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Maurice Keith O'Brien

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Maurice Keith AWMM
  • Surname
    O'Brien AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    All Irish AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 29412 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    19 September 1919 AWMM ParnellAuckland City AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM 39 Grotto Street, Te Papapa, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs E.A. O'Brien (mother), 39 Grotto St, Te Papapa, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1940 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 29412 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Papakura Camp -Infantry Training (2 weeks duration) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM
    Age 20 AWMM
    Cannister maker/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

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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  • Son of Francis O'Brien and of Eily Anne O'Brien (nee Yearbury), of Auckland City, New Zealand

    At dawn on the 26 March the two infantry brigades lay well concealed on their start lines with both flanks secured. The attack was planned to take place at 4 pm by which time the armoured division would be in readiness. The 8th Armoured Brigade with each of its three tank regiments leading one of the infantry battalions, would cross the Roman Wall as the barrage came down on its opening lines, and would then move behind the barrage with heavy tanks in the lead, followed by light tanks, after which would come infantry carriers. The infantry would follow on behind the armour as it crossed their start lines and make for the first objective which lay 2000 yards ahead along a line running at right angles to the El Hamma road. The final objective was 3000 yards beyond the first, along the line of the Wadi Hernel and beyond the summit of the pass. The El Hamma road was the right boundary of 24 Battalion's advance, and its point of contact with 23 Battalion's left. On 6 Brigade's western flank, 25 Battalion was to give supporting fire to the advancing troops, and also assist the Divisional Cavalry in mopping up the Djebel Tebaga foothills. The 1st Armoured Division would move up the rear of the assaulting lines, pass through the New Zealand Corps on its final objective at dawn and wait there till the moon rose soon after 11pm before going on to capture El Hamma.

    A dust-storm was blowing on the morning of 26 March, but it abated to some extent after midday and the air cleared. This was fortunate as a concentrated air attack was to be made on enemy lines half an hour before zero by fighter pilots and tank-busters. Tanks of 8 Armoured Brigade lay concealed in wadis and behind spurs on the high ground to the right and left. Under a continual rain of fine blown sand the men of the 24 Battalion had to lie in close, as their trenches were on an open flat. Gradually the day wore on, and early in the afternoon the period of suspension merged into one of sustained action. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    26 March 1943 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    TunisiaNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia AWMM XI. E. 9 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Onehunga War Memorial Swimming Pool, Jellicoe Park (off Quadrant Road), Park Gardens, Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

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