Also known as
WWII 442397 AWMM
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
WW2 Pre 1 August 1941 AWMM Post Office, Whitianga, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
WW2 Mrs Doris C. Jenkins (sister), Waihi Road, Paeroa, New Zealand AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
- Height, Unknown Period AWMM
5 feet 5 inches AWMM
- Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
- Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
- Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
Husband of Marie Elizabeth Baker; they had 11 children.
"We were a family of three daughters and six sons. To have five brothers serving overseas was not often surpassed. We, all five, participated in front line service. Sadly, our eldest brother, Les, was taken a Prisoner of War (when wounded) and later died in Italy, through illness. Les was awarded a Mention in Despatches (M.I.D.).
My New Zealand Army service commenced following my 18th birthday 1941, when 3 months compulsory military training was in force. I was drafted with the 6th Hauraki Regiment on 1 August 1941 to Hopuhopu (Ngaruawahia) and completed my training 30 October 1941.
Within a short space of time (when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour 7.12.1941) we were mobilised on 7.1.1942. I went this time to Papakura Camp and concluding a training course qualified as a Lance Corporal.
From there to Warkworth on 17.6.1942 and on 12.8.1942 promoted to Corporal.
Then to Tauranga on 16.9.1942
To Hillcrest (Narrow Neck) for another course on 14.10.1942
29.10.1942 promoted to Lance Sergeant (The eight shillings a day in pay was fantastic) then posted to Motutapu Island 12.11.1942
After the New Year I applied to go with a training unit required in Tonga (16th Brigade).
Being accepted travelled to Trentham on 16.2.1943 and embarked 17.2.1943.
This was the fastest I had ever moved (By this time I had learnt not to hurry in the Army).
My sojourn in Tonga was hard work but fully compensated by being on an island paradise so to speak.
I was sent on another course and qualified. However as my 21st Birthday was approaching (13.1.44) I was to return and go further field.
The day on arrival in New Zealand at Lyttelton was my 21st birthday. During the two weeks leave Marie and I became acquainted.
I embarked for Egypt 29.3.1944 and eventually to Italy, my N.Z. service being 1 year 208 days.
This was a most enjoyable chapter in my life.
I joined 21st Battalion in Italy at Cortona on 17th July 1944.
Posted to B Company No 10 Platoon, where I remained until returning home.
My first engagement was scheduled for 3.30 a.m. on 22nd July to attack and capture a village called San Casciano. In the event the enemy had retreated and we were ordered to side step (as it was known) towards another village called Poppiano and assist the Maori Battalion who were halted and required help. Our B Company guide from the Maori Battalion became lost so eventually we settled into houses near to but not actually where we should have been.
So much for my first engagement.
From then on I took part in every subsequent action of B Company (until 19.4.45) and while doing so I went through a range of emotions which I had never experienced before in my life and felt rather proud I did not fail.
The evening of 9th April 1945 at 7.20 p.m. was the start of the final offensive. Preceded on our front by a barrage heavier by far than that fired at El Alamein an air support of shattering dimensions.
First we had to cross the Senio River followed by four similar rivers and this in a short time was done.
On 19th April I was wounded and evacuated to hospital.
The whole of the N.Z. Division was in this final Battle, and 21 Battalion entered Trieste on 2nd May 1945, and the enemy surrender took place at noon.
On my return from hospital to Trieste we were engaged protecting the city and Port from Tito's Yugoslav Partisans (Trieste was ceded from Yugoslavia after World War 1 and they wanted it returned). Following this, our Battalion was taken on a weeks leave in Austria which was a real bonus.
I left Italy on 27th November 1945 for Egypt to embark and return home travelling with brother-in-law Des Moloney. Leaving Egypt on 18th December 1945 and arrived in New Zealand on 24th January 1946 completing 42 days leave, I was discharged on 7th March 1946.
Thus completing 4 years 3 months in the army, with overseas service of 2 years 241 days.
To have been in 21st Battalion was a matter of great pride." AWMM
Roll of Honour
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- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 10 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1943 to 31st March, 1943). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 10: WW2 5 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 8 AWMM
- Veterans' club : the comradeship and memories of Auckland's 21st infantry battalion. Auckland War Memorial Museum : Auckland. Accompanies exhibition held in the Pictorial Gallery, second floor, Auckland War Memorial Museum, 24 March-21 May 2006. AWMM
- 21 New Zealand Infantry Battalion Association Inc. Records, 1955 - 2005. Auckland War Memorial Museum. MS-2008-42. AWMM
- 21 Battalion
(Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
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