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Kenneth James O'Brien


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Kenneth James AWMM
  • Surname
    O'Brien AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    1382 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 May 1917 AWMM New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Aniseed, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr H.J. O'Brien (father), Aniseed, 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
    1382 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    31 December 1942 AWMM
    The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for OBrien, Kenneth James. (Ref. WO 373/22/283). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and 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

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Sergeant K. J. O'Brien, MM; Lower Hutt; born NZ 9 May 1917; tunneller; wounded 16 Aug 1942. (Source: Cody, J.F. NZ Engineers, Middle East. p.294.)

    'The Ariete Division did not, as a matter of interest, come that way, but the pressure exerted against the inland enemy flank drew active retaliation from the enemy air force. Two 7 Field Company trucks were damaged, one a write-off, and there were two casualties, one fatal.

    In the midst of these moves and counter-moves 5 Field Park Company built a PW cage for some 350 guests from the Ariete Division; the Company did not have to provide guards, for which there was gratitude—after the experience at Sidi Rezegh it was not a popular occupation. During the afternoon a subsection (Lieutenant Murray Scott) escorted by a platoon from 19 Battalion had the interesting job of destroying enemy guns and vehicles on the late Ariete-NZ battleground. The Italians still had sufficient fire power to make work dangerous around what the Kiwi gunners had left after taking their pick of forty-four field guns, including five of our own 25-pounders, sundry vehicles and equipment captured in the encounter. Sergeant O'Brien searched the two square miles of battlefield and was awarded an MM for his courage and devotion to duty. The guns were destroyed by stuffing the muzzles with explosive and igniting it from a safe distance, while vehicles were dealt with by detonating a slab of gun-cotton against the engine. Trucks that were still runners made a welcome addition to the NZ transport.' (Source: Cody, J.F. NZ Engineers, Middle East. p. 294.) 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 135 AWMM
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.294. AWMM

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