condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

Desmond Whitehurst Laurie

Discharge certificate, WW2 for Warrant Officer Des Laurie; - This image may be subject to copyright

Discharge certificate, WW2 for Warrant Officer Des Laurie; - This image may be subject to copyright

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Desmond Whitehurst AWMM
  • Surname
    Laurie AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Des AWMM
  • Service number
    NZ422971 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
    29 December 1919 AWMM Point ChevalierAuckland AWMM
    Point Chevalier, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 6 May 1942 AWMM Simpson Road, Ranui, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Ellen Laurie (mother), Sampson Road, Swanson, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 20 August 1943 AWMM Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›

Military decorations

Contribute ›

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›
  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 6 May 1942 AWMM
    Age 22 AWMM
    Clerk AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

Contribute ›

Prisoner of war

Contribute ›
  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

Contribute ›
  • Medical notes
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 5 inches AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Blue AWMM
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      fair AWMM
    • Complexion, Unknown Period AWMM
      fresh AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
  • Son of [Titus] Reginald Laurie and Ellen Laurie (nee Birly).

    Warrant Officer Laurie attended Swanson School, Auckland, from 1926 to 1933; he also attended Seddon Memorial Technical College from 1934-1938.

    He was posted to Hobsonville Air Force Base on Air Maintenance duties from 6 May 1942 to 26 November 1942, then posted to Rotorua for pilot training selection.

    Warrant Officer Laurie was enrolled in the No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School at Taieri Air Force Base near Dunedin, 8 February to 3 April 1943.

    His advanced training was at No. 2 Service Flying Training School, Woodbourne Air Force Base, Blenheim, 5 April 1943 to 31 July 1943.

    Laurie, D.W. [2006]. Wartime experience and service as a Spitfire pilot on 17 Fighter Squadron in Burma Campaign, World War 2. Unpublished.

    Upon arriving in England, Warrant Officer Laurie was posted to Brighton, then transferred to an airfield at Desford, near Leicester, then Market Drayton and Telford in Shropshire for rating in Tiger Moths, and Hurricane fighters.

    He was later transferred to Tealing Air Base near Dundee to assist in live air-to-air firing practice for Spitfire pilots.

    Warrant Officer Laurie was transferred to Fayid air base, Egypt on 7 October 1944 to receive training in the Mark V Spitfire. On 17 December 1944 he was transferred to Poona, India for advanced flying on the Mark VIII Spitfire. He also received jungle survival training in the southern mountains of Mahabaleshwar. It was during this period that he was promoted to Warrant Officer (31 January 1945).

    He was transferred to Headquarters Burma on 3 May 1945, then joined 17 Fighter Squadron in Ywadon, where he flew air patrols in support of the 14th Army. In mid June he flew to Madura to train in the Mark XIV Spitfire, in preparation for the invasion of Malaya; however, the surrender of Japan meant that this became an occupation rather than an invasion. When the rest of 17 Squadron was moved to Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, Warrant Officer Laurie was left behind to assist in shutting down Madura base.

    While he was on convoy duty the "Quit India" riots began, he was ordered to report to Dhubalia, north of Calcutta. He spent a week trapped at the Anzac club in Calcutta due to the rioting, before reaching Dhubalia to embark on the Oriana for England. Unfortunately, that ship had turned back for England due to engine trouble, and Warrant Officer Laurie instead travelled by train to Bombay before embarking on the troop carrier Athlone Castle for New Zealand (via Australia) in mid December. He arrived in Wellington, New Zealand in early January 1946.

    Joined Swanson RSA as a foundation member AWMM
Read more

Death

About death

Contribute ›
  • 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

Memorials

Memorial

Contribute ›
  • Memorial name
    New Lynn RSA, 2 Veronica Street, New Lynn 0600 AWMM

Roll of Honour

Remember Desmond Whitehurst Laurie by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Desmond Whitehurst Laurie

Leave a note

Contribute ›

Sources

Sources

Contribute ›
  • External links
  • Documents
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      Vol. 3 p. 610 AWMM
    • Unpublished papers: family papers. 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.

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