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

David Spencer Finlayson

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

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


  • Title
  • Forenames
    David Spencer AWMM
  • Surname
    Finlayson AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 800323 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1940 AWMM 6 Hanover Street, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs L.M. Finlayson, Croydon House, 22 Hill Street, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›

Military decorations

Contribute ›

Training and Enlistment

Contribute ›
  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 1940 AWMM Reporter/Civilian AWMM
    DunedinOtago AWMM
  • 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
    Killed on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
  • David Finlayson was the son of Robert Finlayson and Margot Finlayson (nee Spencer). He was the husband of Marjorie Olive Innes Finlayson of Feilding, Wellington.

    David Finlayson attended King's College, Auckland from 1933-36 and was a School Prefect in School House. He was the editor of the school magazine and later worked on the reporting staff of the Otago Daily Times.

    He enlisted in 1940 and served on a coastal defence unit for Fanning Island and was later commissioned for service in Tonga. He resigned his commission in favour of service in the Middle East.

    On 24 November 1944 22 Battalion was taken by Fourth Reserve Motor Transport Company's three-tonners away from Fabriano to the north to relieve a British unit on the Lamone River. Their new position was north east of the newly captured town of Forli. The next move was to capture Faenza, which was achieved before Christmas. The Germans were in a strong position, well fortified in Ronco and the advance was slow. The battalion was charged, together with 23 Battalion on their left and the Gurkhas on the right, with clearing the Germans across the river. On 26 November they were patroling the river and its banks when they penetrated a stopbank and were driven back by strong fire and grenades. It appears that Private Finlayson died in this action. AWMM
Read more


About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    26 November 1944 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    ItalyEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Faenza War Cemetery, Italy AWMM Plot I, Row C, Grave 15 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember David Spencer Finlayson by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of David Spencer Finlayson

Leave a note

Contribute ›
  • David Spencer Finlayson made a sound recording while in New Zealand on leave in 1942. He had returned from coast-watch duty on Fanning Island (part of Kiribati) via Hawaii and had seen Pearl Harbour shortly before - and just after the Japanese attack of 7th Dec 1941. You can hear his recording online here:
    Public - Sarah - Researcher - 6 December 2016



Contribute ›
  • External links
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
    Sources Used
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 10 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1943 to 31st March, 1943). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.27 AWMM
    • Henderson, J. (1958). 22 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Nominal rolls - Disembarkation T-force [WW2 Tonga Force Disembarkation Roll], Archives NZ, Wellington, AAYS 8638 AD1/1428 (R22440224) AWMM
    • Gillespie, O. (1952). The Pacific. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
09 March 2022Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher
06 December 2016SarahChristchurchResearcher

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.