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George Herbert Clifton

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Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    George Herbert AWMM
  • Surname
    Clifton AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    31363 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    18 September 1898 AWMM NapierHawkes Bay AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • Unknown AWMM C/o Army Department, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Unknown AWMM C/o Army Department, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Unknown AWMM C/o Army Department, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs D.B.H. Clifton (wife), C/o Bank of NSW, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs D.B.H. Clifton (wife), C/o Bank of NSW, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs D.B.H. Clifton (wife), C/o Bank of NSW, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and 2 bars (DSO**) AWMM
      Military Cross (MC): Awarded for service in Waziristan during Northwest Frontier service 1919-1921 AWMM
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
      DSO: NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944, citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the operations in Greece between 10th March and 29th April (1941) and especially for his untiring efforts during the withdrawal from Katerine and Servia Passes on the 16th April and succeeding days." AWMM
    • India General Service 1909 (Waziristan 1919-21, Mahsud 1919-20 clasps) AWMM
      1st DSO bar: NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944, citation: "For conspicuous gallantry, outstanding leadership and initiative. On 28/29 November, 1941 Colonel Clifton volunteered to lead a convoy of 250 vehicles for some 25 miles through enemy lines, from the Gabr Saleh area ... That the convoy reached its destination safely ... was due to Colonel Clifton's personality and example, which inspired confidence in the drivers, all of whom showed marked coolness and fortitude when fired on by the enemy." AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
      2nd DSO bar: NZ Gazette, 30 April 1946, citation: "On the 4th September, 1942, Brigadier Clifton accompanied by another officer, a wireless and a driver was investigating a forward detachment near Alamein when he was taken prisoner by enemy commanded by a German officer. After being interrogated by Field Marshal Rommel, he was driven away in a truck. Taking advantage of the dust, he rolled out but was seen by a guard. The next day he escaped from a camp at Metren by climbing through a small window. He walked for six days and was only 10 miles from British lines when he was caught by three German officers. He was then sent to Veano in Italy but during February, 1943, he again escaped through a window. He reached the Swiss frontier before he was caught and after receiving his punishment at Veano was sent to Gavi. Although it was deemed impossible to escape from Gavi, Brigadier Clifton attempted to do so in April 1943 and he was caught on the roof. The plans Brigadier Clifton had perfected to evacuate all prisoners of war at the time of the Italian Armistice were frustrated by the treachery of the Italian Commandant, and the Germans were allowed to occupy the camp without opposition ... On the 16th September, 1943, Brigadier Clifton was taken to Germany ... In March 1945, Brigadier Clifton was at Oflag XII B, and taking advantage of an air attack, he escaped through the wire on the 22nd March. Although his route lay through a forbidden zone, he walked for four days and three nights until he was just behind the German lines near Weis. He hid until the enemy retreated during the night and reported to an American unit next morning." AWMM
    • Africa Star AWMM
    • France and Germany Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
    • New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
    • WW2 POW - Veano, Italy AWMM
      AWMM
      04 Sep 1942-22 March 1945 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Gavi, Italy AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Oflag XII B, Germany AWMM
    • WW2
      4 September 1942 AWMM
    • WW2 POW - Oflag IX-A/Z, Rottenburg, Germany 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
      Germany, Europe 2NZEF, Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. N.Z. 1945.
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
    WW2 22 March 1945 AWMM Escaped Oflag XII B on 22 March 1945 AWMM
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    WWII 1760 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Commander Royal Engineers, 2 NZ Division in Greece, 1941

    Chief Engineer, 30th Corps, 1941

    Brigade Major, 5 NZ Brigade, 1941

    Commander 6 NZ Brigade, February - September 1942

    POW, September 1942 - March 1945

    Seconded to HQ BCOF (Japan), 1946-47

    NZ Military Liaison Officer, London, 1949-52

    Commanding Officer Northern Military District, 1952

    Brigadier George Clifton was commander of the 6 NZ Infantry Brigade when he was captured in Egypt in September 1942. He escaped after the ninth attempt.

    Author of "The Happy Hunted"

    Father was Mr C.E. Clifton, 34 Jellicoe Street, Waipukurau, New Zealand

    The Auckland War Memorial Museum displays the map used

    in Brigadier George Clifton's escape from an Egyptian prisoner of war camp. The map on display in 'In the Bag', of'Scars on the Heart' exhibition shows the area around Hadamar camp. AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    13 March 1970 AWMM
    Age 71 AWMM
    TaupoTaupo AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

Remember George Herbert Clifton by laying a poppy.

Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of George Herbert Clifton

Leave a note

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  • I am a retired NZ Army officer and met Brigadier Clifton, not long after he retired, when I was a young officer. He was well known and admired by my cohort. His book "The Happy Hunted was required reading when I was a subaltern. Although a miss used phrase, he one of my NZ military heroes.
    Public - Kenneth montrose - 24 September 2018

Sources

Sources

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Polaschek, A. (1983). The Complete New Zealand Distinguished Conduct Medal. Christchurch, N.Z.: Medals Research. AWMM
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      Military Service Record AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 2: WW2 38 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 15 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1945 to 31st December, 1945). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 15: WW2 30 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 16: WW2 25 AWMM
    • Henderson, J. (1954). RMT: official history of the 4th and 6th Reserve Mechanical Transport Companies. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs. AWMM
      Henderson, J. (1954). p.132 AWMM
    • List of 2NZEF Prisoners of War. 1941-1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2009/8. AWMM
    • Great Britain Army. (1945). Germany and German occupied territories : imperial prisoners of war alphabetical list : section 4. London, U.K.: Government Printer. AWMM

Contributors

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DateNameLocationRelationshipContact
24 September 2018Kenneth montroseNew ZealandOther
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