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Daniel Johnston Riddiford

D.J. Riddiford, The Weekly News; 9 August 1944 - This image may be subject to copyright
D.J. Riddiford, The Weekly News; 9 August 1944 - This image … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Daniel Johnston AWMM
  • Surname
    Riddiford AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    23248 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • 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

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • 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.
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    WWII 228337 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • 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
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About death

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  • Death
    26 October 1974 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • 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
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