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Cecil Edward Barnes

Captain Cecil Edward Barnes of Wellington, published in the Auckland Weekly News 12 May 1943. Image kindly provided by Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19430512-19-3. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Captain Cecil Edward Barnes of Wellington, published in the Auckland Weekly News 12 May 1943. Image …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Cecil Edward AWMM
  • Surname
    Barnes AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Tom Barnes AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 38289 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    30 January 1907 AWMM New Zealand AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1940-1941 AWMM 91 Beauchamp St., Karori, Wellington AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs. E.J. Barnes, 91 Beauchamp St., Karori (mother) AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1940-1941 AWMM Single/WWII AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    Greece AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 38289 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO: NZ Gazette, 1 February 1945. Citation: "In September 1942, Captain Barnes was one of a sabotage party recruited to destroy railway viaducts in Greece. On 30 September this group parachuted into Greece and joined up with local partisan groups. By November, a large group of locals had formed a plan to attack the local enemy garrison while Captain Barnes with his party destroyed the Gorgopotamos viaduct. On 25 November this plan was put into effect and despite charges having to be reset due to faulty information, the main pier was destroyed. Although enemy reinforcements had arrived and heavy firing was taking place, this officer placed further charges and destroyed a further span and pier. This attack had required the utmost in fortitude and physical endurance as the attacking party had to climb mountains of 5,000 feet and deep snow. The leadership of Captain Barnes helped to sustain these men during the 25 hours (including a 3 hour gun battle) it took to complete the attack and destruction of the viaduct. Unable to return to Egypt, Captain Barnes helped organise the local forces in their fight against the enemy. In the three or four weeks immediately prior to the Allied landings in Sicily in July 1943 maximum efforts were required in Greece in order to divert German troops attention. During this period, Captain Barnes personally supervised attacks on three bridges, each separated by most of a day's march in mountain country, in the course of five nights. In addition to leading and directing specific attacks, his special task was liaison officer with Colonel Zervas of the EDES guerrilla band. (The above is based on the account contained in 'New Zealand in the Second World War, Official History, "Special Service in Greece"' and other records of that period.)" AWMM
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Military Cross (MC) AWMM
      20 April 1943 AWMM
      The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Barnes, Cecil Edward. (Ref. WO 373/46/96). Military Cross. AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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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
    Accidental Death, Cause of Death AWMM
    Accidental death AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Before the war, Barnes worked and travelled extensively in Australia and in little explored parts of New Guinea.

    Lt-Col C. E. Barnes, DSO, MC, m.i.d.; born NZ 30 Jan 1907; civil engineer; killed in accident, Aust., 22 Jun 1952. (Source: Cody, J.F. New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. p.187.) AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    22 June 1952 AWMM
    Age 45 AWMM
    GarfieldVictoria AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
    • Accidental Death AWMM
    • Car accident. His liver was ruptured by the steering wheel impact. Public - Rosalind Anne - Child - 23 October 2017 - Medical records
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    He was not buried in a cemetery. 35 years ago my mother and I scattered his ashes into Spirits Bay. Public - Rosalind Anne - Child - 23 October 2017 - Personal involvement.
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a note

Leave a tribute or memory of Cecil Edward Barnes

Leave a note

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  • On January 30th 2016 my father, Tom (Cecil Edward) Barnes, would have been 109. Last year a book Sabotage Diaries written by Katherine Barnes, was published. Copies can be bought from Whitcoulls or Paper Plus. Tom Barnes is the narrator of this book which also has heaps of information about other New Zealanders - that fought in Greece in WWII. Also, another book by Alan Ogden called Sons of Odysseus SOE Heroes in Greece features Tom Barnes, Arthur Edmonds and other New Zealanders. This book was published in 2012. I try to travel to Greece each year for the celebrations at Stromi and Gorgopotamos. I would be very interested in anyone who can give me information about Operation Harling or Operation Animals or any info about my father - especially if they knew him when he was in Greece. I am also very keen to hand on any information I may have to help others in their research.
    Public - Rosalind Anne - Child - 29 January 2016



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  • External links
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 5 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1941 to 30 September, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.187, 189, 191, 330. AWMM
    • Sons of Odysseus: SOE Heroes in Greece by Alan Ogden
      The Sabotage Diaries by Katherine Barnes Public - Rosalind Anne - Child - 29 January 2016 - Family bookshelf


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
23 October 2017Rosalind AnneAuckland, New ZealandChild

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