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John Ross Cromarty Angus

Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War II Hall of Memories Panel  A_007. Image taken June 2020.

Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War II Hall of Memories Panel A_007. Image taken June 2020.

© Auckland Museum CC BY AWMM


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Ross Cromarty AWMM
  • Surname
    Angus AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    33389 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    20 February 1916 Noel Smith Research Project
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM c/o J.M. Monckton, Patutahi, Gisborne, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr J.W. Angus (father), 5 Playfair Terrace, St Andrews, Scotland AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Western Desert AWMM
    • Libya AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    33389 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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
    Killed on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of J. W. Angus and of Mary I. B. Angus (nee Cromarty), of Aberdeen, Scotland

    Two good maps of the action of 25 Battalion between 23 and 27 November 1941 can be seen on pages 104 and 139 of the Official History of 25 Battalion by Edward Puttick. The Battalion was taking part in the Second Libyan Campaign when Private Angus was killed near Sidi Rezegh. Details of the New Zealanders movements are recorded in detail from 3 am on 23 November. The force had been on the move until 8 pm the previous evening and was ordered to be ready to move again at 3 am. At 6 am, just before dawn, they halted for breakfast. "...everyone was busy preparing a meal in which hot tea would occupy pride of place and innumerable small fires sprang up all around. At 6.30 am when the visibility had increased to about 300 yards, a column of armoured cars, staff cars, lorried infantry and towed anti-tank guns appeared, unobserved of course by the majority of the men, whose first intimation of anything amiss was the sudden, startling roar of our artillery and anti-tank guns, firing at point-blank range.' Described by Lance Sergeant Huss of 13 Platoon C Company - 'Nov. 23 started with an early brush with ... the staff echelon of some Panzer outfit. This approached us in the half-light ... just before dawn. An artillery despatch-rider was sent across to investigate and when, having identified the Germans at uncomfortably-close quarters, he swung his motor bike about and came hurtling back, everything started to happen. Our artillery opened up at point blank range and had most of the enemy vehicles in flames in a matter of minutes.'

    On orders from Brigadier Barrowclough Point 175 was attacked with the intention of capturing and holding it. The timing of the attach left little opportunity for detailed instructions to be given, meagre information regarding the enemy was available and the countryside was such that there were few options except to proceed with orthodox attack formation.

    'This operation was the battalion's first desert battle and in fact its first attack, and that the majority of the officers and other ranks had had little battle experience, it is remarkable that the battalion succeeded to the extent that it did.'

    'It did in fact capture and hold Hill 175, though it did not capture the whole of the objective beyond the cairn and was forced to give up that part of the further objective captured by D and C Companies. Twenty-fifth Battalion's casualties in this very severe battle were extremely heavy, the dead alone probably exceeding 100 and the wounded about 150, the heaviest casualties in dead and wounded of any similar battalion action by New Zealand troops in the whole war. Another 100 were captured.' (pp 133ff of 25 Battalion by E. Puttick)

    It appears that Private Angus had the same serial number as Lance Corporal Robert Lines. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    23 November 1941 AWMM
    Age 25 AWMM
    Western DesertNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya AWMM 6. H. 15. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Gisborne First World War Memorial, The Esplanade, Kaiti, Gisborne AWMM

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  • External links
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
    Sources Used
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.15 AWMM
    • Puttick, E. (1960). 25 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • This record was partially completed by information provided by Noel George Smith (2020-2021). AWMM

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