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Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum will be closed from 10am on Wednesday 12 August in response to our city’s efforts to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. We look forward to welcoming you back when the city moves back to Level 2 and we are safely able to do so.

Alfred Keith Holmes

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Alfred Keith AWMM
  • Surname
    Holmes AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Keith AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 451588 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    10 June 1922 AWMM EpsomEpsom AWMM
    Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1 June 1941 AWMM Great South Road, Mahia, Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs M. Holmes (mother), Great South Road, Mahia, Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 31 March 1944 AWMM Single/WWII AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Italy AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 451588 AWMM
  • Military service
    • Otahuhu Technical High School Cadets 1938/39 AWMM
    • 3rd Auckland Infantry Battalion of 3rd Auckland Regiment, Countess of Ranfurly's own. (Signals Platoon) AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Infantry and signals training (weapons, signals, explosives, mines, gas warfare and Commando) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Jun 1941 AWMM
    Age 18 AWMM
    Apprentice fitter and turner/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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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
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 foot 7 inches AWMM
    • Weight, Unknown Period AWMM
      10 stone and 10 pounds AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Seriously wounded in action at Rio Fontanaccia 23 September 1944. Shell shrapnel wounds back and left buttock. Major injury measuring 6 inches long perforating wound back at level of 2nd lumbar vertebra. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      1 NZGH Senigalia AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      24 September 1944 - Operation at Ist New Zealand Field Service Unit (1NZFSU) with free debridement of extensively damaged sacrospinalis and a further operation same day at Ist New Zealand General Hospital (1NZGH) for reactionary haemorrhage. 29 Sept. 1944 - Secondary suture and removal MFB left thigh. Both wounds subsequently gangreous infected. Cured with penicillin injections over 4 days. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Hospital ship "Leinster" Ancona to Bari AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      3 NZGH Bari 13 Oct to 21 November 1944 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Convalescent Hospital San Spirito 21 November to 12 December 1944 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      NZ Hospital ship "Oranje" (Suez, Colombo, Melbourne, Wellington) 19 July 1945 to 8 August 1945 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Hospital Train - Wellington to Manurewa 9 August to 10 August 1945. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Auckland Hospital outpatient to 24 December 1945 AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Born at the family home in Epsom.

    The world wide depression forced the building contractor family to move in 1932 to a 52 acre dairy farm at Manurewa. Keith attended primary school and helped on the farm. Following three years at Otahuhu Technical High School, Keith commenced an engineering apprenticeship of 5 years at MacEwans Machinery Ltd. at Penrose where farming machinery was manufactured. He attended night school and excelled at tennis and hockey.

    On the outbreak of World War 2 one older brother, Max and Dad worked the farm and building business and the other brother, Fraser joined the air force. Mum continued to support and hold the family together. Keith joined the army in 1941. Keith's younger brother, Dave, joined the army and served with the N.Z. Occupation Force in Japan.

    Keith first had intensive infantry training and was then part of the large Defense Force in the North Auckland East Coastal Areas during the Japanese Invasion scare.

    Turning 21 he went overseas with the 11th Reinforcements, 2nd Draft serving with the 24th Infantry Battalion, 2NZEF. Seriously wounded in action in Northern Italy, was evacuated to Hospital and invalided home. Following medical treatment returned to civilian life, retiring in 1996.

    He married Dorrie in 1952 and in 1963 designed their family home in Mairangi Bay which was built by brother Max. Committed to a family unit lifestyle they raised two daughters who are now married, each with two children. Keith's hobbies include gardening, photography, fishing, duck shooting and later painting in oils.

    In 950 he changed employment to industrial refrigeration technical design and contract engineer

    In 1969 he was appointed Company Chief Engineer

    In 1976, with qualifications R.E.A. and F.N.Z.I.R.H.A.C.E. he entered into private business as a mechanical engineer specialising in applied refrigeration, consulting, fault diagnosis, design, draughting and contract supervision.

    Keith is an executive member of the 24th N.Z. Infantry Battalion Association which since the end of the war continues to provide battlefield formed comradeship, social and welfare support to old army mates and families.

    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 2002 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    10 May 2015 AWMM
    Age 92 AWMM
    North Shore CityAuckland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 14 May 2015. AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 13 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1944 to 31st March, 1944). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 13: WW2 58 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      List of people returning home. (1945, August 11). New Zealand Herald, p. 9. AWMM
    • Auckland Star AWMM
      Auckland Star Thursday 5 October, 1944 Page 2 (Casualty List) AWMM
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. 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.

Creative Commons License Online Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License