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Robert Edgeworth Horrocks

Bob Horrocks receiving his ribbon for his Military Cross. To the right of the photograph is Sergeant Keith Elliott who had just received his VC. - This image may be subject to copyright
Bob Horrocks receiving his ribbon for his Military Cross. To … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Robert Edgeworth AWMM
  • Surname
    Horrocks AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Bob AWMM
  • Service number
    25200 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 September 1916 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 29 April 1940 AWMM Whakatane Board Mills Ltd, Whakatane, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs M.R. Horrocks (mother), 27 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 14 September 1941 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Western Desert AWMM
    • Italy AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    25200 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
      5 November 1942 AWMM
      '2/Lt. Horrocks displayed the highest degree of courage and leadership on each occasion on which his unit was engaged. At Bir Khalda on 27 June 1942, when his unit was bombed, this officer collected and attended to wounded in spite of burning ammunition trucks nearby. At El Mreir on 4 July and again at El Ruweisat on night of 14/15 July his fine example carried his platoon through heavy fire to the objective and when withdrawal had to be made, 2/Lt Horrocks returned his men well organised and ready for action. In manning a dangerous O.P. (Observation Post) at El Mreir 2/Lt. Horrocks provided his unit with valuable information without regard to his own safety.'. (Source: The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Horrocks, Robert Edgeworth. (Ref. WO 373/22/48). Military Cross. AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
    • Italy Star AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • NCO Course, Papakura (July 1940) AWMM
    • Officer Cadet Training Unit, Trentham ( August -November 1940) AWMM
    • Infantry Brigade Training ( December 1940 - August 1941) AWMM
  • Enlistment
    WW2 29 April 1940 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    Accountant/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
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 9 inches AWMM
    • Weight, Unknown Period AWMM
      11 stone 9 pounds AWMM
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Dark brown AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      hazel AWMM
    • Distinguishing marks, Unknown Period AWMM
      Hernia scar AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded 24 October 1942 ( El Alamein) AWMM
    • Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Bob Horrocks was a good athlete ( the Horrocks Steeplechase Cup is still competed for at Takapuna Grammar School); cricketer ( represented NZ Secondary Schools vs Australian Secondary Schools in Australia in 1933; golfer (runner up in the Senior North Shore Golf Club in 1933, Whakatane Golf Club and Bay of Plenty Amateur Champion in 1939); yachtsman (member of RNZYS and sailed on "A" class "Waitangi".; and very popular with both sexes, all ages and people of every walk of life.

    In the Army he was always looking out for opportunities to meet up with and have beer with the mill employees of Whakatane Board Mills and members of his own platoon with whom he fought the Italians and Germans in the Egyptian Desert in 1942. His diary "A Year in the Life of a Subaltern 1941" is in the possession of the family and every day records events of meeting friends (especially girls), family friends.

    "The troops were standing about, dixies in hand, when the drone of approaching aircraft was heard. About two dozen planes passed overhead, and the "Ours or theirs' argument was in full swing when they came back and bombed and gunned the column. Three ammunition trucks of 27 Field Battery were set on fire, a mortar platoon truck received a direct hit, and three other vehicles a direct hit, and three other vehicles were damaged. Corporal Hedley of 4 Reserve MT Company, and Second-Lieutenant Horrocks removed wounded men and driverless trucks from the vicinity of the exploding 25-pounder ammunition. (Source: Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45 : 21 Battalion by J.F. Cody (pages 158-159).

    Bob Horrocks came from a military, farming and professional family background. His great grandfather was Captain Charles Horrocks, 15 Regiment. His son, Major Horrocks, Royal Marines, his son Lt. H.A. Horrocks 1NZEF, France and so to Bob , his grandson and Bob's three brothers, all commissioned, who served overseas in WW2.

    Circumstances of death: killed whilst commanding 21 Battalion, "C" Company, crossing the Sangro River on the 28th November 1943. Killed by German machine-gun fire.

    Remembered on the Takapuna War Memorial, The Strand, Takapuna.

    Brother of Peter Horrocks (64904), John Horrocks (428519), Dean Horrocks (NZ412234) and James Horrocks (NZ203260).

    Capt R. E. Horrocks, MC; born NZ 9 Sep 1916; clerk; wounded 24 Oct 1942; killed in action 28 Nov 1943. (Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. p.157.) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    28 November 1943 AWMM
    Age 27 AWMM
    Sangro RiverItaly AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy AWMM Plot 16, Row B, Grave 18. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Reported killed in action, Captain Robert Edgeworth Horricks MC was a son of Mrs M Horrocks, Takapuna. Capt Horrocks was aged 27 years and educated at Takapuna Grammar School and Auckland University College. Prior to going overseas more than two years ago, he was on the staff of Whakatane Papers Mills, Whakatane. He was awarded the Military Cross in September 1942, the citing stating that he displayed the highest degree of courage and leadership at Bir Khalda Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 22 January 2017 - Newspaper Report
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



Contribute ›
  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Tears on Greenstone Memorial, Queen Elizabeth II Army Museum, Waiouru. AWMM
    • Roll of Honour, Royal Auckland Golf Club, Hospital Road, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Family grave memorial, O'Neill's Point, 122 Bayswater Avenue, Bayswater, North Shore, Auckland AWMM
    • Takapuna War Memorial, The Strand, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Takapuna War Memorial, (ex RSA Roll, on a boulder), The Strand, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Takapuna Grammar School War Memorial, (Foyer, Library), 210 Lake Road, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Roll of Honour, St Georges Presbyterian Church, 2 The Terrace, Takapuna, Auckland AWMM

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Horrocks, Robert Edgeworth, 1916-1943, Papers, Auckland War Memorial Museum, MS-2015-9. AWMM
    • Horrocks, Peter Lindsay. Letter to brother, 1943. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2006/54. AWMM
    • Auckland Museum. Roll of Honour, Auckland Province, 1939 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 93/139. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 5 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1941 to 30 September, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 5: WW2 101 AWMM
    • 21 Battalion (Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
      p. 157, 158-159, 177, 178, 197, 286). AWMM
    • Kippenberger, H.K. (1949). Infantry brigadier. London, England: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press. AWMM
      p. 153, 323, 324. AWMM
    • Horrocks, Robert Edgeworth. Papers, 1940 – 1943. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira. MS-2015-9. AWMM
    • 21 Battalion (Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
      pp.157, 158-9, 177, 178, 197, 286. AWMM
    • Phillips, N.C. (1957). Italy. Volume 1 : The Sangro to Cassino. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.69. AWMM
    • Scoullar, J. L. (1955). Battle for Egypt : the summer of 1942. Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      p.274. AWMM


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22 January 2017Lorraine MGisborne, NzResearcher
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