Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1999. RMS Rangitata was a New Zealand Shipping Company vessel. It was build in 1929, was 16,737 tons, 552 feet long, 70 feet beam and could travel at 15 knots. It had a refrigerating capacity of 446,000 cubic feet.
It was normally employed in the United Kingdom-New Zealand trade but when war broke out it was repainted and began a new career. One of its first tasks was to take Anzacs to Suez and from there carried on to England with her holds full of frozen produce. During the war years she covered over a quarter of a million miles. Countries visited included Panama, Jamaica, Australia, Ceylon, Arabia, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Natal, Spain, Madacasgar, Mauritius, Pitcairn, Argentine, Uruguay, Brazil, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Trinidad, Malta, South Africa, Gambia, Algeria and the United States. Amongst those who travelled on board were the Royal Marines, Polish volunteers (from the Argentine, British evacuee children to New Zealand, United States wounded, German and Italian prisoners of war, Wrens in transit to Rhodesia, 'Desert Rats', West Africans, Canadian war brides, G.I. Joes for D Day, and the First Echelon of New Zealanders from Trentham.
The ship had a crew of just over 200 and could accommodate 2600 troops.
Hastings Bullock celebrated his 100th birthday at the Richmond Waimea RSA in January 2015. AWMM