Bernard Cyril AWMM
Also known as
Medals and Awards
- Victoria Cross (VC) AWMM
VC citation. " For most conspicuous bravery and brilliant leading as a Battalion Commander". (London Gazette 15 December 1916) AWMM
- Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) AWMM
- Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB) AWMM
- Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) AWMM
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and 3 bars (DSO***) AWMM
DSO citation: "In recognition of his services with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the landing on the Peninsula the night of 24-25 April 1915, when he swam ashore at night, alone, and lit flares on the beach to distract attention from the landing operations which were happening elsewhere. He was several hours in the water before being picked up. (London Gazette, 3 June 1915)
1st DSO Bar citation: "For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the attacks which led up to the capture of Gheluvelt on 28 September 1918, where the success of the operations was greatly due to his dash and leading power. Wherever the fighting was thickest he was always to be found leading and encouraging his troops." (London Gazette, 1 February 1919)
2nd DSO Bar citation: "For marked gallantry and initiative on 11 November 1918 at Lessines. He personally led the cavalry, and though at the time he only had nine men with him, he rushed the town, capturing 100 of the enemy and preventing the blowing up of important road bridges over the Dendre." (London Gazette, 8 March 1919)
3rd DSO Bar citation: "In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy [As General Officer Commanding the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force]." (London Gazette, 5 July 1945) AWMM
- Knight of Justice of the Order of St John (KStJ) AWMM
- 1914 Star (5th Aug-22nd Nov 1914 clasp) 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 AWMM
- New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
- Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) Seven Times AWMM
- Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
- Cross of Valour (Greece) AWMM
- Military Cross (Greece) AWMM
- Legion of Merit: Degree of Commander (USA) AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
- Wounds Diseases Etc., WWI AWMM
Wounded 9 times AWMM
- Died of wounds, Cause of Death AWMM
Died from rupture of his Gallipoli wounds AWMM
Son of James and Julia Freyberg.
The Freybergs migrated to New Zealand and moved to Wellington in 1891.
Four brothers served in WW1 Oscar Freyberg (RNVR) killed 1915, Cuthbert Freyberg (2/91), Paul Milton Freyberg (12374) died of wounds 1917 and Bernard Cyril Freyberg (4006) who went on to serve in WW2 as well.
Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant with 6 (Hauraki) Regiment in January 1912
In 1912, he unsuccessfully sought a position in the New Zealand Staff Corps.
In 1913 he is reported to have been involved in the Mexican Civil War
He first served with the RNVR at the outbreak of war in 1914, as part of the Hood Battalion.
Served in Belgium in September 1914 and Gallipoli in 1915
After being evacuated from Gallipoli, he transferred to the British Army, RW Surrey Regiment and served on the Western Front.
Commanded 173 Brigade, 58 Division and 88 Brigade, 29 Division, 1917-1919
On 14 June 1922, Freyberg married Barbara McLaren (nee Jekyll), a widow with two children. They had one son, Paul Freyberg, who also served in World War 2.
Transferred to Grenadier Guards and then served as CO of 1 Battalion, Manchester Regiment, 1929-31
Appointed Assistant Quartermaster General (AQMG) of Southern Command, UK, 1931-33
Served as General Staff Officer grade 1 (GSO1) with the War Office in 1934
Promote to Major General in July 1934
Due to a heart murmur, Freyberg was obliged to retire in 1937.
He returned to active duty in 1939 when he was briefly put in charge of the Salisbury Plain area before accepting command of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
He remained as the commander of the New Zealand forces throughout the Second World War.
After the war, Freyberg served as Governor-General of New Zealand, the from June 1946 to August 1952.
Freyberg was admitted into the British peerage in 1951, taking the title 1st Baron of Wellington, New Zealand and of Munstead in the County of Surrey.
He took up residence in the Norman Gateway at Windsor Castle to serve as its Deputy Constable and Lieutenant Governor on 1 March 1953. He served there until his death in 1963.
Freyberg died when one of his old Gallipoli wounds ruptured.
Victoria Cross not publicly held AWMM
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Bernard Cyril Freyberg
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 1: WW2 62 AWMM
- Freyberg, P. (1991). Bernard Freyberg, VC: soldier of two nations. London, England: Hodder & Stoughton. AWMM
- Stevens, W. G. (1965). Freyberg, V.C., the man: 1939-1945. Wellington N.Z.: A.H. & A.W. Reed. AWMM
- Barber, L., & Tonkin-Covell, J. (1989). Freyberg: Churchill's salamander. Auckland, N.Z.: Century Hutchinson. AWMM
- Gardiner, N. (1981). Freyberg's circus: reminiscences of a Kiwi soldier in the North African campaign of World War II. Auckland, N.Z.: Ray Richards in association with William Collins. AWMM
- Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
- Harper, G., & Richardson, C. (2006). In the face of the enemy: The complete history of the Victoria Cross and New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: HarperCollins NZ. AWMM
- The Register of the Victoria Cross. (1997). (3rd ed.). Cheltenham, England: This England. AWMM
The Register of the Victoria Cross. (1997). (3rd ed.). p. 115 AWMM
- Barnes, D. Roger. The armorial bearings of Bernard Lord Freyberg. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 89/171. AWMM
- Harper, G., Clements, C., & Johns., R. (2019). For King and Other Countries: The New Zealanders Who Fought in Other Services in the First World War. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press. AWMM
P. 42 -46 AWMM
|18 April 2015||Cole Matthew||Auckland, New Zealand||Researcher||
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