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John Mason Spiers

Portrait, Jack serving in Korea, in trench - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Jack serving in Korea, in trench - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Mason AWMM
  • Surname
    Spiers AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Jack AWMM
    • John Mason Spiers AWMM
  • Service number
    • Korea 33391 AWMM
    • Malaya 33391 AWMM
    • U33391 AWMM
    • Korea 33391 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    13 February 1931 AWMM DunedinOtago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 20 April 1949 AWMM 8 Norfolk Street, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Major P.G. Spiers (father), 8 Norfolk Street, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Single AWMM
    • Married Bernadette Moloney 25/09/58 ~ 26/03/2001
      4 children ~ Jacquie 1959, Mieke 1960, Marcus 1963, Mason 1964
      Grandchildren ~ Emma 1984, Amy 1988, Reuben 1992, JJ 1993, Annie, Lucy and Tia Public - mieke - Direct descendant - 4 July 2019 - Family History


Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    20 April 1949 AWMM
    Age 18 AWMM
    School boy/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
    Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
    Cancer AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Jack Spiers was educated at the Christian Brothers' High School in Dunedin

    He enlisted from school and served with the Regular Force 1949-77(?)

    He is featured in the display Scars on the Heart 1939 to present at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The signage reads: "Jack Spiers went to Korea in 1952-53 and was attached to the Mortar Platoon of 3 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. He took part in the heavy fighting along the 38th Parallel defending Point 355 against Chinese attacks. He was 21 years old when he returned to New Zealand after the Armistice in 1953."

    His obituary: " A regular soldier, he enlisted in the army on leaving school in 1949. During his military career, he saw service overseas, as well as stints in New Zealand. He rose through the ranks from Private to Major. His army career took him from 1952-1953 to the Korean War where, while attached to the 3RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) , he was mentioned in despatches. The years 1961-1964 saw him with the 1 NZ Regiment in Malaya and in 1970-71 he was in Kashmir as a military observer in the United Nations Military Observer force. In 1975, he retired from the Army and became a Real Estate Agent working on the North Shore. However, as a civilian, he was an active participant in military events, including being MC for a number of years at the Auckland City Councils' 11 O'clock Anzac Day Service, MC at the Museum's 1999 Armistice Day service, a member of the Takapuna RSA and Armoury volunteer. He provided material for the Korean and Peacekeeping displays in Scars II, and is profiled there...."

    He served as a mortar fire controller on attachment to the Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment where he distinguished himself by his extraordinary cool and accurate direction of mortar fire while under fire during the repulse of mass attacks and was "Mentioned in Dispatches". He was appointed Commander of the Reconnaissance Platoon in the First Battalion, the New Zealand Regiment, commanded by the then Lt. Colonel Les Pearce, which served in Malaya from 1961-63. Active patrolling on the Thailand-Malaya border was followed by secondment to the Headquarters, 17th Gurkha Division in Borneo, where he was highly commended . He also served as a UN observer in Kashmir.

    Items and a photgraph are on display in the exhibition gallery Scars on the Heart 1939 to present, in both the Korean and Peacekeeping sections, Auckland War Memorial Museum.

    Photo of Capt J.M. Spiers in The Officers, 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Regiment (Malaya 1962) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    26 March 2001 Cemetery Record/Obit
    Age 71 AWMM
    Castor BayAuckland Cemetery Record/Obit
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    • North Shore Memorial Park and Crematorium (Schnapper Rock), Albany, North Shore City, New Zealand AWMM Northern Division RSA Burials Section 2 Block E Row E Plot 12 AWMM
    • North Shore Memorial Park AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 27 March 2001 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember John Mason Spiers by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of John Mason Spiers

Leave a note

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  • Happy anzac's day to the greatest man I ever knew!! I miss you so so much! So proud of what you achieved xxxx
    Public - Amy - Direct descendant - 23 April 2020
  • My pearl of my thoughts still guard you Dad ~ my gem in my heart forever. Love and miss you dearly xxx
    Public - mieke - Direct descendant - 28 January 2017
  • Proud of you Uncle John.Wish I had seen more of you. Gerard
    Public - Gerard Hetherington - Other relative - 18 September 2016
  • My one true hero, I miss you so so much! So blessed and so proud that your life meant something and now everybody can see what a great human you actually were! I love you Amz
    Public - Amy - Direct descendant - 6 March 2016



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  • External links
  • References
    • Scars on the heart: two centuries of New Zealand at war AWMM
      p. 279. AWMM
    • McGibbon, I.C. (1992-1996). New Zealand and the Korean War (Vols. 1-2). Auckland, N.Z.; Wellington, N.Z.: Oxford University Press in association with the Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs. AWMM
      Vol 2. p. 273, 323, 337, 376, 411. AWMM
    • Williams, T. (2000). Anzacs : stories from New Zealanders at war. Auckland, N.Z.: Hodder Moa Beckett. AWMM
    • H.E. Chamberlain, Nominal Roll – 1 RNZIR, 8 May 1964, in Gurr, Robert. (2009). Voices from a border war: Borneo 1963-1965. 2nd Edition. Christchurch, N.Z.: Wilson Scott Publishing, pp.139-150 AWMM
    • Gurr, Robert. (2009). Voices from a border war: Borneo 1963-1965. 2nd Edition. Christchurch, N.Z.: Wilson Scott Publishing AWMM
    • 1NZR Roll 1961-1963 - Bill Russell, Malayan Veterans Association Scrapbook – 40th Anniversary edition. AWMM
    • DECEASED, 1 NZ Regiment, 1961-63 – Internet resource. AWMM
    • This record was partially created from Cemetery research completed by Carol Foster (2021). AWMM
    • Nominal rolls - Nominal rolls embarkation K-force [Korea Nominal Roll], Archives New Zealand, Wellington, AAYS 8638 AD1/1433 (R22440250) AWMM
    • Chamberlain, H. (2013). The New Zealand Korea Roll : honouring those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in Korea, 1950-1957. Wellington, N.Z.: Author. AWMM
    • Fry, P., & New Zealand. Army. Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. Battalion, 1st. (1983). The First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment : Journal / [P.J. Fry, editor] (25th anniversary commemorative ed.). Singapore: The Regiment. AWMM


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
23 April 2020AmyAustraliaDirect descendant
04 July 2019miekeAucklandDirect descendant
18 September 2016Gerard Hetheringtonwaimate nzOther relative

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