Daniel Johnston AWMM
Also known as
11 March 1914 AWMM AWMM
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
WW1 Mrs D.M.S. Riddiford, Longwood, Featherston, Wairarapa, New Zealand AWMM
Medals and Awards
Military Cross (MC) AWMM
3 August 1944 AWMM
1945 Escaping from POW Camp at Stalag XVIIIA/Z at Spittal-on-the Drau AWMM
- WW2 POW - Stalag XVIII-A, Wolfsberg, Austria AWMM
- WW2 POW - Oflag 79, near Braunschweigh (formerly O.8F) 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.
POW liberation details
POW serial number
WWII 228337 AWMM
Captain Riddiford was awarded MC for his efforts to escape. Most of those who thus changed their identities at Spittal were caught, as they all applied to go to a working camp near the Italian frontier. Riddiford, having carefully learnt the personal details and history of the man he was impersonating and by playing both dumb and sick at his interrogation, half convinced the German commandant that he was genuine. On discharge from hospital he wasted no time in leaving the camp in a working party dressed as a Frenchman, and with two companions was in Italy in four days. (Mason, W.W. (1954) p 292)
Minister of Parliament (MP) 1960-1972. Minister of Justice and Attorney General 1969-1972
'It was at this stage (about 11 October) that two escaped British majors arrived in the area and decided that British troops could be put to better use if they were extricated and brought back under British command. By the middle of the month they had ordered those with whom they made contact to cease fighting under partisan command,2 had collected a party of 85 at Stupizza for evacuation, and were negotiating with the partisan leaders at Caporetto for a safe conduct through partisan-held Yugoslav territory to the Dalmatian coast. Partisan headquarters viewed with disfavour what they regarded as the defection of the British and were uncooperative. After a heated argument, however, they agreed to pass them on to the next command on 17 October, and this process, with much similar argument, was repeated as the ex-prisoners continued their slow journey southwards. They were usually able to arrange for a guide from village to village and sometimes an armed escort.
From command to command we were passed, spending with different units of Tito's variegated forces, sometimes a few hours, sometimes days, and on one occasion over a week. Always there were interminable discussions with the partisans, always the same difficulties in persuading them to agree to our plans. Once we were held captive for over a week, four days being spent in the open with rain falling and snow threatening. With the first winter snow on the ground they flatly refused to give us any [further] guides or escort on account of a large-scale German round-up of partisans, and Stump led the party with a home-made compass belonging to me across thirty miles of country dominated by the Germans, into which no partisan would venture.
Capt Riddiford (6 Fd Regt). He commanded the New Zealand section of the party (26 all told) and also acted as interpreter in all the negotiations with the Yugoslavs. For his work with this party and his escapes he was awarded the MC.' (Source: Mason, W.W. Prisoners of War. pp. 308-309.) AWMM
Roll of Honour
Remember Daniel Johnston Riddiford by laying a poppy.
Leave a note
Leave a tribute or memory of
Daniel Johnston Riddiford
- Taylor, A. (1998). The New Zealand roll of honour : New Zealanders who have served their country in peace and war : 150 years, 1845-1995. Auckland, N.Z.: Roll of Honour Publications. AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 3: WW2 401 AWMM
- Riddiford, D (2004). Committed to escape: a New Zealand Soldier's Story. Martinborough, N.Z.: Ruamahunga Press. AWMM
- Mason, W.W. (1954) Prisoners of war. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.292, 308. AWMM
- Great Britain Army. (1945). Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. London, U.K.: Government Printer. 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.