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Harold Hamish Jones

Map, Sidi Rezeh is ours, 27 November - This image may be subject to copyright
Map, Sidi Rezeh is ours, 27 November - This image may be sub … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Harold Hamish AWMM
  • Surname
    Jones AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    426643 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 October 1918 AWMM NaenaeWellington AWMM
    Naenae, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 23 April 1905 AWMM RD Dargaville, North Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs K.B. Jones (mother), Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1 November 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    426643 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Papakura Military Camp-from 6 June 1940 AWMM
    • Samabula Fiji-left NZ November 1940 for 6 months garrison duty and training AWMM
    • Maadi Camp, Cairo, Egypt AWMM
  • Enlistment
    WW2 1940 AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Labourer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • WW2 POW - Derna, Benghazi and Gharian in North Africa AWMM
      Sidi Rezegh, Western Desert AWMM
      30 November 1941 AWMM
      Captured by German panzer unit along with the greater part of NZ Division AWMM
    • WW2 POW - P.G. 66 Capu, Italy AWMM
    • WW2 POW - P.G. 52, Chiavari, Italy AWMM
    • WW2 POW - P.G. 57 Gruppignano, Udine, Italy AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag VII-A Moosburg (Isar), Germany AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag IVB Muhlberg, Germany AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag IV-D Torgau (Elbe), Germany AWMM
      Work Camp 116E AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 13 April 1945 AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    675324 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Came back to NZ from Fiji for 2 weeks leave before sailing for the Middle East

    Mr Jones says he sailed in early 1942 from Tripoli for Italy. It was a bad trip as they were kept deep in the holds of a cargo vessel with no food, water or sanitation (many had dysentery). They landed in Naples and were taken to Capua.

    They had to survive the coldest winter in 40 years at POW Campo PG 66 with only the tropical clothes they stood in, one blanket, and always being hungry. Transport in the form of freight wagons took them on the long journey through Rome to PG 52 Chiavari. This was a new camp surrounded by mountains with monasteries on every hilltop. Mr Jones recalls the continuous bell ringing, the cold, bad sanitation and washing facilities and the problem with lice and bed bugs. He had to spend 18 months in these conditions.

    In mid 1943 he was transferred north to Campo 57, Gruppignano which by March 1943 had 1800 New Zealanders in it. It proved to be more efficiently run than Campo 52, Chiavari. However the Commandant imposed harsher punishment than some other Italian camps including spells in cells and handcuffings. Mr Jones remembers it was a bad camp with bad guards and to the north-east he says you could see the ice-covered mountains of Yugoslavia.

    Mr Jones was then detailed to work at Abino work camp on the Lombardy Plains. He worked here until September 1943 when the Italians surrendered.

    At this time 4 of them escaped, including Mr Jones. He says, 'With the help of the peasants we lived in the hills around Galzigano. Slept in open bush and sometimes in huts made from maize stalks. Very cold. Hunt for food - always hungry. Galzigano was not far from Padova, of 'Merchant of Venice' fame. The main family who cared for us was Antonio Gaffo, his wife had two daughters, Adelia (to whom I write) and Henriquetta. There was also a cousin called Gina. Luigi Zambotti and his wife also helped us. From a report I made when we returned to New Zealand, these two families were recompensed by the authorities.'

    On New Years Eve 1943 Mr Jones and his group were recaptured in the middle of the night by the Germans, tied together with wire and marched down the mountainside to vehicles and taken to a civilian jail at Padova.

    On 9 January 1944 they arrived in Trieste before passing on through the Brenner Pass to Munich, Germany. They arrived at Stalag VIIA, Moosburg on 14 January 1944. Here he recalls they were showered and deloused but that the guards were bad, and used Alsatian dogs. He says there were 'large numbers of men, women and children in rags and in shocking inhuman conditions.'

    From Moosberg Mr Jones was sent to Stalag IVB Mulhberg for a short period. Here a German guard punished a Russian who was on icy ground by throwing a bucket of cold water over him.

    On 7 March 1944 the group was sent to a larger work camp EI 116E Elsdorf which was attached to Stalag IVD Torgau. Here they work in and around a coalmine and saw about 1,000 bomber raids on Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and oil works. The German's made the most of the free labour prisoners of war could provide in helping with the German war effort, getting the prisoners to dig out coal or iron ore, roads and railways. However the Germans strictly followed the rules of the Geneva Convention which meant no ranks, corporals up, were made to work.

    Mr Jones and his fellow escapees were finally released by American troops on Friday 13 April 1945. They then travelled by plane train and boat (tank landing craft) to Belgium and across the Channel to Southend, London, England. On arrival in London Mr Jones met Charles Upham (VC2) at the Reception Centre at Margate. He had 1 months leave, including being there for VJ Day.

    In June 1945 he left Liverpool for New Zealand via the Atlantic, Panama Canal and Pacific. The ship, 'Stirling Castle' after a collision in New York Harbour had had her bows filled with concrete. They limped into Wellington Harbour on one screw as they other had given 'up the ghost'.

    Personal detail supplied by Mr Jones. General detail taken from David McGills book POW, The Untold Stories.

    Mr H Jones advanced his age by one year on enlistment. Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1999. Some elements have not yet been verified: the service number and an embarkation for the Middle East have not been found in the Nominal Roll. Perhaps he embarked for Europe from Fiji ?. The unit 4 Reinforcements, B Force does not match embarking units we so far have found (Armoury notes 2010) AWMM
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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

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • McGill, D. (1987). P.O.W. : the untold stories of New Zealanders as prisoners of war. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: Mills Publications. AWMM
    • Mason, W.W. (1954) Prisoners of war. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
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