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Charles Gordon Gladstone Prior

Headstone, Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Photo P. Lascelles 2007) - This image may be subject to copyright

Headstone, Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery (Photo P. Lascelles 2007) - This image may be subject to …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Charles Gordon Gladstone AWMM
  • Surname
    Prior AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • NZ39935 AWMM
    • WWII 39935 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    29 December 1912 AWMM EnglandUnited Kingdom AWMM
    Portsmouth, England AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs M. Prior (wife), C/o J.A. East, Hartley Avenue, Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 Widow: Mrs. M. Prior to Fendalton, Christchurch AWMM
    • WW2 Mother: Mrs. G. Fiddes of Leigh-on-sea, England AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Initial Training Wing, Levin (26.10.39) AWMM
    • Elementary Flying Training, Taieri (21.11.39) AWMM
    • No. 1 Service Flying Training School, Wigram (16.1.40) AWMM
    • Flying Instructors' Course (June 40) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
    Pilot/Military RNZAF Biographies (R17845614)
  • Enlistment
  • 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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
    Killed on air operations AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Mrs G. Fiddes, Leigh-on-Sea, England; husband of Mrs M. Prior of Fendalton

    Received his secondary education at the Cammock House School, Eltham.

    Pilot Officer 4.5.1940

    Flying Officer 1.3.1941

    Flight Lieutenant 1.10.1942

    5 June 1944: The bomber ( an Avenger Torpedo) suffered damage from anti-aircraft fire whilst they were attacking the supply dump just outside Vanapope, New Britain. The bomber crashed south east of the intended target area and it was asssumed that all on board were killed.

    A post-war search by an Australian war graves unit located the aircraft and the bodies of the crew which they buried nearby. They were later exhumed and reburied at Bourail, New Caledonia. In 2001 an American military unit discovered the crash site and believing it was an American Avenger with American bodies they took the remains they found to Hawaii. Examination, including DNA testing revealed the remains to be from the New Zealanders. Contact was made with two of the airmen's relatives and the remains were taken to New Zealand then to Bourail to be buried with the bodies.

    Fighter bombers concentrated on supply dumps such as those at Vunapope where the Japanese had stored a large quantity of their supplies, hiding them in coconut plantations. The Japanese responded to these concentrated attacks by placing anti-aircraft batteries at the supply dumps and as a result the attacking bombers were exposed to intense anti-aircraft action from the Japanese. Next of kin details compiled from information in the Casualty lists published in the newspapers.

    Attended The Cammock House School, Eltham (Source: RNZAF Biographies (R17845614)) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    5 June 1944 AWMM
    Age 31 AWMM
    RabaulNew Britain AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Bourail New Zealand War Cemetery, New Caledonia AWMM Joint grave 8. 34-35. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
13 September 2023KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher
29 March 2022IanIver, EnglandResearcher

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