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Donald Ernest Harkness

Portrait of Donald Harkness in uniform with DSC ribbon - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait of Donald Harkness in uniform with DSC ribbon - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Donald Ernest AWMM
  • Surname
    Harkness AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI PI 37707 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1894 AWMM New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW1 18 Van Diemen Street, Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW1 Mr George Alexander Harkness (father), 18 Van Diemen Street, Nelson, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1926 AWMM Single/WWI AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    1914-1919 Western Front AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
  • Service number
    WWI PI 37707 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) AWMM
    Awarded Distinguished Service Cross "For valuable services rendered for bombing German Zeppelin sheds in Brussels". London Gazette Issue 29736 published on the 5 September 1916. Page 2 AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Royal Air Force, Hendon AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    The Netherlands (Holland), Europe AWMM
    17 September 1916 AWMM
    Crash landed near the coast of Zeeland, Holland about a mile from Westkapella, in the direction of Flushing and interned on 17 September 1916 while on RNAS bombing raid. AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Accidental Death, Cause of Death AWMM
    Drowning as a result of an aeroplane crash AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of George Alexander Harkness and Mary Blanche Harkness. Husband of Lucetta Marguritte Harkness (nee Koster), married 1926.

    [ A Nelson Airman interned in Holland. Colonist, Volume LVIII, Issue 14255, 9 November 1916, Page 4.] Although no official statement has been issued, there is no doubt that the airman who was unfortunate enough to have to descend in Dutch territory, and will consequently be interned for the period of the war, is the young New Zealander, Lieutenant Donald Ernest Harkness, D.S.C., R.N.A.S., son of Mr G. A. Harkness, of Nelson (writes the London correspondent of the "Post"). Lieutenant Harkness had done a good deal of air raiding over the enemy posts in Belgium, and it was for his attack on the airship sheds at Berchem St. Agathe, on August 9th, that he got the D.S.C. Following Flight- Lieutenant Collett, who also got the Cross, Lieutenant Harkness could not descend so low owing to the anti-aircraft fire, which had now got the range, but he dropped, some of his bombs on the shed at Evere, and then proceeded to St. Agathe. On Sunday a squadron of eight naval aeroplanes carried out a further attack on the aerodrome at St. Denis Westrem. There were eight aeroplanes, and after the attack watchers in Holland saw one drifting northward at a considerable height above the sea - it finally landed on Dutch territory, near West Kapelle, with a damaged motor having been heavily bombarded from Zeebrugge. A message from Amsterdam says that Lieutenant Harkness was slightly wounded, and the official report, says:—"One of our machines was obliged to make a forced landing in. Holland, and the pilot has been interned." AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    12 December 1929 AWMM
    Age 34 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM Block E Row 38 Plot 082A AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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