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Thomas Ross Berghan

Portrait photograph of Private Thomas Ross Berghan 29562, at 21 years of age. Image kindly provided by Penelope Hansen (December 2017). Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait photograph of Private Thomas Ross Berghan 29562, at 21 years of age. Image kindly provided …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Thomas Ross AWMM
  • Surname
    Berghan AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    29562 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 June 1919 Public source
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM 116 Arawa St, Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs F.L. McArthur (mother), 116 Arawa St, Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Western Desert AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    29562 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Private Berghan was the son of Sydney Bourke Berghan, and of Frances L. Berghan, of Rotorua, New Zealand. AWMM
    • This is his last letter to his brother, Trevor Berghan, my father. It must have been written between August 1941 when my father was married, and November 1941 when my uncle, Tom Berghan died.

      Written on four very light, lined sheets of paper provided by the


      Associated with the
      following Churches:ON ACTIVE SERVICE
      Badge ofWrite home first
      Presbyterian YMCA 29562Pte T. R. Berghan
      Methodist NZ“A” Coy.
      Baptist 21st Auck. Btn
      Congregational N.Z.E.F.
      Roman Catholic MiddleEastF???
      Jewish Congregations

      Dear Trev,
      At last I have aroused myself from my usual state of lethargy to write to yours.
      First of all how does it feel to be sporting two pips and returning a salute now and again to members of the “common ‘erd”.
      So the Berghan McIntosh alliance went off smoothly – amid bottle of beer, or did you get reckless and sport the guests champagne. Anyway fellah I wish you and Daphne the best of luck etc. May you have many lusty sons; not enough for a football team but enough to make up the back line of same. The newspaper snap flattered you a little, did it not?
      At present we are well up the desert living in dugouts which are quite comfortable with the aid of a few sacks and benzine tins. Our allowance of water is a quart a day so there is no such thing as a bath at night before retiring to the desert. The sea is only about three miles away so a swim goes pretty well when one feels like an advertisment for lifebouy soap.
      I am dying to get a game of football as I am pretty fit. From present indications we haven’t much show. All the good cricketers and footballers are in base. From your football write-ups lately, your football has slipped; about time you gave the game best ???? as you are getting on now your responsibilities are much heavier with a wife.
      Have you given Joyce’s prospective the once over yet? I’d hate to see the kid strike a crook egg as she and I are such good cobbers.
      Your remark about the harem is entirely uncalled for – I wouldn’t soil my virginal purity in this country for a thousand – its lousy and I never did like bought love – price 4/- a time.
      I wished to hell I’d joined the Air Force now – I would probably have been a German bee???by now but there is a certain amount of individuality called for which is not necessary nor wanted in the army.
      Well old pal I will close now wishing you a premature but nevertheless sincere Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

      From your Pal

      P.S. Give my kindest regards to Daphne.

      Letter must have been written around Sept/Oct 1941 although no date on the letter. Trevor and Daphne were married in August 1941 and Tom died in Nov 1941 in the battle of Sidi Rezegh. What a waste. Except that Hitler was in the end stopped. And without these soldiers and their sacrifice I’m not sure how he would have been stopped. Public - Penelope - Other Relative - 11 June 2015 - I have the actual letter my uncle wrote - i.e. family archive.
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About death

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  • Death
    23 November 1941 AWMM
    Age 22 AWMM
    Sidi RezeghWestern Desert AWMM
  • 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
    • Alamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Rotorua Citizens War Memorial (World War 2) AWMM
    • Rotorua Boys' High School War Memorial Hall Public - Kevin James - 6 December 2017 - Roll of Honour

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • References
    • 21 Battalion (Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
      Auckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMM
    • Northland roll of honour and servicemen of WW II [electronic resource]. (2002). Whangarei, N.Z.: Returned Services Association. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 4 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1941 to 30 June, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 4 AWMM
    • Auckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
06 December 2017Kevin JamesRotoruaOther
02 December 2017PenelopeAucklandOther relative
02 December 2017Penelope JaneAucklandOther relative
11 June 2015Penelope Auckland Other Relative

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