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John Robert McGruther

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright AWMM


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Robert AWMM
  • Surname
    McGruther AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Jock McGruther AWMM
  • Service number
    2699 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • Unknown AWMM Pirongia, Waikato, New Zealand AWMM
    • Unknown AWMM Pirongia, via Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mr John McGruther (father), Pirongia, via Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mr John McGruther (father), Pirongia, Waikato, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 5 January 1940 AWMM Single AWMM
    • Pre 1944 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Greece AWMM
    • 1941 AWMM
      World War 2/wars AWMM
      Crete AWMM
    • Italy AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    2699 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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  • John McGruther was the son of Mr John McGruther, of Te Awamutu.

    Jock McGruther attended King's College (St John's House) from 1929 to 1934. He was Head Boy and a member of the rugby team and was subsequently on the teaching staff of King's School.

    He was commissioned in the 1st Echelon and served in Greece and Crete. He was wounded and invalided back to New Zealand in 1941. He returned to serve on the instructional staff of NMDSI at Narrow Neck in January 1942 where he remained until the end of 1943 with the rank of Captain. He was chief instructor when he left and returned to the fighting front in January 1944, having taken a drop in rank to Lieutenant. He soon regained his captaincy and was almost immediately promoted to Temporary Major.

    Jock was killed in action at Monte Camurcina (south west of Florence).

    At this point in the war the 2 New Zealand Division was attempting to dislodge the enemy which was standing firm south of Arezzo in order to delay the advance up the Arno valley. In June 24 Battalion had advanced through Sora and Captain McGruther, commanding C Company, had occupied a castle dominating Sora. In July 2 New Zealand Division joined the concentration of forces in the push north. By 13 July C Company was moving forward towards Monte Camurcina, half-way between Lignano and Cavadenti and Major McGruther installed his advanced company headquarters in a house near the summit of Mt Camurcina. On the morning of 14 July the headquarters was being heavily mortared from about 7 am. Shortly before 10 am Major McGruther was badly wounded by shellfire. Sergeant Thompson promptly came up from the RAP to carry him out, only to find on arrival that he had died in the meantime. The second-in-command, Captain Casling-Cottle, took over the company. [Official History of 24 Battalion, by R.M. Burdon, p. 265] AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    14 July 1944 AWMM
    Age 29 AWMM
    ItalyEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Assisi War Cemetery, Italy AWMM VI.G.1. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Auckland Domain, an Olive Tree (Olea europaea) planted close to the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the grounds of the Auckland Domain commemorates those who fought on Crete in 1941. AWMM

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 1: WW2 112 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 13 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1944 to 31st March, 1944). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 13: WW2 76 AWMM
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Burdon, R. (1959). p.257, 263, 265 AWMM
    • King's courier. Auckland, N.Z.: King's College. AWMM
      Tribute. (2009). King's Courier, No 113, Autumn, p. 26 AWMM