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John Christian Farnham


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Christian AWMM
  • Surname
    Farnham AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    2105 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    21 April 1909 AWMM New PlymouthTaranaki AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Ruakaka AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs E.V. Farnham (mother), One Tree Point, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    2105 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    21 June 1945 AWMM
    The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Farnham, John Christian. (Ref. WO 373/12/661). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM Farmer/Civilian AWMM
    WhangareiNorthland 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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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • WO II J. C. Farnham, MM, m.i.d.; Awanui, Northland; born New Plymouth, 21 Apr 1909; farmer; three times wounded. (Source: Cody, J.F. NZ Engineers, Middle East. p.106.)

    'Colonel Kippenberger, describing the catastrophe from the rear of the column, wrote:

    ‘… we received a particularly determined attack from the plane and we were forced to halt and take cover. I noticed that there seemed to be more fire than one would expect from a single plane attacking and then saw that one truck was ablaze about 500 yards ahead of me, and ahead of it again and about the road junction was a medium tank which I recognised as German, and I also saw another tank shooting in a southerly direction from a point about 500 yards north of the cross roads and quite close to where I stood on the road…. two or three planes were now attacking the road and the sappers both with bombs and machine guns and making it very difficult to get a clear view of what was happening.’ Sapper Jack Farnham was among those who were cut off. ‘I was in Corporal Brian Lockett's truck well back in the convoy,’ he says, ‘and when we came under fire Corporal Lockett gave the order to try and get out on foot. Most of us were in a valley at the time and owing to many engineers not having had much infantry training quite a number went up over the hill side which made them a target for the MG's.’

    Farnham went in another direction, and tried to capture a tank by climbing on to it and looking for a hole to fire his pistol through. There were no apertures open so he dived into the scrub and later joined Colonel Kippenberger, who with half a dozen others was making for gunfire noises which he thought came from 20 Battalion rearguard in action. In all approximately forty sappers failed to escape from the German ambush, the first severe engineer loss in the war.' (Source: Cody, J.F. NZ Engineers, Middle East. p. 106.) AWMM
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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



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • 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 56 AWMM
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.106. AWMM

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