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William John Cattanach

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    William John AWMM
  • Surname
    Cattanach AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    7820 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    18 March 1918 AWMM New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM C/o G. Campbell, Upper Hutt, Wellingyon, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs P. McCarthy (mother), Box 8, Upper Hutt, Wellington, 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
    7820 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    28 January 1943 AWMM
    'Corporal (Temporary Lance Sergeant) Cattanach served with a machinegun platoon in a forward position at MITEIRIYA RIDGE, Egypt. On 24 October 1942 his platoon was sited among a row of tanks, which drew heavy enemy fire. In order to bring fire to bear on enemy targets it became necessary for him to move on a very exposed position from time to time. Even when wounded by an enemy sniper he continued about his duties coolly and efficiently and in spite of his wound eventually silenced the sniper with accurate rifle fire. Throughout the action he exhibited great courage and disregard of danger while exposed to heavy enemy fire.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Cattanach, William John. (Ref. WO 373/23/441). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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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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  • Lance Sergeant W. J. Cattanach, MM; born NZ 18 Mar 1918; tailor; wounded 19 Oct 1944. (Source: Kay, R. 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. p.289.)

    'The following night (the 27th–28th) the New Zealanders were relieved by the South Africans on Miteiriya Ridge and went back into reserve at Alam Onsol, about 15 miles to the rear, where they made up for the lack of sleep and the strain of the last four days and five nights.

    In the fighting on Miteiriya Ridge ten machine-gunners had been killed and eleven wounded—not many casualties if compared with the losses at Sidi Rezegh and in other desert battles. This might be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that the fighting had been less mobile. The German armour did not get the chance to counter-attack as it had done at Sidi Rezegh, Ruweisat and El Mreir. Also the troops had better knowledge of what they were to do—information had been passed right down to platoons before the battle. On Miteiriya Ridge Gardiner won the only DSO awarded to a NZ machine-gun officer in the Second World War, Halkett and Beard the MC, and Cattanach, Black and Forsyth the MM.' (Source: Kay, R. 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. p. 289.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • 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
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East.' (London Gazette, 28 January 1943, p.526.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35879/supplements/526
      Further Reference
    • 'Corporal (Temporary Lance Sergeant) Cattanach served with a machinegun platoon in a forward position at MITEIRIYA RIDGE, Egypt. On 24 October 1942 his platoon was sited among a row of tanks, which drew heavy enemy fire. In order to bring fire to bear on enemy targets it became necessary for him to move on a very exposed position from time to time. Even when wounded by an enemy sniper he continued about his duties coolly and efficiently and in spite of his wound eventually silenced the sniper with accurate rifle fire. Throughout the action he exhibited great courage and disregard of danger while exposed to heavy enemy fire.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Cattanach, William John. (Ref. WO 373/23/441). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7360649
      Further Reference
  • References
    • 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
    • Kay, R. (1958). 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.284, 287, 289. AWMM
    • Kay, R. (1958). 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM

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