles. After intensive air and sea bombardments the landings took place against light resistance. Hunt Class destroyers were small destroyers. Our flotilla mostly composed Hunts of the first group built. So Hunt Fernie was 907 tons, 280 feet long with a maximum speed of 26 knots (about 30 mph). The 2nd and 3rd groups of Hunts were of over 1000 tons. 'Hunts' pale into insignificance compared with later much more powerful destroyers, e.g. Battle Class destroyers of over 200 tons, 379 feet long and with a speed of 36 knots. No doubt they had armament to match! AWMM
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