Nelson Thomas AWMM
Also known as
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Pre 13 September 1939 AWMM Fairlie, South Canterbury, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Mrs L.M. Bray (wife), 97 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
Pre 4 January 1940 AWMM Married AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
He has written a book called A '39er's Story: Remembering the Mediterranean War 1939-43 which is filed in the Armed Services Collection in the Auckland Museum Library. A quote from this book appears below.
"We in the 1st Echelon were known as '39ers because we were the only ones to join up in 1939. We were sometimes known as wife beaters, debt dodgers, and one jump ahead of the police. Because our ID numbers had four figures, like my 9413, we were also known as four figure men. All New Zealanders who enlisted in England go three-figure identification numbers (under 1000), then Auckland people went from 1000 and the south got the bigger numbers. None of the 1st Echelon had anything higher than a four-figure number. Later chaps had five, six or seven figures in their numbers. We were also known as four-finger men, because we would show four fingers when meeting other soldiers. To show the four fingers we used to bend the thumb into the palm of the hand."
Mr Bray sailed on the DUNERA, which like the SOBIESKI, a polish boat, had been diverted from India to Lyttelton to pick up troops. They met up with other boats from Wellington which included the ORION, the EMPRESS OF CANADA, the EMPRESS OF JAPAN, the ORCADES, the STRAITHAIRD, the H.M.S. SYDNEY and the H.M.S. EAGLE (an aircraft carrier). AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
Roll of Honour
Remember Nelson Thomas Bray by laying a poppy.
Leave a note
Leave a tribute or memory of
Nelson Thomas Bray
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
- Information kindly provided by family AWMM
The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.