Thomas Coats AWMM
Also known as
WWII 5953 AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Appointed Commander of 22 NZ (Motor) Battalion, July 1942.
Appointed Commander of 4 NZ Armoured Brigade, November 1944.
Commandant of Army Schools (Trentham), 1951-52.
Commanded NZ Coronation Contingent, 1953.
Commanded Fiji Military Forces, 1953-56.
Commandant of Waiouru Camp, 1957-58.
Commander of Northern Military District (NMD), 1958-59.
Posted to NZ Embassy, Washington DC, USA, 1960-62.
Commander of Southern Military District (SMD), 1963.
Col T. C. Campbell, DSO, MC, m.i.d.; Fiji; born Colombo, 20 Dec 1911; farm appraiser; CO 22 Bn Sep 1942-Apr 1943; commanded 4 Armd Bde Jan-Dec 1945; Area Commander, Wellington, 1947; Commander of Army Schools, 1951-53; Commander Fiji Military Forces 1953. (Source: Borman, C.A. Divisional Signals. p.317.)
'As the company cleared the line of shells the Medical Officer, Captain Volckman, was waiting with the greeting: ‘Have you anything for me?’ ‘He was in a trench coat, his fore-and-aft cap sideways on his head, and a more striking resemblance to Claude Raines with his hands in his pockets would be hard to find. By jove, said someone, you look just like Napoleon. The name stuck, and he was always referred to after that as Nap.
In two three-tonners just after dark, Donald and his platoon (14) from C Company went back for wounded who could not be found or were isolated by particularly heavy fire during the withdrawal. Near the spot the platoon left the trucks and walked forward cautiously. ‘It was pitch black,’ writes Donald. ‘We had to comb the ground close to the defences. We left one section at the trucks: too many men would have been difficult to control. We spread out in a long line about five yards between men, almost the limit of visibility, and started to comb the ground systematically. It was very eerie with the searchers calling out in hushed voices the names of the missing men, with flares meantime going up intermittently from the Italian lines. Everyone froze when the flares went up, and we felt as if we had been stripped to the skin, but not a man moved, although every moment we were expecting the dread chatter of a machine-gun.’
Then Donald received a shock. A grinning face under a shock of curly hair poked over his shoulder, and a Scotch voice said: ‘Hullo.’ It was Jock (‘Haggis’) Lowe, flatly disobeying orders to stay with the trucks. Donald reprimanded him. ‘But you're bloody pleased to see me, aren't you?’ said Jock. ‘Yes,’ said Donald emphatically. With Jerry Fowler and Jock playing a notable part, they collected every man. For their work in this action and previous campaigns, Campbell was awarded the MC and Fowler the MM.' (Source: Henderson, J. 22 Battalion. p. 107.) AWMM
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- 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
- 21 Battalion
(Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM
- Murphy, W. (1966). 2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Borman, C. (1954). Divisional Signals. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Davin, D. (1953). Crete. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.98-101, 104, 110, 117-20, 253. AWMM
- Henderson, J. (1958). 22 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.9, 13, 15, 23, 42, 56, 58–9, 62–3, 65, 80, 94, 103–7, 111, 120, 134, 148, 197–8, 200, 204, 207, 209–10, 216, 219–20, 233, 235, 246–7, 271, 278, 290, 384, 462–3, 466. AWMM
- Kay, R. (1958). 27 (Machine Gun) Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.94, 96. AWMM
- McClymont, W. (1959). To Greece. Wellington, N.Z.: Department Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.258, 267. AWMM
- Sinclair, D. (1954). 19 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
pp.475, 478. AWMM
- Dawson, W. (1961). 18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Phillips, N.C. (1957). Italy. Volume 1 : The Sangro to Cassino. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
- Kay, R. (1967). Italy. Volume 2. From Cassino to Trieste. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
pp.341, 388. AWMM
- Walker, R. (1967). Alam Halfa and Alamein. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
pp.168-9, 274. AWMM
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