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George Henry Hawkesby

Photograph of former officers of 21 Battalion. From left: Lt Col H. McElroy, Lt A. Potter, Major G. Hawkesby, Lt F. Solomon, Major W. Parfitt, Lt Col G. Rogers, Lt C. Harris, Capt A. Craig. The Weekly News, Wednesday, 12 June 1963, p.32. - This image may be subject to copyright

Photograph of former officers of 21 Battalion. From left: Lt Col H. McElroy, Lt A. Potter, Major G. …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    George Henry AWMM
  • Surname
    Hawkesby AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    23708 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    18 April 1915 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    23708 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, 30 April 1946. Citation: "On 22 September 1944 Major Hawkesby's Company was leading a battalion advance north of River Marecchia. At Celle on Route 16, very heavy enemy opposition was encountered; our infantry being pinned down by M.G. fire and our tanks unable to move forward owing to the presence of two anti tank guns and an S.P. Gun. Major Hawkesby, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, conducted a lone recce in the face of the enemy, demonstrating tactical skill of a high order in outflanking the enemy positions. He then personally led an extremely violent attack in hand to hand fighting against the well dug in enemy. In a brilliant action over a hundred prisoners were captured together with two anti tank guns, one S.P. gun and many machine guns. The capture of the S.P. gun was accomplished by Major Hawkesby with a small detachment of men, who crept up to it and killed the gun crew as they were firing. Later in the day, when going forward on a recce riding on the top of a tank which received a direct hit from a light mortar, he sustained light wounds, concussion and deafness. Major Hawkesby pushed on his recce refusing to receive medical attention, and was thus able to achieve another successful attack. This officer has at all times set an extremely high example by his cheerfulness, vigour, great personal courage and extreme devotion to duty." AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star (8th Army clasp) AWMM
    • Italy Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • Efficiency Decoration (ED) AWMM
    • New Zealand Territorial Service Medal 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
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded May 1944 AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded September 1944 AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • OC (Officer Commanding) of 7 Platoon, 21 Battalion, July 1942.

    OC B Company, 21 Battalion, 1943. AWMM


About death

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  • Death
    6 May 1990 AWMM
    Age 75 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Cremated at Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
    Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium records
    Sources Used
  • 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
    • 21 Battalion (Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45) AWMM

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