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Charles Duncan Mackay Klaus

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

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

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Charles Duncan Mackay AWMM
  • Surname
    Klaus AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    64197 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    20 October 1916 AWMM WaihiWaihi AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Awakeri, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs A.C. Klaus (mother), Waitoa, Waikato, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    Military Medal (MM) AWMM
    28 January 1943 AWMM
    The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Klaus, Charles Duncan Mackay. (Ref. WO 373/23/440). Military Medal. AWMM

Training and 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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of Charles and Anne Christiana Bremner Klaus, of Waitoa

    "By this time the two other platoons had already started off downhill towards Route 6. According to plan, 15 Platoon, under Second-Lieutenant Matheson, made straight towards the Hotel des Roses from the north-east, and 13 Platoon, commanded by Second-Lieutenant Klaus, having made a wide cast via Point 202, approached the same objective from a south-easterly direction. Matheson's men got to within 100 yards of the hotel before being held up by fire which kept them pinned down in the same spot till nightfall, while Klaus led a most determined assault which almost reached the hotel walls. Throwing a grenade into a doorway, he ran forward to break in in the wake of its explosion, but the grenade failed to explode and he himself was killed by a shot from the same doorway. Heavy fire came from every window, and his men retreated as best they could towards Company Headquaters at Point 202." (24 Battalion Official History, p. 239).

    An article about the war commemorations in Cassino featured in the New Zealand Herald, 28 May 2004.

    2 Lieutenant C. D. M. Klaus, MM; born Waihi, 20 Oct 1916; freezing-worker; killed in action 18 Mar 1944. (Source: Burdon, R.M. 24 Battalion. p.239.)

    'The night was pitch black; many landmarks had been obliterated by bombing, and finding the way to the Castle under such conditions promised to be no easy task. But actually the first part of C Company's journey was uneventful, and the Castle was reached by way of a steep track leading up from the north-east end of Cassino. After making contact with the Castle garrison, Major Reynolds took his company on to Point 165, arriving there at the specified time of 5 a.m., and his officers, having already been instructed as to the plan of attack, proceeded to carry out their appointed tasks. It was still dark when the platoons moved off again, coming under spandau fire for a brief interval as they did so. No. 14, under Second-Lieutenant Lloyd, advanced southward across the slope, without becoming involved in action, till it arrived at Point 202, where the troops began to build rock sangars for cover. While the position was being prepared, Lloyd took one man with him and went off in the direction of Hangman's Hill to get in touch with the isolated Gurkhas. He came first upon some wounded men sheltering in a culvert some 200 yards above his own position, and then found the remainder of the company occupying bomb craters farther up the slope. The officer in command told him that during the night advance to Point 202 the New Zealanders had passed within a few yards of a Gurkha patrol, which had refrained from firing, being uncertain of the strangers' identity. Having now ascertained that C Company's rear was secure, Lloyd returned to his own position and found Reynolds' headquarters established close by.

    By this time the other two platoons had already started off downhill towards Route 6. According to plan, 15 Platoon, under Second-Lieutenant Matheson, made straight towards the Hotel des Roses from the north-east, and 13 Platoon, commanded by Second-Lieutenant Klaus, having made a wide cast via Point 202, approached the same objective from a south-easterly direction. Matheson's men got to within 100 yards of the hotel before being held up by fire which kept them pinned down in the same spot till nightfall, while Klaus led a most determined assault which almost reached the hotel walls. Throwing a grenade into a doorway, he ran forward to break in in the wake of its explosion, but the grenade failed to explode and he himself was killed by a shot from the same doorway. Heavy fire came from every window, and his men retreated as best they could towards Company Headquarters at Point 202. No. 15 Platoon also withdrew after dark and was placed so as to guard the left flank. No. 14 remained in the centre, and 13, now under Sergeant Tracy, was posted on the right.' (Source: Burdon, R.M. 24 Battalion. p. 239.) AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    18 March 1944 AWMM
    Age 27 AWMM
    CassinoItaly AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Cassino War Cemetery, Italy AWMM X. G. 6. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Borough of Te Aroha, 1939-1945. Kenrick Street, Te Aroha. AWMM

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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