5th Brigade Battle Dress Blouse

Fifth NZ Brigade

Up until February 1945, the 2nd New Zealand Division was made up of three infantry brigades, 4th, 5th & 6th. The 5th Infantry Brigade saw service during the Battle of Greece, the Battle of Crete, the North African Campaign and the Italian Campaign before being disbanded in late 1945.  For the most part, each of the three NZ brigades consisted of three infantry battalions. For the Fifth Brigade these battalions were the 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 28th (Maori) Battalions. Each infantry battalion, except the 28th (Maori) Battalion, was recruited from specific provinces in New Zealand. The 21st Battalion was from Auckland (and northern districts) region, 22nd Wellington (east coast and lower North Island) and the 23rd was from the South Island. Maori were not subject to conscription and only volunteers served in the 28th (Maori) Battalion. Each company of this battalion were recruited from specific tribal areas of New Zealand. 

Battle Dress Blouse

This particular blouse is dated 1944 and although the stamp is very hard to read, was probably manufactured by the Maria Vale Clothing Company, Auckland. You can see in the first photo the tab and button used to close the blouse at the throat that replaced the earlier hook and eye system of closing in March 1942.

This Battle Dress Blouse was worn by a kiwi who served in the 22nd Battalion and took part in the early 2nd NZEF campaigns in Greece, Crete and North Africa. He was captured (July 1942) during the 1st battle of El Alamein. On his return to NZ, after the War, he remained in the NZ military until 1959.

6557, 201035 Thomas Gerald Norman CARTER

Born 25/06/1916 in Warkworth.  Enlisted 2nd NZEF 12/01/1940 (had served in the Territorials from 17/10/1934 to 11/01/1940). Served overseas from 01/05/1940 to 24/10/1945. Sailed from UK for Egypt 04/01/1941. Was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 01/05/1940 and a year latter to Lieutenant. With the 22nd Battalion, served as part of Luster force in the Greece campaign, reported safe back in Egypt 04/05/1941. While acting as Adjutant 5th Infantry Brigade is appointed as Temporary Captain 31/01/1942. Promoted to substantive Captain 19/05/1942. Posted missing 22 Battalion 22/07/1942 latter changed to missing believed POW. Would have been captured at Ruweisat Ridge on the 14-15/07/1942. In a night attack on the 14/07/1942 the 4th and 5th Brigades capture Ruweisat Ridge but are un-supported by tanks or artillery, on the dawn of the 15/07/1942 German tanks counter-attacked and overran 22nd Battalion’s position, approximately 278 of the battalion are captured. Thomas CARTER was held in POW camps PG 75, PG 78, PG 47, Oflag 5A, POW number 2331. Safe in UK 13/05/1945 and embarked for NZ 23/09/1945 arriving 24/10/1945. Served with the 1 Battalion Wellington Regiment (City of Wellington Own) 29/12/1945 to 30/04/1949, 17/04/1950 to 30/03/1951 and 27/02/1953 to 05/07/1959 (was promoted to Major 01/04/1954) finally posted to the Retired list 28/08/1961. He had served for a total of 26 years and 315 days. Medals awarded 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, NZ War Service Medal and Efficiency Decoration with clasp.  Is also eligible for the NZ Defence Service Medal. On enlistment his occupation was listed as lawyer and In June 1947 was admitted to the Bar. Was a partner in the Lower Hutt firm of Hogg Gillespie Carter and Oakley and was involved in most of Lower Hutt City Council’s legal work. In 1990 the law firm was split with Carter Mayne operating out of Lower Hutt and Oakley Moran worked out of Wellington. He remained in partnership with David Mayne until his retirement in the late 1990’s. Was also a president of the Lower Hutt Rotary club in 1976/77 and remained a Rotarian for 50 years. He was also active in the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce and was elected its president in 1967. Died 2011.

5th Brigade capt ft5th Brigade capt side5th Brigade capt badge 2

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