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Brandon Birdwood Carter

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Grave plaque of Private Brandon Birdwood CARTER M.M. 5399
Pukekohe Cemetery, New Zealand
Photographed 10 May 2010
©Sarndra Lees

Grave plaque of Private Brandon Birdwood CARTER M.M. 5399

All rights reserved.

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Brandon Birdwood AWMM
  • Surname
    Carter AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    5399 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 April 1916 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Pukekohe, South Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr T.r. Carter (father) Pukekohe East, South Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 5 January 1940 AWMM Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    5399 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    26 March 1942 AWMM
    'At the end of the campaign in GREECE Private Carter was in a reception station at Volos, waiting for the destroyers which finally took off most of the troops. Volunteers were called for to collect rations and he went down to Salamis by truck. The enemy began to attack heavily and he decided to walk to Corinth but gave up the idea and made for the coast. Here he met a British officer with a diesel boat who took him with his party to CRETE, where they landed at Kisamo. Private Carter was captured by the Germans on the coast of Kisamo, marched into the town and picked by a German officer to work in his kitchen. After a week they moved to Canes and then, a week later, the officer was sent back to Germany and he was put into the prison camp. At 10 p.m. on 1 July 1941 Private Carter escaped from the camp by waiting for a column of motor transport to pass and slipping out between trucks, hidden by their dust. He had with him a compass and a map of the island given to him by a Sergeant who had decided not to escape. On 2 July he reached Meskia where fifteen men were hiding. He and another NZ soldier made for the coast via Lakki and Omalo. They sailed from Suia with two Australians on 16 July and after 90 hours in a far from seaworthy craft reached Tobruk. They rowed part of the way and rigged a sail from a blanket for the rest. Private Carter showed ingenuity in his escape and bore his hardships with patience.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Carter, Brandon Birdwood. (Ref. WO 373/61/723). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM Farmer/Civilian AWMM
    AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Embarkations

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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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • 'In a letter dated 3 Jan 1952 General Freyberg describes Lt Haig as ‘a young man of great courage’ and is emphatic that Haig was in no way to blame for the misfortune. Haig's was not the only landing craft still working in Suda Bay. Another one made over to Suda Island, probably this night, and took off a detachment of some 30 men of 27 (MG) Bn under Lt A. T. B. Green, with four Vickers guns, which had been guarding the boom defences of the harbour for more than a fortnight. When a dinghy pulled in with three New Zealanders aboard, ‘a wounded CSM of the Maori Bn and two ASC’, Green refused to believe their story that ‘the Div was moving to Sphakia to evacuate.’ The landing craft came at last, took them aboard, and set sail westwards with instructions that the detachment was to ‘lay down the defences for the evacuation’ at Sfakia. The craft broke down off Maleme and was shelled but was soon repaired and by dawn reached the west coast, where it was run ashore to await nightfall, the party dispersing inland. But two Stukas found this and another landing craft farther north and sank them both, and patrols of mountain troops rounded up most of the troops, killing one and capturing the rest.—Captain Green and Private B. B. Carter.; 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion - At least one member of Green's platoon escaped. After about a fortnight at Kastelli Private Carter was taken to Canea to work in a kitchen, and from there was transferred to the prison camp. Late one evening he waited for a column of trucks to pass the camp and, hidden in the dust, slipped out between two vehicles. Next day he reached Meskla, in the hills to the south, where fifteen men were in hiding. With another New Zealander he made his way across the island to Suia, on the south coast, where they met two Australians. They found a 16-foot boat in a dilapidated condition and set out with a favourable wind and a blanket as a sail. They had to bail continuously to keep the boat afloat, but after a voyage of ninety hours reached Sidi Barrani. While they were hauling the boat up onto the beach the gunwale broke away. Pte B. B. Carter, MM; Auckland; born New Zealand 23 Apr 1916; farmer; p.w. 30 May 1941; escaped 1 Jul 1941; wounded 27 Nov 1941.; Prisoners of War - Equally daring was the exploit of two Australians and two New Zealanders who at about this time left the south-west coast in a small open boat, which they rowed and sailed with a blanket sail to Sidi Barrani in 90 hours. Many of those who missed the submarine evacuations made their way in Greek vessels to the mainland of Greece. Greeks and Cretans were leaving the coast at night from the northern tip of Cape Spatha, and many British Commonwealth soldiers hearing of this made their way there, hid in caves, and joined the boatloads. In one such party a New Zealand sergeant reached the south-east coast of the Peloponnese and began to try and obtain a boat that would get them away. After many delays, disappointments, and narrow escapes from capture by Italian soldiers, this party of 17 embarked in a caique. The uncooperative Greek crew had to be overpowered and the New Zealander took command, sailing the vessel to North Africa. After avoiding enemy air attacks and surviving bombing by our own planes on the way across the Mediterranean, they ran out of fuel 20 miles from the coast. The leader of the party went ashore in a dinghy, arranged for fuel to be sent out, returned, and sailed the caique into Alexandria. Privates D. N. McQuarrie (18 Bn) and B. B. Carter (27 MG Bn). All four were awarded the MM.' (Source: Davin, D.M. Crete. p. 411.; Kay, R. 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. p. 116.; Mason, W.W. Prisoners of War. p. 69.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    13 October 1976 Public Source
  • Date of death
    10 or 13 October 1976 Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 28 October 2018 - grave plaque and Online cemetery database Pukekohe Cemetery, https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/cemeteries/Pages/RecordDetails.aspx?recordId=AFFA8B793D87A9D0F993016D1B45C3AE
  • Age at death
    60 Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 28 October 2018 - grave plaque
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    Pukekohe Cemetery, Wellington Street, Pukekohe, New Zealand Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 28 October 2018 - Personal visit
  • Grave reference
    Pukekohe Cemetery, Returned Services Area, Plot, Plot 176 Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 28 October 2018 - Online cemetery database Pukekohe Cemetery, https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/cemeteries/Pages/RecordDetails.aspx?recordId=AFFA8B793D87A9D0F993016D1B45C3AE
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East.' (London Gazette, 26 March 1942, p.1372.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35499/supplements/1372
      Further Reference
    • 'At the end of the campaign in GREECE Private Carter was in a reception station at Volos, waiting for the destroyers which finally took off most of the troops. Volunteers were called for to collect rations and he went down to Salamis by truck. The enemy began to attack heavily and he decided to walk to Corinth but gave up the idea and made for the coast. Here he met a British officer with a diesel boat who took him with his party to CRETE, where they landed at Kisamo. Private Carter was captured by the Germans on the coast of Kisamo, marched into the town and picked by a German officer to work in his kitchen. After a week they moved to Canes and then, a week later, the officer was sent back to Germany and he was put into the prison camp. At 10 p.m. on 1 July 1941 Private Carter escaped from the camp by waiting for a column of motor transport to pass and slipping out between trucks, hidden by their dust. He had with him a compass and a map of the island given to him by a Sergeant who had decided not to escape. On 2 July he reached Meskia where fifteen men were hiding. He and another NZ soldier made for the coast via Lakki and Omalo. They sailed from Suia with two Australians on 16 July and after 90 hours in a far from seaworthy craft reached Tobruk. They rowed part of the way and rigged a sail from a blanket for the rest. Private Carter showed ingenuity in his escape and bore his hardships with patience.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Carter, Brandon Birdwood. (Ref. WO 373/61/723). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7376579
      Further Reference
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 1: WW2 34 AWMM
    • Davin, D. (1953). Crete. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.411. AWMM
    • Kay, R. (1958). 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.116, 175. AWMM
    • Mason, W.W. (1954) Prisoners of war. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.69. AWMM

Contributors

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
28 October 2018SarndraAuckland, New ZealandResearcher

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