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Clifford John Ewing

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright
Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be sub … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Clifford John AWMM
  • Surname
    Ewing AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Spike AWMM
  • Service number
    9046 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    10 April 1916 AWMM WanakaCentral Otago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 5 September 1939 AWMM 15 DRD, Five Forks, Oamaru, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr H.J. Ewing (father), 15 DRD, Five Forks, Oamaru, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 5 January 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • 1941 AWMM
      World War 2/wars AWMM
      Crete AWMM
    • Greece AWMM
    • North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    9046 AWMM
  • Military service
    None AWMM
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    1 months training at Burnham and subsequently in the Middle East. AWMM
  • Enlistment
    WW2 5 September 1939 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    Farmer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • WW2
      Sidi Rezegh, Western Desert AWMM
      28 Nov 1941-May 1945 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Benghazi AWMM
      1 December 1941 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Capua, Chiavri, Torvacosa, Italy AWMM
      Jan 1942-Sep 1943 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Markt, Pongau, Austria AWMM
      1943-1945 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Salonike 8B 714 ER. 18A 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
      Germany, Europe 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 1 May 1945 AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    WWII 7896 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Dental, Unknown Period AWMM
      False teeth AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Shrapnel wounds to face and hands, treated in hospital in Cairo AWMM
    • Died of Sickness, Cause of Death AWMM
      Died from complications following an operation for repair of aortic aneurism AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Enlisted 5/6 September 1939

    Cliff Ewing was a good pianist and the following details about a piano accordian were supplied by his wife: 'Pope Pius XII gave gifts to all POW camps in Italy. While Cliff was at Camp 107 at Torvacosa in north Italy a papal delegation arrived. It was expected and the men were told to be on their best behaviour. They presented a clock, stamp albums with the papal emblem on them, and musical instruments including 2 piano accordians. The Italian guards immediately took one of the accordians. Cliff was a good pianist and he was about the only man in the camp to play the accordian. When Italy capitulated in 1943 and the men were taken over by the Germans, the senior Allied Officer in the camp said to Cliff, "you take that accordian with you and look after it. That is an order!" They took it through all the camps in Austria and on the trek across Austria the men two at a time carried it, slung on a pole, to England, and back to New Zealand. It was in our home for many years, in poor condition and we were unable to get parts for it. Cliff eventually decided it should go to the Army Museum at Waiouru, after consulting the men still living who had helped carry it. It was donated to the museum in October 1982 and is now in the POW display cabinet there.'

    Battle of El Mreir. During 1941 and 1942 North Africa was the scene of much military activity as the war raged in Egypt, Syria and Libya.In the Western Desert the 7th Armoured Division was being re-equipped and preparations were being made for a fresh drive westwards to recapture Cyrenaica and relieve Tobruk.As a result of the fighting during May, the Germans established themselves at the Halfaya Pass, which they proceeded to prepare for defence. Although the two armoured brigades of the 7th Armoured Division were both lacking one regiment, and although they were equipped with different types of tanks whose actions could not easily be co-ordinated, an offensive was launched on 15 June 1941.One column advanced along the coast towards Sollum, while a second, climbing the escarpment to the south, moved along it, occupied Capuzzo and was intended to take Halfaya with the aid of the coastal force.A third column still farther south was to protect the left flank and threaten the rear and supply columns of the Axis armies.On 15 and 16 June progress was fairly satisfactory, although neither Sollum nor Halfaya was taken;but on 17 a critical situation developed, when strong enemy columns advanced southwards from Bardia and eastwards from south-west of Capuzzo, from Sidi Omar. Operations came to a standstill for some months following this brief sally, recommencing in November. The early strages of the battle were fought out between 30th Corps and the German and Italian armoured forces in the vicinity of Sidi Rezegh, south-east of Tobruk, on the desert track known as the Trigh Capuzzo. The New Zealand Division and the Tobruk garrison had been making headway in the vicinity of Sidi Rezegh. On the night of 25/26 November the New Zealand Division captured that much-disputed point, and the following night saw the first contact between the Tobruk garrison and the Eighth Army.This had caused the Germans to call back their armour from its thrust into Egypt, and by the afternoon of the 28th it was obvious that the positions held by the New Zealand Division would be strongly assaulted.The expected attack came the following day, and as a result the Sidi Rezegh ridge fell once more into the hands of the Germans, the 6 New Zealand Brigade being overwhelmed by superior numbers on 30 November. The New Zealand Division had by now suffered very heavy casualties and was withdrawn to the Egyptian frontier which it reached on 2 December. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    22 January 1992 AWMM
    Age 76 AWMM
    DunedinOtago AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Oamaru Lawn Cemetery, Roxby Street, Oamaru, Waitaki District, New Zealand AWMM Block 515 Plot 78 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: Otago Daily Times

    Death notice: Timaru Herald

    Death notice: Christchurch Press AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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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 56 AWMM
    • Otago Daily Times AWMM
      Death notice: Otago Daily Times AWMM
    • The Christchurch Press AWMM
      Death notice: Christchurch Press AWMM
    • Timaru Herald AWMM
      Death notice: Timaru Herald AWMM
    • Great Britain Army. (1945). Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. London, U.K.: Government Printer. AWMM
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