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Tom Bassett Morten

Portrait of Major Tom Bassett Morten, Auckland Weekly News, 23 September 1942. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19420923-18-41. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Major Tom Bassett Morten, Auckland Weekly News, 23 September 1942. Auckland Libraries He …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Tom Bassett AWMM
  • Surname
    Morten AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Thomas AWMM
  • Service number
    WWII 9228 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    30 September 1913 AWMM ChristchurchCanterbury AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 1940 AWMM Tai Tapu AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    WW2 Mrs. R.M. Morten, Tai Tapu (mother) AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) AWMM
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO citation: "Lieutenant Colonel Morten commanded on of the two battalions which attacked the enemy position west of the Roman Wall on the night 21/22 March 1943. The position was well dug and protected by a minefield, anti-tank ditches and wire entanglement. Only a limited artillery programme was available to support the attack but despite this his battalion penetrated the position to a depth of more than 2,000 yards, capturing Hill 201 in the face of considerable opposition and taking several hundred prisoners. As a result of this attack our tanks were able to cross the minefield and exploit the success gained. Again on the afternoon of 26 March 1943, Lieutenant Colonel Morten's battalion was in the hills flanking the advance of the main tank and infantry attack. Supported only by its own weapons, this battalion advanced some 1,300 yards during the main attack in spite of strong opposition from enemy machineguns and was able during the night to join with the troops in the field objective. Throughout both these operations Lieutenant Colonel Morten showed tactical skill of a high order and inspired his command by his own coolness and determination." (NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944) 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
    • Efficiency Decoration and 2 bars (ED**) AWMM
    • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • 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 15 July 1942 AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Served as second-in-command (2 I/C) of 26 Battalion at El Alamein

    Served as Commanding Officer (CO) of 25 Battalion, January 1943 - February 1944

    Returned to Territorial Forces after WWII, serving as CO of 1 Canterbury Regiment, 1954-57

    Promoted to Brigadier and served as Commander of 3 NZ Infantry Brigade, 1957-61

    Served as Territorial Forces representative on NZ Army Board

    Appointed Honorary Colonel of 2 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR), 1966 AWMM
Read more


About death

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  • Death
    16 August 1975 AWMM
    Age 61 AWMM
    ChristchurchCanterbury AWMM
  • 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

Roll of Honour

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Leave a tribute or memory of Tom Bassett Morten

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Related Serviceperson



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  • External links
    • My father's name was TOM Bassett Morten.
      Not Thomas as recorded on your records. Public - Ian Tyler - Sibling - 27 February 2016 - Certificate of Date of Birth No 420966
    • I am Richard James Morten, Tom Morten's eldest son. He was TOM Bassett Morten, not Thomas. Public - RICHARD JAMES - Child - 29 April 2017 - His birth certificate dated 3rd Oct 1949
      His marriage certificate dated 25 June 1943 - it bears his signature.
      His claim for campaign stars, defence and war medals he submitted in 1950 - it bears his signature
      His New Zealand Military History sheet covering his service during WWII
      Newspaper cuttings relating to his death all of which refer to him as TOM
      I will forward by separate email copies of the above docuemnts
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.134 AWMM
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Puttick, E. (1960). 25 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
    • Norton, F. (1952). 26 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
29 April 2017RICHARD JAMES Balmain, NSW, AUSTRALIA Child
27 February 2016Ian Tyler Geraldine New ZealandSibling

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