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Francis Robert Thurston

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Preliminary record

This is a preliminary record. Find out more.

Portrait, Francis Robert Thurston in uniform full length - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait, Francis Robert Thurston in uniform full length - T … Read more

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Francis Robert AWMM
  • Surname
    Thurston AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Bob Thurston AWMM
    • AYU AWMM
    • Kiwi AWMM
  • Service number
    Vietnam AUS53322 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • 25 Jun 1950-27 July 1953 AWMM
      Korean War AWMM
    • Thailand AWMM
    • 1948-1960 AWMM
      The Malayan Emergency AWMM
      The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) After the defeat of the Japanese in WWII, a new problem emerged for Malaya. In 1948 Chinese guerrilla fighters (who had been armed and air supplied by the British during the war) emerged from the jungle and under Chin Peng, began their terror campaign to take over the country by force. Thus an intense jungle war began, fought by the British, British Commonwealth and Malay forces against the Malayan Communist Party. The Australian Government of the day, along with many others in the Western bloc, was apprehensive about the spread of international communism. Initially there was not much coordination between security forces until Lt.-Gen.Sir Harold Briggs was appointed as Director of Operations in 1949. His war executive committees (including Sir Henry Gurney) coordinated emergency operations, and created 500 new villages for Malayan citizens who lived in remote areas beyond government protection. These citizens had lived in constant fear that the Communists would appear and force them to supply food and money. Travelling was dangerous as a Communist ambush could lurk behind any roadside bush. So, by depriving the insurgents of their crucial sources of supplies and information, the Communists began to attack the new settlements. But the security forces were now fighting on their own ground, and proved to be too strong for the Communists. These forces were able to concentrate on jungle operations, thereby destroying the Communists and their camps. This was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. It was to be the only war the West had won against Communism. The Emergency lasted for twelve years, ending in 1960. Australia suffered 15 killed and 27 wounded in action. From http://www.raafschoolpenang.com/malaysia.htm AWMM
    • 1948-1960 AWMM
      The Malayan Emergency AWMM
      The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) After the defeat of the Japanese in WWII, a new problem emerged for Malaya. In 1948 Chinese guerrilla fighters (who had been armed and air supplied by the British during the war) emerged from the jungle and under Chin Peng, began their terror campaign to take over the country by force. Thus an intense jungle war began, fought by the British, British Commonwealth and Malay forces against the Malayan Communist Party. The Australian Government of the day, along with many others in the Western bloc, was apprehensive about the spread of international communism. Initially there was not much coordination between security forces until Lt.-Gen.Sir Harold Briggs was appointed as Director of Operations in 1949. His war executive committees (including Sir Henry Gurney) coordinated emergency operations, and created 500 new villages for Malayan citizens who lived in remote areas beyond government protection. These citizens had lived in constant fear that the Communists would appear and force them to supply food and money. Travelling was dangerous as a Communist ambush could lurk behind any roadside bush. So, by depriving the insurgents of their crucial sources of supplies and information, the Communists began to attack the new settlements. But the security forces were now fighting on their own ground, and proved to be too strong for the Communists. These forces were able to concentrate on jungle operations, thereby destroying the Communists and their camps. This was the longest continuous military commitment in Australia's history. It was to be the only war the West had won against Communism. The Emergency lasted for twelve years, ending in 1960. Australia suffered 15 killed and 27 wounded in action. From http://www.raafschoolpenang.com/malaysia.htm AWMM
    • 1962-1966 AWMM
      Borneo Confrontation 1962-1966 AWMM
      Following the defeat of the Brunei rebellion at the end of 1962 the Indonesian Foreign Minister announced a policy of 'confgrontation' against Malaysia, justifying this Indonesian expansion as a response to hostile neo-colonialist / imperialist policies against Indonesia. Following on the burning oif the British Embassy in Jakarta a British and Commonwealth force was created to dominate the Borneo border and resist Indonesian incursions. from Spink (1988) AWMM
    • 1964-1973 AWMM
      Vietnam War AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    Vietnam AUS53322 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    1950 New Zealand Regular Force AWMM
  • Enlistment
    Korea 12 June 1951 AWMM
    Age 22 AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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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
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, Korea AWMM
      Medical Evacuation in Borneo (1965) with Amoebic Dysentery. Admitted to MRS Kuching on 7 April 1965, transferred to SSQ Kuching 9 April 1965 and then transferred to British General Hospital Singapore 14 April 1965 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, Korea AWMM
      Wounded in Action, in Vietnam, 22 January 1968. Admitted to 24 (US) Evacuation Hospital Long Bigh Vietnam 22 January 1968 AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Next of kin on embarkation: Mrs Edith Thurston (mother)

    Korean War (1950-1953)

    Thai-Malay Border (1960-1963)

    Malay Peninsula (1964-1966)

    Borneo (1962-1966)

    Vietnam (1962-1973)

    Mr Thurston's first embarkation was 2 August 1951 from Wellington on board the SS "Wahine" bound for Korea. His second embarkation was 29 August 1953 on HMNZS "Hawera" from Kure, Japan bound for New Zealand.

    Mr Thurston was on board the SS "Wahine" when it was wrecked on Masela Island north of Darwin en route to Korea on 17 November 1977. All personnel were evacuated to Australia.

    Cenotaph record initially prepared with the serviceman in 1999 AWMM
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Death

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

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Francis Robert Thurston

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Hall, C. (2014). No front line : inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War. Auckland, New Zealand : Penguin Books. AWMM
    • Subritsky, M. (Ed). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: The second ANZAC adventure. Papakura, N.Z.: Three Feathers Publishing Co. AWMM
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