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Frederick Melrose Horowhenua Hanson

Portrait of (then) Staff Sergeant Frederick M H Hanson MM. Archives New Zealand AALZ 25044 4 / F1545. Image may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Portrait of (then) Staff Sergeant Frederick M H Hanson MM. Archives New Zealand AALZ 25044 4 / F1545 …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Frederick Melrose Horowhenua AWMM
  • Surname
    Hanson AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWI 70738 AWMM
    • WWII 20034 AWMM
  • Gender
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 July 1896 AWMM LevinManawatu-Wanganui AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Mrs E. Hanson (mother), 15 Upland Crescent, Kelburn, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs C.M. Hanson (wife), 81 Oban Street, Highland Park, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 16 November 1917 AWMM Single AWMM
    • Pre 1942 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and bar (DSO*) AWMM
      DSO: NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944. Citation: "At the Wadi Akarit position on the morning of 6th April 1943, Lieutenant Colonel Hanson was placed in command of a party of tanks, infantry and engineers. Their task was to make two gaps in the enemy minefield after the infantry had passed through and formed a bridgehead. The infantry attack was held up and the minefield covered by enemy small arms and artillery fire. Although the infantry was still pinned to the ground, this officer led forward the tanks to the edge of the minefield and organised his force so that engineers could commence work on clearing the gap. Working himself with the engineers, under considerable fire, he succeeded in directing his force in such a manner that the engineers were enabled to clear the necessary gaps for the tanks to go through and engage the enemy. By his fine example of leadership and disregard for personal safety he enabled an enemy position to be taken which appeared as though it would hold out all day and seriously prejudice the Corps plan. Throughout the campaign the work of this officer has been of the highest order." DSO Bar: NZ Gazette, 30 April 1946. Citation: "For outstanding devotion to duty and great personal gallantry as C.R.E. from the battle of the Senio River to the entry of the New Zealand Division into Trieste. Colonel Hanson throughout the campaign displayed skill of the highest order in planning and carrying out a long series of bridging operations across the Rivers Senio, Santerno, Sillaro, Gaiana, Idice, Reno, Po, Adige and Piave, together with the erection of numerous other bridges over the minor water obstacles which lay between these bigger rivers. The great speed and efficiency with which many rivers and difficulties were overcome, and Bailey bridges, pontoon bridges, and Class 40 rafts were put into operation was largely due to his personal reconnaissances and subsequent control of operations. This work he carried out on many occasions under heavy fire, and his personal courage and resolution were a great inspiration to his men, in carrying on his work in the most trying and exhausting of circumstances. The speed with which Colonel Hanson and the Divisional Engineers under his command performed their work enabled immediate exploitation of all bridgeheads and thus prevented the enemy from re-occupying each successive river line. Their work made possible the rapid advance of the Division." AWMM
    • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) (Military) AWMM
    • British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
    • Victory Medal 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
    • Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
    • Efficiency Decoration (ED) AWMM
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      London Gazette 11 February 1919, p2144, Rec No 2616 "Awarded for gallantry in handling a Lewis gun and keeping off repeated enemy attacks on an exposed flank near Havrincourt Wood about 14 September 1918". Archives New Zealand. 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
    Wounds Diseases Etc., WWII AWMM
    Wounded 3 times during WW2. AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Attended RMA Duntroon but resigned in 1917 and enlisted with 1 NZEF as a Private.

    After WWI he served with the Territorials.

    Enlisted with 2 NZEF as a Major in June 1940.

    Officer Commanding (OC) 7 Field Company, New Zealand Engineers, Greece, 1940-41.

    Commander Royal Engineers (CRE), 2 NZ Division, May 1941.

    CRE IV Corps (British), 1944-45.

    Territorial member of NZ Army Board, 1948-55.

    Commissioner of Works, Ministry of Works.

    Chairman, NZ National Roads Board.

    A biography is at AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    15 July 1979 AWMM
    Age 83 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Karori Cemetery, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM Cremated AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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