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Howard Karl Kippenberger

Portrait, Weekly News 10 December 1941 - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News 10 December 1941 - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Howard Karl AWMM
  • Surname
    Kippenberger AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWI 11682 AWMM
    • WWII 7128 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    28 January 1897 AWMM LadbrooksCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • WW1 Pre 1916 AWMM West Oxford, Canterbury, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 Pre Sep 1939 AWMM Rangiora, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 K. Kippenberger (father), West Oxford, Canterbury, New Zealand 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
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    North Africa, Africa AWMM
    1 November 1941 AWMM
    Operation Crusader AWMM
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Wounded in arm by shrapnel from a NZ artillery shell, 10 November 1916. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Hospitalised in England for two months with temporary paralysis in wounded arm. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Judged medically unfit for duty and returned to NZ; discharged from NZEF, April 1917. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded during Operation Crusader in North Africa and briefly taken prisoner, November 1941. AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded at Cassino by anti-personnel mine and lost both feet, 2 March 1944. AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - Civil (KBE).

    Oldest child of Karl and Anne Elizabeth (nee Howard) Kippenberger of Ladbrooks, Canterbury, New Zealand. Kippenberger's grandparents emigrated from Germany in 1862. Kippenberger married Ruth Isabel Flynn at Lyttelton, 28 September 1922. They had two sons and a daughter.

    Served in the ranks during World War 1 and as a senior officer during World War 2.

    When he enlisted for WWI in January 1916, he advanced his age by 18 months to ensure he would get an overseas posting. He reached the trenches just in time for the Somme Offensive, during which all of his close friends in the Canterbury Regiment were killed or wounded.

    He then went on to become a battalion sniper.

    He enlisted with 2 NZEF as Commanding Officer (CO) of 20 Battalion, NZ Infantry, September 1939.

    Commanded 10 Composite Brigade on Crete, May 1941.

    During Operation Crusader in North Africa, Kippenberger made a number of mistakes that saw him wounded, taken prisoner, and his beloved 20 Battalion nearly annihilated. He escaped with 19 other POWs not longer after their capture.

    Promoted to Brigadier and Commander of 5 NZ Infantry Brigade, January 1942.

    Promoted to Major General and General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 2 NZ Division, 9 February 1944.

    Severely wounded after stepping on an anti-personnel mine on Mt Trocchio in Italy, 2 March 1944. He ended up losing both feet, which were replaced with artificial ones while in hospital in England.

    Upon recovery, Kippenberger was appointed to lead the 2 NZEF POW Reception Group in the UK, 1944-46.

    Returned to New Zealand in 1946.

    Served as Editor-in-Chief of the NZ War Histories project for the NZ Department of Internal Affairs, 1946-57

    President of NZ Returned Services' Association, 1948-55.

    Appointed Honorary Colonel of the Canterbury Regiment post-WW2.

    Kippenberger is quoted in the Auckland War Memorial Museum exhibition 'Slogging up Italy' of 'Scars on the Heart', I met the battalion trudging slowly out to its billets after daylight ... everyman was plastered with wet mud up to his neck and their faces were grey.' AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    5 May 1957 AWMM
    Age 60 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM Area 11, Block AC, Row 01, Plot 005 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1917). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume II. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      30: 10 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 1: WW2 98 AWMM
    • Kippenberger, H.K. (1949). Infantry brigadier. London, England: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press. AWMM
    • Harper, G.J. (1997). Kippenberger, An Inspired New Zealand Commander. Auckland, N.Z.: Harper Collins. AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 1: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Pringle, D., & Glue, W. (1957). 20 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
19 February 2024Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher

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