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Eric Batchelor

Portrait, Sergeant E Batchelor (DCM.M. and MiD). On the back is written ' With Love. To Mum and Dad. Eric 29.11.44' - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Sergeant E Batchelor (DCM.M. and MiD). On the back is written ' With Love. To Mum and Dad. …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Eric AWMM
  • Surname
    Batchelor AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Batch AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 16827 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • North Africa AWMM
    • Italy AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 16827 AWMM
  • Military service
    Territorials (1 Canterbury - 11 Coastal Godley Heads) AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Distinguished Conduct Medal and bar (DCM*) AWMM
      BATCHELOR, Eric. 16827 Corporal (Acting Sergeant). 23 NZ Battalion, 2nd NZEF. Citation for award of the DCM: "On 21 July 1944 at SAN DONATO, Italy, Sergeant Batchelor was in command of the forward platoon of his Company. With a small covering patrol and on his own initiative he cleared the enemy from all houses on the feature. A total of nine prisoners was taken, five of which he captured single-handed, enabling the advance of the Company to continue. A short time later strong opposition was encountered from an enemy strong-point which dominated STRADA ridge, and which held up the advance. Again Sergeant Batchelor led his platoon in a successful attack on the position against heavy enemy machine-gun and artillery fire. At St. ANDREA Sergeant Batchelor took out a small patrol to investigate a house which it was suspected the enemy occupied. Leaving his party outside, he entered the house alone with total disregard for personal safety and captured two enemy snipers. Throughout the whole of the action Sergeant Batchelor showed extraordinary powers of leadership and initiative and set a magnificent example by his personal courage and supreme devotion to duty under severe conditions." Citation for award of Bar to the DCM:. "On the night of 14-15 December 1944 Sergeant Batchelor was platoon sergeant in one of the forward Companies in the attack on CELLE, Italy. When his platoon commander was wounded at the outset of the battle, this NCO immediately took command and led his men spiritedly into the attack. In a long advance over broken country and without contact on either flank he showed great skill and personal bravery in the liquidation of three enemy strong-points, killing eight of the enemy, wounding eleven and capturing twenty prisoners. On the following night when ordered to proceed across country to his company Headquarters, Sergeant Batchelor mistakenly passed deep into enemy territory and on entering CASA SALDE was confronted not by his Company Commander but by some thirty Germans. Although he had but three men with him, he rapidly appreciated the surprise his entry had caused the enemy and with the greatest initiative immediately engaged them, deploying his small force to great effect. From the resultant fierce and confused fracas, in which Sergeant Batchelor became involved in a shot for shot duel with a German NCO, the party emerged with 19 prisoners, leaving behind them 5 killed and four wounded. Throughout a long and difficult operation against a seasoned enemy, Sergeant Batchelor by his great personal courage, initiative and outstanding leadership was an inspiring example to all ranks. The work of his platoon under his inspiration was largely responsible for the firm hold the Battalion had on its objective." AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
    • Italy Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
    • Efficiency Medal and bar AWMM
    • Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) AWMM
      London Gazette 10/05/1945 AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Burnham Military Camp AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 1940 AWMM
    Age 19 AWMM
    Milk vendor/Civilian AWMM
    DunedinOtago AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

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
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Arm and leg wound, ear trouble AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded in action on 27 November 1941 and 24 October 1942 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Admitted to 1 British Hospital and No. 3 NZ General Hospital AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Thurza, father of a son and daughter

    Joined the Territorials at age 15

    Enlisted circa 1940

    Only one other allied non-commissioned officer received a similar honour

    Mr Batchelor returned to NZ on 20 April 1945 and was released on 3 August 1945. He then re-embarked with the Victory Contingent on 20 April 1946 and was discharged in August. In 1953 he was a member of the Coronation Contingent, as well as going to Monte Cassino for the 50th Commemorations in 1994 and the 60th anniversary of Al Alamein in 2002.

    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1999 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    10 July 2010 AWMM
    Age 89 AWMM
    WaimateCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: Dominion Post, 17 July 2010 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Polaschek, A. (1983). The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Christchurch, N.Z.: Medals Research. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 4 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1941 to 30 June, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.24 AWMM
    • Ross, A. (1959). 23 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp 367, 376 and 42 AWMM
    • New Zealand Army. (1990-2008). Wellington, N.Z.: Army General Staff. AWMM
      Mortlock, J. (2002). A very special man. Army News, 02 AWMM
    • Dominion Post AWMM
      Crean, M. (2010, July 17). NZ's down-to-earth soldier humble about his awards [obituary]. Dominion Post. Includes portrait AWMM
    • Dominion Post AWMM
      Full Honours for World War II hero's sendoff. (2010, July 13). Dominion Post. p. A9 AWMM
    • Roger Sommerville, ed., Moss's war 1941-1988: new worlds and lives on hold, Tokoroa, N.Z.: Creative Vision NZ AWMM
      p.34, p.50, p.52, p.53, p.57, p.80, p.110 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Cenotaph record initially prepared with the service person. AWMM

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