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John Angus McCarthy

Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War II Hall of Memories Panel  M_002. Image taken June 2020.

Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War II Hall of Memories Panel M_002. Image taken June 2020.

© Auckland Museum CC BY AWMM


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Angus AWMM
  • Surname
    McCarthy AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    2/20B/225 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    2/20B/225 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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  • Embarkation details

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 on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • John McCarthy was the son of John and Evelyn McCarthy, of Gisborne; husband of Myrtle Alice McCarthy, of Auckland, New Zealand. AWMM
    • OPOTIKI NEWS, VOLUME V, ISSUE 439, 7 AUGUST 1942, PAGE 1 - An inquest into the death of a 34-year-old soldier Private John Angus McCarthy, which occurred in hospital after an accident with a bayonet while on duty, was concluded this week, states the Gisborne Herald. Private McCarthy in private life was a linotype operator employed by the Gisborne Herald. Sergeant Sidney John Halloway said that he was called by Corporal Gurney. When he reached the spot he saw that Private McCarthy had been injured. A bayonet had pierced his right leg behind the knee. He applied a field dressing and a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Private McCarthy was taken to hospital after receiving treatment from the district nurse.

      Corporal Ronald George Gurney said that on July 8, at 8.45 p.m., he took five privates and marched them to positions. Private McCarthy was marched to the final point. To reach this post, continued Corporal Gurney, it was necessary to cross an obstacle which had a ladder to descend on the other side. The height was 8ft. 6in. The corporal went first and descended the ladder. When he reached the ground he turned round and watched Private McCarthy. He heard a slide as if Private McCarthy had missed his footing, and he fell to the ground alongside the witness. Private McCarthy, at the time, was carrying a rifle with a fixed bayonet. After he fell he lay on. the ground and said: “The bayonet is in my leg.” Witness detached it from the rifle but left it in the leg and called for assistance. It was the first occasion that Private McCarthy had been on duty at this particular point, and he had never been over the ground in daylight.

      Leg Pierced by Bayonet - A doctor who attended Private McCarthy in hospital said he was suffering severely, from shock due to haemorrhage from an injury to his right leg. He was nearly dead, and it was impossible to operate until he rallied considerably. Some hours later a blood transfusion was given and the wound investigated. The principal artery and vein were completely cut through. He did well for several days and then rapid deterioration of the wound and of the patient began. On July, 21 the leg was amputated above the knee. Private McCarthy died suddenly next morning with symptoms of coronary embolism. Private McCarthy told him, added the doctor, that he could not see the ladder because of the darkness, so he threw his rifle to the ground in front of him. The rifle apparently remained upright with the bayonet in the air, and pierced his thigh. The following verdict was returned: That John Angus McCarthy died on July 22, 1942, as the result of a bayonet wound accidentally received. Public - Lorraine Mona - Researcher - 8 December 2022 -
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About death

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  • Death
    22 July 1942 AWMM
    Age 33 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Taruheru Cemetery, Nelson Road, Gisborne District, New Zealand AWMM 24. 13. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM
    • Gisborne First World War Memorial, The Esplanade, Kaiti, Gisborne AWMM

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
22 July 2023Lorraine Mona Gisborne Researcher

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