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John Laurence Bickerdike

Chapel King's College Otahuhu. CC BY John Halpin 2014.

Chapel King's College Otahuhu. CC BY John Halpin 2014.


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Laurence AWMM
  • Surname
    Bickerdike AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Bickerdyke AWMM
    • John Lawrance AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 36266 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    11 February 1919 AWMM ChristchurchCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Senior-Sergeant J. Bickerdike (father), Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 Parents: Senior Sergeant and Mrs J. Bickerdike, 12 St. John Street, Nelson AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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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 on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Pilot Officer Bickerdike was the son of James and Monica Laura Bickerdike, of Nelson, New Zealand.

    He attended King's Preparatory School and King's College. At King's College (1934-37) he was a member of Parnell House and had a prominent sporting career, being a member of the XV and cricket XI.

    He belonged to Canterbury Aero Club.

    He accepted a short-term commission in the RAF April 1939, and transferred fully to the Royal Air Force in April 1940.

    Whilst attached to 85 Squadron at Debden he was involved in an operation to protect convoy 'Booty' against an approaching raid by a large force of DO 17s and HE 111s on July 12 1940. The section intercepted the bombers before they could disperse. In his first encounter with the Luftwaffe Bickerdike attacked one in his Hurricane and sent it down in flames into the sea.

    Lost his life in the Battle of Britain

    His surname is spelled Bickerdyke in New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force. Portrait in Wynn, K. (1981).

    Attended King's College, Auckland (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845607)) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    22 July 1940 AWMM
    Age 21 AWMM
    DebdenEngland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Wimbish (All Saints) Churchyard, Essex, England AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death reported: New Zealand Herald, 25 July 1940 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Wynn, K. (1981). A clasp for "The Few". Auckland. N.Z.: Author. AWMM
      p. 21-22 AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      vol. 3 p. 89 AWMM
    • Thompson, H. (1956). New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vols. 1-3). Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • The King's collegian AWMM
      1941, p.52 AWMM
    • Weekly News AWMM
      21 February 1940 AWMM
    • Weekly News AWMM
      31 July 1940 p. 34 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death. (1940, July 25). New Zealand Herald, p. 8. AWMM
    • Wynn, K. (1989). Men of the Battle of Britain. Norwich, England: Gliddon Books. AWMM
    • Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (2012). New Zealanders serving with RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, 10 July – 31 October 1940. [A list compiled by Ministry for Culture and Heritage with Errol Martyn]. AWMM
    • RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939 - 1945 (Bound Volumes) - Ab - B. Archives New Zealand (R17845607) - Former archives reference: AIR118 AWMM
    • Please note that the 12 volumes of the "RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Biographies of Deceased Personnel 1939-1945" held at Archives NZ (formerly known as AIR118) should be used in conjunction with Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow". FYT reflects detailed examination of all of the AIR118 bios which contain many inaccuracies and omissions. AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Personnel Killed or Missing in Various Theatres, 1940 - 1945. [(New Zealanders Attached to R.A.F. [Royal Air Force]) (Officers), (Europe) - Airmen]. Archives New Zealand (R17845744) AWMM
    • List of RNZAF [Royal New Zealand Air Force] Personnel - List of Deceased New Zealanders (Formerly) serving with RAF [Royal Air Force]. Archives New Zealand, Wellington (R17845760). AWMM


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
19 July 2021KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher
09 June 2020Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
26 April 2020DavidRadwinter, UKResearcher

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