condensed discuss document expanded export feedback print share remove reset document_white enquire_white export_white report_white

James Smith Watt Frew



  • Title
  • Forenames
    James Smith Watt AWMM
  • Surname
    Frew AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    Vietnam 15854 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
    31 October 1932 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›

Military decorations

Contribute ›
  • Medals and Awards
    • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) AWMM
      NZ Gazette Number 37 dated 26 June 1969 CITATION Surgeon Commander Frew entered the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Probationary Surgeon Lieutenant in 1956 having previously served for some years in the Indian Army. He transferred to the permanent list in 1960 and has continued to serve the Navy in a most loyal and conscientious manner throughout his service. He is a reliable, painstaking and hard-working medical officer having the welfare of the sailor at heart and has made a particularly worthwhile contribution in the fields of Service hygiene and health discipline. From 1960 to 1962 he served in HMNZS Royalist, not only maintaining a well organised and efficient medical department, but willingly and cheerfully accepting other ship’s duties and organising entertainment and recreational activities for the ship’s company. In September 1967 he was posted to command the New Zealand Services Medical Team serving in Vietnam and during his period in command displayed his ability not only as a medical officer, but as an administrator under the most difficult conditions of service. During this period the Services Medical Team, under his leadership accomplished a fantastic volume of hospital and clinical work thus alleviating much suffering among the people of this war-ravaged country, and bringing great credit to New Zealand in the eyes of the Vietnamese Government and the population generally. On his return to New Zealand Surgeon Commander Frew presented a report in meticulous detail covering every aspect of the team’s activities and this report has proved of great value to the Ministry of Defence in its planning of the future requirements and role of the Services Medical Team in Vietnam. AWMM
    • New Zealand Operational Service Medal AWMM
    • Vietnam Medal AWMM
    • Medical Medal (Public Health) 1st Class AWMM

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›
  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


Contribute ›

Prisoner of war

Contribute ›
  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

Contribute ›
  • Medical notes

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
  • Husband of Wendy

    Served in RNZN as Surgeon 1956-1972.

    OStJ, Y te Boi Tin (South Vietnan) ex NZSMT SVN.

    Served in Operation Grapple on HMNZS Rotoiti from 11.3.1957 to 18.7.1957. AWMM


About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    23 July 2012 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
    Age 89 AWMM
    Beach HavenAuckland Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    North Shore Memorial Park and Crematorium (Schnapper Rock), Albany, North Shore City, New Zealand AWMM Ashes Taken AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 25 July 2012 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember James Smith Watt Frew by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of James Smith Watt Frew

Leave a note

Contribute ›



Contribute ›
  • External links
  • References
    • Taylor, A. (1998). The New Zealand roll of honour : New Zealanders who have served their country in peace and war : 150 years, 1845-1995. Auckland, N.Z.: Roll of Honour Publications. AWMM
    • Taylor, A. (1998). The New Zealand roll of honour : New Zealanders who have served their country in peace and war : 150 years, 1845-1995. Auckland, N.Z.: Roll of Honour Publications. AWMM
      Taylor, A. (1998). p.402 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death Notice: New Zealand Herald, 25 July 2012 AWMM
    • This record was created from Operation Grapple research by Arthur Venus and Gerry Wright and kindly provided by Gerry Wright (2021). AWMM
    • Wright, G. C. (2007). We were there : Operation Grapple : the story of New Zealand's involvement in the British nuclear weapons tests at Christmas Island 1957-58. [Auckland, N.Z : Gerry Wright] AWMM
    • Borneo HMNZS Royalist 1965 Crew List. Kindly provided by Gerry Wright (2021). AWMM
    • Black, E. A. (n.d.). N.Z. armed forces honours & awards : Korea, Malaya, South Vietnam, 1950-1972. Wellington, N.Z.: Defence Headquarters. AWMM

The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

Creative Commons LicenseOnline Cenotaph Data by Auckland War Memorial Museum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.