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John Brownlow Horrocks

General Freyberg congratulates John Horrocks is moments after pinning the MC. - This image may be subject to copyright

General Freyberg congratulates John Horrocks is moments after pinning the MC. - This image may be su …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Brownlow AWMM
  • Surname
    Horrocks AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    J.B. AWMM
  • Service number
    428519 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    7 June 1920 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 3 September 1939 AWMM 27 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs Patricia Horrocks (wife), 2 Seaview Road, Remuera AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1 July 1943 AWMM Married AWMM
    Married, 1 child AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) AWMM
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
      21 June 1945 AWMM
      The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Horrocks, John Brownlow. (Ref. WO 373/12/654). Military Cross. MC. On 14-15 December 1944 Captain Horrocks volunteered for the hazardous task of FOO (forward observation officer) at 22 Battalion. The advance was over 2 miles of open country on foot carrying No.22 Wireless set. Just past the start when the Battalion met strong resistance and took seven hours to capture its objective. Horrocks saw wounded infantry on a minefield and saved the lives of at least one. Horrocks with Bombardier Liggins and Gunner Nicol carried heavy batteries and section of the wireless set over muddy hill-country in the dark in very bad weather. They came under fire but pushed on regardless of it and had the OP working and communications established within a quarter of an hour of the capture of the objective. The infantry advanced again, towards the Senio, on the 16th, and this OP party kept up with them. Horrocks set up his OP in a church tower among the foremost infantry in the Casale area. The tower was heavily shelled , but the OP remained there until the church was almost completely destroyed. Then Horrocks carried on from a nearby house until relieved on 18 December. Horrocks won an immediate MC. (Source: 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery by W.E. Murphy, pages 674-675, 769) AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Italy Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Coronation Medal 1937 AWMM
    • Efficiency Decoration (ED) AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Coast Gunnery AWMM
    • Field Artillery AWMM
    • OCTU (Officer Cadet Training Unit) AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 3 September 1939 AWMM
    Age 19 AWMM
    Law student/Civilian AWMM
    DevonportNorth Shore City 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
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 10 inches AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Hazel AWMM
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      Brown AWMM
    • Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
      Heart failure AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Educated at Kings College. Awarded maroon jersey for athletics. Succeeding academically, he had 3 years of secondary education and in 1937 enrolled in Auckland University Law School.

    1939:First Grade Rugby rep for Auckland University.

    Early 1939: joined the Territorials. (9th Coast Regiment , RNZA)

    First day of WW2: called up for war service and reported for duty as part of the Territorials ( 9th Coast Regiment, RNZA)

    1941: Married Patricia Bailey, daughter of Auckland Deputy Mayor, Arthur Bailey. He was married with 1 son at embarkation

    1943: John Horrocks declared fit for overseas service, and left with the 2NZEF in July.

    Captain Horrocks served throughout the whole Italian campaign. In the battle at the Sangro River crossing on 28th November 1943, his regiment was supporting 5th Brigade, in which his brother, Captain Robert Horrocks, was leading his company across the river. In 1943 Captain Horrocks had been awarded an immediate Military Cross for gallantry in the Desert Campaign, but was killed by enemy gunfire as he crossed the Sangro River.

    Captain John Horrocks was awarded an immediate Military Coss at the Senio on 16th December 1944. 32 Officers of 2NZEF RNZA were awarded the Military Cross in WW2, only 5 were immediate.

    Also served: F/O (RNZAF) Dean Rainsford Horrocks, (D.1944), Capt Robert Edgeworth Horrocks, 21 Battalion, and Lt. PL Horrocks, 30/35 Battalions.

    John Horrocks completed his LLB exams in Italy in October 1945. On returning to New Zealand he also qualified as a chartered accountant. He held a number of national and international directorships, was involved in community groups, Automobile Association.

    He was awarded a CBE in 1981, and admitted to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 2001.

    He died, six months after his wife, Trish, in September 2003, survived by four sons and a daughter and their grandchildren.

    He left a bequest to the Museum Circle Foundation, a charitable trust supporting Auckland Museum, in recognition of his daughter’s work for the Museum and his “own abiding interest.” The Sainsbury Horrocks Pictorial Gallery is named in recognition of this.

    Brother of Robert (Bob) Horrocks (25200), Peter Horrocks (64904), Dean Horrocks (NZ412234) and James Horrocks (NZ203260).

    Capt J. B. Horrocks, MC, ED; Auckland; born Auckland, 7 Jun 1920; law clerk; CO (Lt-Col) 9 Coast Regt RNZA, 1952-55. (Source: Henderson, J. 22 Battalion. p.405.) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    16 September 2003 AWMM
    Age 83 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 18 September 2003

    Obituary: National Business Review, 19 September 2003 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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Leave a tribute or memory of John Brownlow Horrocks

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  • I met John, his wife Trish, and daughter during EXPO 70 in Japan. I was on the same tour as they were to the EXPO. I and another fellow along with his daughter, coming back from EXPO boarded a train that did not stop in Osaka but carried on. We were able to get off at a small dark country station platform in the middle of nowhere where we sat, watching ten trains pass, including a rather remarkable small steam engine. After about thirty or forty minutes a passenger train stopped and we were able to get back to Osaka and deliver their daughter to her parents.
    Public - Graham Strwart - 30 April 2017



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  • External links
  • References
    • Horrocks, Robert Edgeworth, 1916-1943, Papers, Auckland War Memorial Museum, MS-2015-9. AWMM
    • Horrocks, Peter Lindsay. Letter to brother, 1943. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2006/54. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 12 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1943 to 31st December, 1943). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 12: WW2 93 AWMM
    • Murphy, W. (1966). 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.674-5. AWMM
    • Henderson, J. (1958). 22 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      p.405. AWMM
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
30 April 2017Graham StrwartPenhold AB CanadaOther
09 March 2016BerniceCambridge New ZealandOther

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