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

John McRae Brand

-
Headstone, Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya (photo B. Coutts, 2009) - This image may be subject to copyright

Headstone, Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya (photo B. Coutts, 2009) - This image may be subject to copyri …

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    John McRae AWMM
  • Surname
    Brand AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    10430 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

Contribute ›
  • Birth
    12 May 1909 AWMM InvercargillSouthland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM 102 Yarrow Street, Invercargill, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mr W.A. Hoban (step-brother), Roxburgh, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

Contribute ›
  • War
  • Campaign
    • Western Desert AWMM
    • Greece AWMM
    • 1941 Crete AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    10430 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

Contribute ›
  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      26 March 1942 AWMM
      'Private Brand was captured in CRETE on 1 June 1941 where he remained for six weeks working on gun emplacements near Maleme prior to being transferred to the prisoner-of-war camp at Selonika. He escaped from there after seven and a half weeks by tunnelling his way out with a bread knife. He hid in the hills, where the Greeks gave him clothes, and eventually reached Moneveron, from whence he made his way to the Turkish coast. Although Private Brand suffered many hardships these in no way daunted his spirit and determination to escape and on his return he brought back much valuable information.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Brand, John McRae. (Ref. WO 373/61/722). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and 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 in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

Contribute ›

Biographical information

Biographical information

Contribute ›
  • Private J. McR. Brand, MM; born Invercargill, 12 May 1909; labourer; killed in action 17 Dec 1942. (Source: Mason, W.W. Prisoners of War. p.81.)

    'In October a New Zealander and two companions rowed across the Aegean to Turkey in an open boat, a remarkable feat of daring and endurance. Two others, Brand and Buchanan, both escapers from Salonika, who had made their way to Agion Oros, seized a boat and put to sea on 30 October when they heard of a large German patrol coming to search the area. Their party of seven made the island of Imbros and reached Turkey on 10 November. Another party of seven, including four more New Zealanders from Salonika, also seized a boat about the same time, sailing to Lemnos and Imbros and reaching Turkey a day behind the others. Private J. McR. Brand (23 Bn), awarded MM, and Lance Corporal W. T. F. Buchanan (23 Bn); Buchanan won the MM in Tunisia in April 1943.; 23 Battalion - This sharp engagement at Nofilia was almost entirely a 23rd action. It enabled Colonel Romans, a leader of great courage and also a daring opportunist, to display some of the qualities for which he will always be remembered. The verve and gay enthusiasm with which he entered on the advance under fire and gave his shout of ‘Push on!’ were typical of the man. Those present long remembered Nofilia, not so much as a successful action but as one when the speed of the advance and the dash of all ranks were unexcelled. All ranks who knew Peter Norris mourned his death and in B Company they lamented the deaths of two of their finest soldiers—John Trotter, the CSM, who had led several bayonet charges at Alamein, and Private Jock Brand, who had recently been awarded the MM for his exploits in escaping from the Salonika prisoner-of-war camp and bringing back useful information from Greece. But as such engagements go, the 23rd escaped lightly with only twenty casualties. At a service conducted near the graves of the fallen, Brigadier Kippenberger spoke of the losses of ‘this good faithful battalion, the 23rd.’ Not without sacrifice was this reputation earned.' (Source: Mason, W.W. Prisoners of War. p. 81.; Ross, A. 23 Battalion. p. 223.) AWMM
Read more

Death

About death

Contribute ›
  • Death
    17 December 1942 AWMM
    Age 33 AWMM
    Western DesertNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya AWMM 12. E. 11. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

Contribute ›
  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember John McRae Brand by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of John McRae Brand

Leave a note

Contribute ›

Sources

Sources

Contribute ›
  • External links
    • 'The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East.' (London Gazette, 26 March 1942, p.1372.). Military Medal.
      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/35499/supplements/1372
      Further Reference
    • 'Private Brand was captured in CRETE on 1 June 1941 where he remained for six weeks working on gun emplacements near Maleme prior to being transferred to the prisoner-of-war camp at Selonika. He escaped from there after seven and a half weeks by tunnelling his way out with a bread knife. He hid in the hills, where the Greeks gave him clothes, and eventually reached Moneveron, from whence he made his way to the Turkish coast. Although Private Brand suffered many hardships these in no way daunted his spirit and determination to escape and on his return he brought back much valuable information.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Brand, John McRae. (Ref. WO 373/61/722). Military Medal.
      http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7376578
      Further Reference
    • Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
      https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/2168326
      Sources Used
  • References
    • Mason, W.W. (1954) Prisoners of war. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.81. AWMM
    • Ross, A. (1959). 23 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.223. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.23 AWMM

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.