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Walter Babington Thomas

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Portrait from The Weekly News; 2 July 1941 - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait from The Weekly News; 2 July 1941 - This image may … Read more

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Walter Babington AWMM
  • Surname
    Thomas AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Sandy AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 9234 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    2 April 1905 AWMM MotuekaTasman AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Motueka, Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr W.H. Thomas (father), Debadoon, Riwaka, Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Bank officer/Civilian AWMM
    AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    WW2
    Crete, Greece AWMM
    1941 AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

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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  • Transferred after the war to Royal Hampshire Regiment

    Lt-Col W. B. Thomas, DSO, MC and bar, m.i.d., Silver Star (US); London; born Nelson, 29 Jun 1918; bank officer; CO 23 Bn 1944-45; twice wounded; wounded and p.w. May 1941; escaped Nov 1941; returned to unit May 1942; Hampshire Regt, 1947-. (Source: Borman, C.A. Divisional Signals. p.370.)

    'From the many working parties at Salonika and from the main camp itself right up to the end of its existence, numbers of prisoners, including many New Zealanders, made breaks for freedom. Some got away and were recaptured several times, only to be finally taken off to Germany; others made their way to Turkey and eventual freedom. Two parties got out through a camp sewer. An officer (Lt W. B. Thomas) cut his way through a barrack backdoor and, dodging the camp searchlights, crawled through the wire and scaled a wall into the street; another party of twelve used a similar route a little later. Once in Salonika they were almost always able to rely on temporary help from Greeks, though it was not always possible to trust all civilians or police, many of whom were not unnaturally fearful of German punishment. An MI9 organisation was set up in Salonika as well as in Athens to collect parties of escapers and evaders and arrange for them to be got away by caique. He was awarded the MC for this escape.' (Source: Mason, W.W. Prisoners of War. pp. 80, 81.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    22 October 2017 AWMM
    Australia 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

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a tribute or memory of Walter Babington Thomas

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 2: WW2 183 AWMM
    • Thomas, W.B. (2001). Dare to be free : one of the greatest true stories of World War II. Hororata, N.Z.: Dryden Press. AWMM
    • Thomas, W.B., & McLean, D. (Eds.). (2004). Pathways to adventure : an extraordinary life. Hororata, N.Z.: Dryden Press. AWMM
    • Borman, C. (1954). Divisional Signals. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.370, 371. AWMM
    • Cody, J. (1956). 28 (Maori) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.257, 298. AWMM
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.449. AWMM
    • Davin, D. (1953). Crete. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.123, 191, 252, 263, 312-15. AWMM
    • Gillespie, O. (1952). The Pacific. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.311. AWMM
    • Henderson, J. (1958). 22 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.402, 449, 450, 459. AWMM
    • Mason, W.W. (1954) Prisoners of war. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.80, 81. AWMM
    • Dawson, W. (1961). 18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.594, 597. AWMM
    • Kay, R. (1967). Italy. Volume 2. From Cassino to Trieste. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      pp.116, 120, 122-3, 126, 128, 158, 183, 186, 262, 265, 306, 315, 317-18, 390, 425, 435-6, 442, 483, 498, 503-4. AWMM
    • Stevens, W.G. (1962). Bardia to Enfidaville. Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      pp.221, 222, 323, 324, 325, 326, 331. AWMM
    • Ross, A. (1959). 23 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM

Contributors

Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateNameLocationRelationshipContact
26 April 2019José Miguel L. SpainResearcher
16 July 2017JeniferWairarapa Researcher
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