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Ivan John Matich

Portrait, Ivan Matich aged 22 years Mizuba, Japan ( photo supplied by family) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Ivan Matich aged 22 years Mizuba, Japan ( photo supplied by family) - This image may be su …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Ivan John AWMM
  • Surname
    Matich AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • 1/21/1018 AWMM
    • 624949 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    14 August 1924 AWMM RacisceKorcula AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 19 May 1942 AWMM Monovale, Cambridge, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs Mary Matich (mother), Ngatea, Hauraki Plains, New Zealand AWMM
    • Jayforce Mrs M Matich (mother), Huntly West, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 29 May 1946 AWMM Single/Jayforce AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 19 May 1942 AWMM
    Age 17 AWMM
    Labourer/Civilian AWMM
    HamiltonWaikato AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

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
    • Height, WWII AWMM
      6 foot 2 inches AWMM
    • Eye colour, WWII AWMM
      Blue AWMM
    • Hair colour, WWII AWMM
      Blond AWMM
    • Complexion, WWII AWMM
      Dark AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded Monte Cassino 23-31 July 1944, Shrapnel in his face and mouth AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Discharged from hospital 1 August 1944 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Readmitted for same wound AWMM
    • Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
      Heart attack AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Ivan Matich was the son of Ivan and Marija (nee Franic). He migrated to New Zealand with parents and younger brother George in 1926 on the SS Niagara. His younger brothers, Tony, Mate, Peter and Frank were all born after they arrived in New Zealand. A cousin, Nicolas Matich, also served in World War 2.

      Mother Mary named as next of kin on attestation

      Height incorrectly described at enlistment he was 6 foot 2 inches.

      Private with 24 Battalion, 11 Reinforcements Italy

      Promoted Temporary Corporal 22 may 1946, posted to 2NZEF J Force and posted for active service with the BCOF (J Force) 2 Divisional Cavalry Mizuba, Japan

      Issued with Italy Star ribbon, and 1939-45 Star at Papakura

      Promoted in Japan to Sergeant 22 May 1947

      Ivan spoke of training for Japanese landings in 1945 when they were all relieved to hear the news of the Japanese surrender.

      Ivan recounted, at his brother's funeral (2005), walking with his platoon down a road somewhere in Italy when who should drive past in a jeep but the then Prime Minister, Peter Fraser who was visiting the 2NZEF with General Bernard Freyberg. The jeep went ahead of them on the road and disappeared out of sight around a bend, then shortly afterward Ivan heard the sound of gunfire, and screeching brakes, then the jeep came hurtling back down the road past them again and everyone inside it had their heads down. Thank fully none were wounded. Fifty yards up the road, Ivan said, they ran into the German army.

      After the war he lived alone and shunned contact for many years

      Uncle of Tanya Matich; George, Maryanne, Peter, David, Janet, Lucia, Susan, Peter, Paul, Philip, Stephen, Michael, Aaron, Mathew, Tanya, Neil, Russell.

      Service Record, second Christian name John added in 1946. Additional biographical information on file. Increased age from 17 years to 19 at enlistment. AWMM
    • Uncle of Tanya, Neil, Russell, Peter, Paul, Phillip, Stephen, Michael, Aaron, Matthew, George, Peter, Mary-anne, Janet, David, Suzy and Lucia Matich Public - Tanya - Other Relative - 25 April 2015 - Family
    • Per Naturalisation certificate details Ivan, his brother George and mother Marija arrived in 1929 to New Zealand (i.e. not 1926). Ivan's father, Ivan, arrived in 1926 on the RMS Marama Public - Tanya - Other relative - 18 September 2022 - Naturalisation papers of Ivan Matich (Senior) and Marija Matich both naturalised in 1938
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About death

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  • Death
    23 May 2008 AWMM
    Age 83 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Hamilton Park Cemetery, 395 Morrinsville Road, Newstead, Hamilton, New Zealand AWMM Totara Services Lawn, RSA Section AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 2 June 2008 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Ivan John Matich

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  • Uncle John was in Europe for 2 years and 1 month. Enlisted as a Private - attained the rank of Sergeant by the time of his discharge. Was in the NZ infantry, 24th Battalion 1st 11th reinforcements. Wounded at Casino where he took shrapnel through the throat, but returned to the front line and saw action at several places in the Italian campaign. Returned from the War, settled in Hamilton where he worked as a builder for many years. Remained a bachelor.
    Public - Peter - Other Relative - 25 April 2015



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  • External links
  • References
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Cenotaph data entry form AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 13 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1944 to 31st March, 1944). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 13: WW2 83 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 16: WW2 89 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 2 June 2008 AWMM
    • Loughnan, R. (1963). Divisional Cavalry. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Brocklebank, L.W. (1997). Jayforce : New Zealand and the military occupation of Japan, 1945-48. Auckland, N.Z.: Oxford University Press. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
18 September 2022TanyaAuckland, New ZealandOther relative
25 April 2015PeterNZOther Relative

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