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James Randel Beckley Heron

Portrait, James Heron December 1939 while on embarkation leave. - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait, James Heron December 1939 while on embarkation lea … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Randel Beckley AWMM
  • Surname
    Heron AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Sarge AWMM
  • Service number
    7316 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 April 1914 AWMM TemukaSouth Canterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 16 September 1939 AWMM 18 Evans Street, Timaru, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Miss D.E.J. Heron (sister), c/o Dr Patterson, Timaru, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 5 January 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Greece AWMM
    • Western Desert AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    7316 AWMM
  • Military service
    Territorials AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Territorials AWMM
    • Burnham Camp 3 October 1939-4 January 1940 AWMM
  • Enlistment
    WW2 16 September 1939 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Grocery assistant/Civilian AWMM
    TimaruCanterbury AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • WW2
      Sidi Rezegh, Western Desert AWMM
      26 November 1941 AWMM
      Dug in AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Tuturano Italy AWMM
      18 December 1941 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - P.G. 52, Chiavari, Italy AWMM
      Jan 1941 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - P.G. 57 Gruppignano, Udine, Italy AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag XVIIIC Markt Pongau - AWMM
      13 September 1943 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag VIII-A, Gorlitz, Germany AWMM
      marched out approx 20 February 1945 AWMM
    • WW2
      13 December 1941 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Stalag VIII-A, Gorlitz, Germany 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
      Germany, Europe 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 2 May 1945 AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    KG 33533 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Dental, Unknown Period AWMM
      False teeth AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Suffered from Malaria and was admitted to the New Zealand Hospital in Helwan. AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Irene nee Tait; father of three

    Three sons, brothers served in WW2 : John Heron (5458); William Heron (14094); James Randel Beckley Heron (7316)

    James Heron was captured at 6 am on 26 November 1941 after three days of fighting. He was moved from the battle zone into a holding pen before being removed to Benghazi transit camp, North Africa, where he was held for approximately three weeks before being transported to Italy on about 18 December 1941.

    James Heron's first camp in Italy was a transit camp at Tuturano near Brindisi. Here he was forced to spend Christmas in Brindisi Hospital due to an abscess on the tonsils.

    In late January 1942 he arrived at Camp PG52 Chiavari only to be moved some months later to Camp PG 57 Gruppignano where he was to remain until September 1943. On 13 September 1943 he, along with fellow prisoners, were hijacked and taken to Austria spending one week in Stalag XVIIIC Markt Pongau before going to Stalag VIIIA at Gorlitz.

    On about 20 February 1945 they were marched from Stalag VIIIA and continued marching until 2 May 1945 when they met up with British troops. On 4 May 1945 James Heron was flown to the UK and returned to New Zealand on 23 December 1945.

    In February 1946 he was hospitalised in Timaru General Hospital for a tonsillectomy. Shortly after being discharged from the Army (24 April 1946) he left New Zealand for the UK on 26 June 1946. (Details supplied by J R B Heron)

    James Heron was married in the UK on 1 September 1945 to Irene Tait. They had three children, a son who was born 30 June 1947 (died 28 January 1973) and two daughters born 6 December 1949 and 16 May 1954.

    James Heron was employed in a Grocery business from 1946-1947, was an insurance agent from 1947-9 and joined a Pharmaceutical company in 1949 as a Sales Rep and Regional Sales Manager. He retired in June 1979 after 30 years service. (Information supplied by J R B Heron)

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

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  • Death
    11 December 2011 Cenotaph Data Entry Form
    Age 97 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Temuka Cemetery, Temuka Timaru District, New Zealand AWMM RSA Section, Plot 60, Row 601 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of James Randel Beckley Heron

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  • Thank you Great Uncle Randel for your service.
    Public - Tony Robert - Other relative - 5 April 2017



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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
    • 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
      WW2 1: WW2 80 AWMM
    • List of 2NZEF Prisoners of War. 1941-1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2009/8. AWMM
    • Great Britain Army. (1945). Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. London, U.K.: Government Printer. AWMM
    • Kay, R. (1958). 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


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05 April 2017Tony RobertTimaru, New ZealandOther relative
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