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Edward Walter Gillies Churches

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Edward Walter Gillies AWMM
  • Surname
    Churches AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ39900 AWMM
    • WWII 39900 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    17 July 1921 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
    Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand Public - Ian Banks - Researcher - 24 September 2020 - research
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    WW2 Pre 26 August 1939 AWMM Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
    Postman for Post and Telegraph, Auckland, New Zealand. Public - Ian Banks - Researcher - 24 September 2020 - research
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Pre 7 June 1940 AWMM Single/WWII AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 26 August 1939 AWMM
    Age 18 AWMM
    Postman/Civilian AWMM
  • 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
    Killed in Action, Cause of Death AWMM
    Killed on air operations AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Edward Churches failed to return from a flight on 19 April 1941.

      Portrait in Wynn, K. (1981). RMS Rangitata was a New Zealand Shipping Company vessel. It was build in 1929, was 16,737 tons, 552 feet long, 70 feet beam and could travel at 15 knots. It had a refrigerating capacity of 446,000 cubic feet. It was normally employed in the United Kingdom-New Zealand trade but when war broke out it was repainted and began a new career. One of its first tasks was to take Anzacs to Suez and from there carried on to England with her holds full of frozen produce. During the war years she covered over a quarter of a million miles. Countries visited included Panama, Jamaica, Australia, Ceylon, Arabia, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Natal, Spain, Madacasgar, Mauritius, Pitcairn, Argentine, Uruguay, Brazil, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Trinidad, Malta, South Africa, Gambia, Algeria and the United States. Amongst those who travelled on board were the Royal Marines, Polish volunteers (from the Argentine, British evacuee children to New Zealand, United States wounded, German and Italian prisoners of war, Wrens in transit to Rhodesia, 'Desert Rats', West Africans, Canadian war brides, G.I. Joes for D Day, and the First Echelon of New Zealanders from Trentham. The ship had a crew of just over 200 and could accommodate 2600 troops. The Battle of Britain: 10 July- 31 October 1940 AWMM
    • Edward was a student at Auckland Grammar School. He was the son of Mrs F.Sharp. At the time of his death her address was 32 Shackleton Road, Mt. Eden, Auckland, New Zealand Public - Ian Banks - Researcher - 24 September 2020 - research
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About death

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  • Death
    19 April 1941 AWMM
    Age 20 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
    • Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom AWMM
    • Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

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Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
24 September 2020Ian BanksTaumarunui New ZealandResearcher

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