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Archibald Russell Currie

Portrait of Major Archibald Russell Currie, Auckland Weekly News, 7 October 1942. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19421007-18-2. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Major Archibald Russell Currie, Auckland Weekly News, 7 October 1942. Auckland Libraries …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Archibald Russell AWMM
  • Surname
    Currie AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII 35035 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    12 November 1910 AWMM NapierHawkes Bay AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • WW2 Pre 1940 AWMM 226 Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 226 Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW2 Mrs E.E. Currie (wife), 226 Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW2 Mrs E.E. Currie (wife), 226 Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO: NZ Gazette, 30 April 1946. Citation: "As an Engineer Staff Officer Major Currie has rendered outstanding service in field work and particularly in examining types of new mines which have been so frequently encountered. In November 1943 while the Div Engineers were held back by non arrival of transport Major Currie went forward with bulldozers into the Atessa-Sangro area and continued to take out different dozers for many consecutive nights to repair demolitions which were all under heavy and accurate shelling. Three times as he was making a bypass round the demolished Perano bridge, a number of heavy shells landed on and destroyed much of the new work. With determination and gallantry he persevered with the task until a bypass was completed. On several subsequent occasions this new route was badly damaged by shellfire but each night, sometimes under heavy artillery concentrations, he effected repairs and kept open an important supply route. When new types of mines were encountered along the banks of the Sangro, Major Currie immediately went out under considerable harassing fire and, at great personal risk, made a minute examination of the field and brought back samples for investigation. To a considerable extent as a result of his work in this direction, methods of dealing with these fields of previously unknown mines were developed and successfully employed in clearing assault lanes. He took a prominent part in the assault crossing of the Sangro on 28/29 November 1943 and when the Division went forward Major Currie carried out two daring but most important reconnaissances, firstly of the Roman Road to the north of Lanciano, and secondly of a route from Armstrong's Road to the Roman Road. To gain the information required these reconnaissances had to be done in daylight in full view of the enemy. He was heavily mortared, but he carried on and brought back complete information. When some of our tanks had been destroyed on enemy minefields near the Orsogna-Ortona Road, he went forward under heavy mortaring to clear lanes and bring back most useful data about a new type of minefield. On the Fifth Army front Major Currie examined many new and cunningly laid minefields, and it was in no small measure due to his hazardous research that much gapping was completed with but few casualties from the mines themselves. Throughout the period for which the NZ Corps operated from 9 Feb '44 to the middle of March '44, Major Currie as an Engineer Staff Officer also did valuable and outstanding work on roads and river reconnaissances. Under mortaring and shelling and some sniping he graded roads and tracks from the Cassino Barracks area to the top of the Monte Cassino feature. These routes when constructed did much to reduce the difficulties of supply and communications. At all times Major Currie's reconnaissance reports have been extremely accurate and his work on mines and minefields has been of outstanding merit and value. In gaining information on new mines and cleverly laid 'booby traps' Major Currie has displayed outstanding daring and courageous conduct." AWMM
    • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
    • Italy Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    Service in regular army prior to WW2 AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded twice in 1942 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded 1943 AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Officer Commanding (OC) of 8 Field Co, NZE, October 1940 - July 1942.

    Commandant and Chief Instructor (CI) of 8th Army School of Minefield Clearance, July 1942 - April 1943.

    Commanding Officer (CO) of NZ Engineers Training Depot, April-July 1943.

    OC of 7 Field Co, NZE, July-November 1943.

    Director of Fortifications, NZ Army HQ, 1946-47.

    Chief Engineer, NZ Army, 1951.

    Retired 12 November 1960.

    Colonel Commandant of Royal New Zealand Engineers (RNZE), 1975-78.

    Major Currie is mentioned in O'Callaghan's narrative of the war, published in 1994. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Cody, J.F. (1961). New Zealand Engineers, Middle East. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 3: WW2 110 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 36 AWMM
    • O'Callaghan, S.R. (1994). One sapper's war. Christchurch, N.Z.: S. R. O'Callaghan. AWMM
    • O'Callaghan, Sydney Richard. One Sapper's War, 1915 - 1945. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 2006/65. AWMM

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