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Astley Bernard Cottrell

Portrait of Second-Lieutenant A.B. Cottrell, of Auckland, awarded the M.C. Auckland Weekly News, 8 April 1942. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19420408-24-30. Image has no known copyright restrictions.
Portrait of Second-Lieutenant A.B. Cottrell, of Auckland, aw … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Astley Bernard AWMM
  • Surname
    Cottrell AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 20514 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    25 March 1915 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Unknown AWMM 167 Ranolf Street, Rotorua, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Pre 01 Apr 1940-30 June 1940 AWMM Married/WWII AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Cross (MC) AWMM
    19 March 1942 AWMM
    The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Cottrell, Astley Bernard. (Ref. WO 373/19/400). Military Cross. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 Carrier/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Capt A. B. Cottrell, MC; Bay of Plenty; born Rotorua, 25 Mar 1915; carrier. (Source: Bates, P.W. Supply Company. p.155.)

    'The tank escort was at last found at 62 FSD. With some tanks on transporters and others ranged along the flanks, the group moved forward in moonlight. Now and then the convoy would halt, tanks would disappear for a short while, fire a few shots, and movement would resume.
    Thus escorted, the Supply Column convoy made its way back to the Tobruk area. Next morning, before reaching their destination, drivers had a glimpse of another side of the war. At a field dressing station medical staff were seen attending to British and German wounded alike. There were many freshly dug New Zealand graves to be seen.
    The Hareifet en-Nbeidat area was reached that morning, and as the rest of Supply Column had not yet arrived, Cottrell reported to Command NZASC. Cottrell was safely home—or as safe as any part of the desert could be at this time. It was a creditable performance that earned him the MC; the convoy had escaped capture and brought back the long-awaited rations, captured fifteen prisoners and four enemy trucks, and recaptured a British vehicle. Cottrell, however, had one complaint. He ends his report on the convoy: ‘The recaptured South African vehicle was taken over, without my consent, by a platoon of 24 NZ Bn.’ Which shows that honest endeavour does not always bring its reward.' (Source: Bates, P.W. Supply Company. p. 170.) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    22 May 1972 21Bn Assoc. Inc. Records. MS-2008-42.
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Astley Bernard Cottrell

Leave a note

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  • Survived by his Son Astley Bruce Cottrell, my Father, who passed away 13 March 2012.
    Public - Peter - Direct descendant - 25 April 2020



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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Cottrell, Astley Bernard. Papers 1944-1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 99/71. AWMM
    • Bates, P. (1955). Supply Company. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.155-6, 158, 160, 167-71, 183, 201. AWMM
    • Murphy, W.E. (1961). The relief of Tobruk. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.220, 313-14, 365. 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.42 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
      p.28 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.28 AWMM
    • Veterans' club : the comradeship and memories of Auckland's 21st infantry battalion. Auckland War Memorial Museum : Auckland. Accompanies exhibition held in the Pictorial Gallery, second floor, Auckland War Memorial Museum, 24 March-21 May 2006. AWMM
    • 21 New Zealand Infantry Battalion Association Inc. Records, 1955 - 2005. Auckland War Memorial Museum. MS-2008-42. AWMM
    • 21 Battalion (Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


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25 April 2020PeterBirkdale Queensland AustraliaDirect descendant
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