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Robert Charles Barrett

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Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Robert Charles AWMM
  • Surname
    Barrett AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    441259 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 June 1922 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM 10 Emmett Street, Newtown, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs G. Barrett (wife), 128A Tasman Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Married AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Italy AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    441259 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    18 October 1945 AWMM
    'Gunner Barrett was employed as an observation post signaller in 47 Battery, 5 NZ Field Regiment. During the period 10-12 April 1945, which involved the opposed crossings of the SENIO and SANTERNO Rivers, Italy, he accompanied his troop commander in a Sherman observation post tank as signaller. It was frequently necessary for him during this advance to remove his radio set from the tank and to set it up as a ground station in adjacent buildings. On a number of occasions he had to perform this task under enemy small-arms and mortar fire but at no time did he allow this to deter him. On 10 April, in the vicinity of Lugo, he dismounted with his set from the tank while it was under direct and continuous Spandau fire but in spite of this he continued with his duties and succeeded in setting up a ground station in the open and establishing communication with his battery. Ignoring the enemy’s retaliation and the fact that our own shells were brought down on a target not more than 100 yards away from him, he continued to work his set and showed a complete disregard for danger and an exceptional coolness under most difficult circumstances. This act enabled vital artillery support to be given to the forward company of infantry with whom the observation post was working and so permitted the advance to continue. From then on in subsequent actions, terminating in the armistice in Italy, he continued to display the greatest coolness and courage in equally dangerous situations.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Barrett, Robert Charles. (Ref. WO 373/14/296). Military Medal. London Gazette. 37310 16 October 1945 AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM Draughtsman/Civilian 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

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Gloria; father of Paul, Elizabeth, Ian, Douglas

    Gunner R. C. Barrett, MM; Wellington; born Auckland, 12 Jun 1922; draughtsman. (Source: Murphy, W.E. 2nd NZ Divisional Artillery. p.705.)

    'Captain Thomson of 47 Battery was one who had a very lively time. He was guarding the right flank against counter-thrusts from the direction of Lugo and his OP vehicle, a Sherman tank, was frequently under fire. Several times his wireless operator, Gunner Barrett, had to take his radio set out of the tank and set it up in various buildings from which Thomson was observing. Invariably this had to be done under mortar and machine-gun fire. At 5 p.m., for example, near Lugo, when the tank was under direct small-arms fire, Barrett got out with his set and began operating in the open. He established contact with 47 Battery and Thomson called down fire which fell no more than 100 yards away. This overcame a stubborn centre of opposition and enabled the advance to continue. For this and similar efforts Barrett won an immediate MM.' (Source: Murphy, W.E. 2nd NZ Divisional Artillery. p. 705.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    29 December 2006 AWMM
    Age 84 AWMM
    AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 1 January 2007 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    • Murphy, W. (1966). 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. Wellington, Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch.
      http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2Arti.html
      Sources Used
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy.' (London Gazette, 18 October 1945, p.5102.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/37310/supplements/5102
      Further Reference
    • 'Gunner Barrett was employed as an observation post signaller in 47 Battery, 5 NZ Field Regiment. During the period 10-12 April 1945, which involved the opposed crossings of the SENIO and SANTERNO Rivers, Italy, he accompanied his troop commander in a Sherman observation post tank as signaller. It was frequently necessary for him during this advance to remove his radio set from the tank and to set it up as a ground station in adjacent buildings. On a number of occasions he had to perform this task under enemy small-arms and mortar fire but at no time did he allow this to deter him. On 10 April, in the vicinity of Lugo, he dismounted with his set from the tank while it was under direct and continuous Spandau fire but in spite of this he continued with his duties and succeeded in setting up a ground station in the open and establishing communication with his battery. Ignoring the enemy’s retaliation and the fact that our own shells were brought down on a target not more than 100 yards away from him, he continued to work his set and showed a complete disregard for danger and an exceptional coolness under most difficult circumstances. This act enabled vital artillery support to be given to the forward company of infantry with whom the observation post was working and so permitted the advance to continue. From then on in subsequent actions, terminating in the armistice in Italy, he continued to display the greatest coolness and courage in equally dangerous situations.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Barrett, Robert Charles. (Ref. WO 373/14/296). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7355733
      Further Reference
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 14 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1944 to 31st December, 1944). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 14: WW2 8 AWMM
    • Honours and awards of the 2nd NZEF: the Military Medal (1966). Wellington, N.Z.: Army Headquarters. AWMM
    • Murphy, W. (1966). 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.705. AWMM

Contributors

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DateNameLocationRelationshipContact
10 November 2018Paul LeslieAuckland NZChild