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Louis Cremona

Nominal Roll Vol 3 (Roll 69), Page: 30 - No known copyright restrictions

Nominal Roll Vol 3 (Roll 69), Page: 30 - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Louis AWMM
  • Surname
    Cremona AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 55923 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    6 July 1889 Military Personnel file MaltaMediterranean Sea Military Personnel file
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    A. Cremona (father), Malta AWMM
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 55923 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW1 Unknown AWMM Chef/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

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • April 25th 2015 is the Centenary of the ANZACS landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. A number of Maltese migrants, resident in Australia, joined the Australian Imperial Forces in different enlistment centres in Australia throughout 1914-18. They fought side-by-side with the Australian troops in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

      But, one may ask: were there any Maltese who joined the New Zealand Army? Historically, the number of Maltese in NZ was relatively very much smaller than Maltese in Australia. However, there were five Maltese who did join and Louis Cremona is the only Gozo-born Maltese migrant to have joined the NZ Expeditionary Forces.

      He is Louis Cremona, born in Rabat Gozo, on the 6th July 1886. His father was Anthony Cremona and his mother Josephine Scicluna. Louis lived in Strada Provicario, Rabat Gozo, today known as Triq L-Arcipriet Cassar. I am obliged to Fr Joe Bezzina, archivist at the Gozo National Archives, who obtained for me a baptismal certificate to confirm Louis’s date of birth and other important details.

      Louis applied for a Malta passport on the 19th January 1906 (Malta National Archives) and disembarked at Wellington on the 5 March 1906 (Trove website). He was single and travelled with a friend a John Pillow, both having obtained a subsidy towards the cost of the passage from Malta to NZ under the Papaffy Scheme.

      Louis enlisted in NZ on the 30 April 1917 at Wellington, where he worked as a cook at the Cress Club, Masterton Hotel. He trained as a rifleman with the 4th Battalion, NZ Rifle Brigade. He was aged 31 years, though he stated his age to be 28 years. He is described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall, with brown eyes, black hair and a pale complexion.

      He saw active service for 333 days at Camiers and Etaples in northern France with the rank of a rifleman but served also as a chef, providing meals for the troops in the trenches. Such a task involved personal risks as he could easily have been killed while providing food provisions to the troops.

      Louis was discharged on the 21st July 1919 on termination of his period of engagement with the NZ Rifle Brigade of over two years. He returned to NZ and resided at Kent St, Wellington.

      Three years later in 1922 he moved to Australia. In 1958, he applied for a service pension through the Katoomba-Leura Repatriation Local Committee. He stated that he was in receipt of two First War medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

      Louis Cremona will be remembered as one of five known Kiwi-Maltese ANZACs from across the Tasman.

      Lest we forget. We will remember them. Public - Mark - Researcher - 13 July 2015 - Written by Mark Caruana.
    • Louis Cremona, the only-known NZ-Maltese ANZAC

      Mark Caruana

      A few issues ago, I wrote about a Maltese ANZAC from Wellington NZ who joined the NZ Expeditionary Force in May 1917 as a rifleman He was posted to the Western Front. Louis Cremona, from Rabat Gozo, is one of five Maltese, who alongside Australian and New Zealanders participated in the WW1 war-effort. I did a search at the Turnbull Library in Wellington NZ and found an entry to a news report on Louis Cremona. The background to this article is as follows.
      Louis must have heard of the injustice done to 214 Maltese (200 of whom were his countrymen from Gozo) who were refused entry to disembark in Australia in Oct. 1916, an incident known in Maltese-Australian migration history, as the Maltese of New Caledonia incident.

      He must have been very upset at learning this and he withdrew his application to enlist with the NZ Army, as a form of protest. The matter went before a military board and this is the outcome.

      A CHEF'S APPEAL. Wairarapa Daily Times, Volume LXX, Issue 146239, 10 May 1917, Page 5


      Louis Cremona, chef, Club Hotel, Masterton, appealed at the Military Service Board in Masterton yesterday, on the grounds of nationality.

      Cremona said he was born in Malta, which politically was a British country. He was, however, not of British blood, but Italian. "What I want to know is, if I am liable for service the same as Britishers?"

      The chairman: Anybody born in the British dominions is in our reserve. Our Act says you are a British-born subject and liable for service.

      Appellant: Is a Maltese entitled to the same privileges as a man of British blood?

      The chairman: A British subject is not necessarily a British citizen, but a man born in Malta is a British subject.

      Appellant: If that is so, why is it that recently about 300 Maltese were refused admission to Australia?

      The chairman: That has nothing to do with us. If you are aggrieved with the Australians, that is another matter.

      Captain Cowlisbaw: How long have you been in New Zealand?

      Five years.

      Have you voted here?


      Appellant: I wish to say that it makes no difference to me. If I have to go, the same as the others, I am quite willing to go.

      The chairman: You are not a shirker and had better withdraw your appeal and go into camp.

      Appellant: I had enlisted, but after reading what happened in Australia, I withdrew my enlistment.

      The Board advised appellant to withdraw his appeal, and granted exemption till May 30th. Appellant seemed quite pleased, and left the box smiling.

      The last sentence Louis left the box smiling says it all. One can only picture the grin on his face!

      He was vindicated. He made a stand, scored a very valid point with the authorities. He knew that the chairman would most likely respond “If you are aggrieved with the Australians that is another matter” but Louis Cremona showed great conviction, confidence and courage in not letting this injustice go unnoticed.

      In Gozo, he had received a good education for his time and was successfully granted a Papaffy passage-subsidy to migrate to NZ in 1906. He migrated with another Papaffy awardee, a John Pillow, a Maltese born in Valletta and residing at Sliema. In 1914, John Pillow joined the NZ Army as a staff sergeant and on whom I will be writing at a later date.

      Lest we forget! Public - Mark - Researcher - 13 July 2015 - Compiled by Mark Caruana.
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About death

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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
13 July 2015CarmenNew ZealandChild

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