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Bernard John George Sole

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Bernard John George AWMM
  • Surname
    Sole AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Bunny AWMM
  • Service number
    NZD1154 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion
    Agnostic AWMM

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    26 April 1916 AWMM NapierHawkes Bay AWMM
    Napier, New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 16 July 1932 AWMM Lippiatt Road, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Henry John Sole (father), Lippiatt Road, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1939 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    Inter War 16 July 1932 AWMM
    Age 16 AWMM
    Scholar/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      dark AWMM
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 foot 5 inches AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Grey Blue AWMM
    • Wounds Diseases Etc., WWII AWMM
      13 June 1940 crushed thumb from torpedo handling accident AWMM
    • Medical, WWII AWMM
      23 June 1943 hernia AWMM
    • Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
      Ischaemic heart disease AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Husband of Nola, married in 1941

    Father of two sons

    Enlisted at age 16 for 14 years service.

    His eldest son writes " Bernard John Sole left school during the depression in 1932. As few jobs were available he joined the navy.

    His initial training was on board the decommissioned cruiser Philomel. he completed his training at sea aboard the HMS Diomede then transferred to HMNZS Achilles.

    When war broke out in 1939 Achilles was dispatched to patrol the SE Coast of South America and took part in the Battle of the River Plate. Bernard was Mentioned in Despatches for his efforts in this battle.

    Bernard trained as a torpedo man and served on various cruisers ending the War aboard HMNZS Gambia which was attributed with firing the last salvos at Japan before the surrender.

    After leaving the Navy in 1946, Bunny retrained as an electrician and moved to Papatoetoe with his wife and family.

    Bunny was a member of the RSA and the River Plate Veteran's Association.

    He died in 2002." AWMM
Read more


About death

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  • Death
    25 March 2002 AWMM
    Age 85 AWMM
    PapatoetoeManukau AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Manukau Memorial Gardens Cemetery & Crematorium (Papatoetoe Cemetery), 357 Puhinui Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland AWMM Ashes. RSA Section, Lot 1483 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 28 March 2002 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Memories AWMM
      Hunter, J. Robert Laidlaw and the Farmers Trading Company. (2010). p. 126 - 140 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: 28 March 2002 AWMM
    • Manukau Memorial Gardens Cemetery & Crematorium (Papatoetoe Cemetery), 357 Puhinui Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
      Cemetery register no. 11288 AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Record Book of Naval Personnel - c.1920-1945 - Lists Navy number, alphabetical list of names of ratings trained in England, numerical lists of officers. Archives New Zealand, R21346617, AAYT 8495 N12 AWMM


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
09 September 2022Lorraine MonaGisborneResearcher

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