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Nigel Marshall Laing



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Nigel Marshall AWMM
  • Surname
    Laing AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Tubby AWMM
  • Service number
    • 458414 AWMM
    • 31128 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Pacific AWMM
    • Fanning Island 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 AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • 458414 AWMM
    • 31128 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Posted to Fanning Island with a detachment protecting the communications cable shortly before WW2

    According to Marjorie Traill, a friend, Nigel was initially a territorial then joined the regular force and was serving in New Zealand at the outbreak of WW2.

    His first posting overseas to Fanning Island in the Pacific area to protect the communication cable, was as a regular soldier at the start of WW2 and is not recorded on the Nominal Rolls.

    With the mass recruiting for WW2 underway he was an instructor at Trentham, then Burnham

    Husband of Olive M; father of Donald, Briar.

    Posted to Dunedin as a regimental sergeant major to the Otago Regiment at age 23

    In 1942 he joined 8th reinforcements at Burnham and posted to Fiji, commissioned with rank as Lieutenant. He did active service in the Pacific returning to Fiji in 1945.

    Briefly worked as instructor at Burnham before transferred to Jayforce in 1946 and spent 15 months in Japan on postwar reconstruction

    On return to NZ he specialised in stores work, with 5 years as quartermaster at Waiouru before returning to Burnham as accounting officer.

    In 1959 posted to Malaya, Taiping (1959-1961) 2 Battalion, 2nd Regiment as Quarter Master with the rank of Captain. Served there for 2 years and promoted to Major

    Returned to Burnham in 1961 and became 2nd in command of the base.

    Retired from Burnham Military Camp with the rank of Major in 1973 with 35 consecutive years of service

    Gave wrong age to enlist with territorials AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    4 January 2007 AWMM
    Age 88 AWMM
    ChristchurchCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: Christchurch Press 20 January 2007 p. D18

    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 6 January 2007 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Pugsley, C. (2003). From emergency to confrontation: the New Zealand armed forces in Southeast Asia, 1949-1966. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 9 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1942 to 31st December, 1942). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 9: WW2 224 AWMM
    • The Christchurch Press AWMM
      Crean, M. (2007, 20 January). Long-serving NZ soldier. p. D18. AWMM
    • The Christchurch Press AWMM
      Obituary: 20 January 2007 p. D18 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: 6 January 2007 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
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