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John Malfroy Staveley

Photograph of Sir John Malfroy Staveley, 11726 in uniform. Image kindly provided by Nic Staveley (April 2018). Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.
Photograph of Sir John Malfroy Staveley, 11726 in uniform. I … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Malfroy AWMM
  • Surname
    Staveley AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 11726 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    30 August 1914 AWMM HokitikaWest Coast AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    C/o Auckland Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs E.C. Staveley (wife), 152 Albert Street, Palmerston North, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Married 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 Medical practitioner 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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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Elvira (died 1992); father of Tessa and John.

    Patron, New Zealand Haemophilia Society, Member of New Zealand Alpine Club, Auckland Astronomical Society.

    Maj J. M. Staveley, MC; Auckland; born Hokitika, 30 Aug 1914; medical officer, Auckland Hospital; medical officer 6 Fd Amb Mar 1940–Jan 1942; OC 2 Field Transfusion Unit Aug 1943–Apr 1944; Pathologist 2 Gen Hosp Apr–Nov 1944; three times wounded. (Source: McClymont, W.G. To Greece. p.340.)

    'At dawn on 1 December an enemy force of forty to fifty tanks supported by infantry advanced north-westwards from Sidi Rezegh. Part of the force turned eastwards to attack the positions of 6 Brigade while the remainder advanced on Belhamed. The attack broke on the south-eastern slopes of Belhamed where the ADS, the guns of 6 Field Regiment, and Division Battle Headquarters were in position. The ADS was soon overrun, and was later escorted to the rear by enemy infantry. The company's casualties in this action were two men killed and a number wounded.
    Just when the capture of 4 and 6 Brigades seemed almost a foregone conclusion, British tanks put in an appearance and saved the day. Later, the remnants of both brigades achieved an anxious but successful withdrawal to safety.
    Most of the captured ambulance company were made to proceed on a long march across the desert to the west and were later taken in trucks to the prison camp at Benghazi. Captain Staveley, who had been wounded in a leg, four of the company and six stretcher-bearers were taken to the German hospital at El Adem, some 15 miles west of Sidi Rezegh, where they found Sergeant Nicholas in charge of several wounded men. On the night of 2 December the hospital grounds were bombed and machine-gunned by the RAF. Bombs were dropped alongside some buildings, but no direct hits were made on any building used as a ward. The tide of battle was turning again in favour of the British forces and during the night the Germans began a general evacuation. During 3 and 4 December they evacuated the wounded so that only twenty-five British wounded remained, together with a small German medical staff as well as Captain Staveley and five men of A Company 6 Field Ambulance. Then, on 8 December all the remaining Germans left. The entire staff remained with the patients until an infantry patrol from a British battalion reached them on 10 December. Later that day, staff and patients were taken to Tobruk, where Captain Staveley was admitted to hospital, and the five remaining personnel joined the newly formed 5 MDS.
    Captain Staveley was awarded the Military Cross for his work and devotion to duty and Sergeant Nicholas the Military Medal.' (Source: Stout, T. Duncan M. New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy. p. 272.) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    14 May 2006 AWMM
    Age 91 AWMM
    NorthcoteNorth Shore City AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, May 2006 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Who's who in New Zealand (1951-1991). Wellington, N.Z. ; Auckland, N.Z.: Reed. 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 450 AWMM
    • Stout, T.D.M. (1956). New Zealand Medical Services in the Middle East and Italy. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Stout (1956) p 123-124, 272 AWMM
    • McClymont, W. (1959). To Greece. Wellington, N.Z.: Department Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.340–1, 344. AWMM


Command item
Command item
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18 April 2018NicAucklandDirect descendant
10 August 2017Nicholas AucklandDirect descendant
12 April 2017JessicaAuckland, New ZealandResearcher
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