RNZAF Sweetheart badges

The collecting of sweetheart badges is a bit of a specialist area in militaria collecting and it’s not something I have got that deep into, however, over the last month or two I have managed to pick up a few “sweet” air force examples.

These “love tokens” showed that the wearer had a loved one who was doing their bit and was serving in the branch of the service represented by the miniature badge being worn proudly by their loved one. These little representations of the badges being worn in service were very popular in both World Wars where it seemed that almost every women was wearing one.

These “sweethearts” come in many forms some being quite simple while others show the jewellers skill in representing the various badges in miniature.

My first few examples are on the simpler side of the scale and are probably the most common form of these sweethearts when a military button or badge simply has the back converted with the addition of a broach making it easy to wear.

My first example is simply a RNZAF button that has had the button shank removed from the back and has been replaced with a simple broach.

For comparison here is a example of a un-modified Firmin made NZ air force button.


The second example is a converted RNZAF other ranks cap badge. Always thought this was a cool badge with the way the RNZAF letters have been squeezed into that little space available between the laurel leaves. Makes a nice little sweetheart.

Again for comparison here is an unconverted badge with the original lugs on the back.

The following examples are miniature versions of air force qualification wings.

First up a rather simply manufactured cast version of the pilots wing. The RAF in the centre of the badge has the addition of NZ on the wings.


Next example is of a sterling silver, blue enamel miniature of the Observers Wing. There is no makers mark other than the “Sterling” stamp in the back.

observer sweetheartobserver sweetheart 1

Next up, appropriately enough as the large version of the Navigator badge replaced the Observers badge in 1942, is a nice mini navigators badge in gold. The back of this is marked JWB (James William Benson), and hallmarked with the crown (for Gold), 375 (for 9 caret), and an assay mark which I cant make out even with a loop.


My last example of these rather cool badges is a miniature of the Air Gunners qualification wing. This one only has “Silver” stamped into the back, unfortunately no makers mark.




New Zealand prisoners of Japan WW2

Over the last year and a bit I have been working on a register of all New Zealanders (both military and civilian) who were held captive by the Japanese in the Second World War. The intention was to create something that would be useful at my work and as an online resource that might be useful to others. Currently my register has 785 names on it.

My methodology in deciding who is a New Zealander is broad. If they were born there, resided there and still have next of kin there or were married to a New Zealander, I have included their names in my list. I haven’t included all those New Zealanders who were in the “Far East” and either got away or were killed in the fighting, only those that were captured by the Japanese.

If they served in the Army, Air Force, Navy or Merchant Navy I have counted them as Military. If they were a civilian working in the Far East but then joined and served with one of the many volunteer forces in the area at the time, I have counted them as military too. If they were one of the many missionaries working in the area before capture, I have considered these as civilians.

The civilian classification is broken into 1.) New Zealanders 2.) nationality undetermined (indicated by *) 3.) British nationality (indicated by **).

The main source of information for civilian names in my register, is the card index of the “New Zealand Missing and Prisoners of War Agency”, held by Archives NZ in Wellington. I have also used online resources like the Ancestry, CWGC, Cambridge Digital Library, FEPOW family, Centre for research – Allied POW’s under the Japanese, Australian Department of Veterans Affairs – nominal roll, Hong Kong War diary, plus others. I am lucky in that where I work, I have access to the WW2 New Zealand military service files and some other resources that have helped me compile the names of NZ military held as POW by the Japanese.

Some interesting numbers from my register:

Of the 785 kiwis there were 153 women and 632 men held in captivity.

There were 119, who died while in captivity, 114 of those were men.

Of the 785 names, 351 were in the military. 98 (or 27%) of them died in captivity.

I have identified 31 kiwis who worked on the “Death Railways”. Of the 25 kiwis who worked on the Thailand/Burma Railway, 19 of them died. Of the 6 kiwis who worked on the Sumatra railway, 2 of them died.

The first kiwi death in Japanese custody was on 16 December 1941, the last was 10 August 1945.

52 captive New Zealanders served with the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force. 25 kiwis with the Australian Military Forces (14 of them died). The British forces had 22, and Hong Kong Volunteer Defence force 19. There were smaller groups of kiwis who served with the military forces of lots of other groups/countries in the area.

I don’t believe I have captured the names of all the New Zealanders who were held by the Japanese and I am sure there are some names I have listed that, for one reason or another, shouldn’t be here. I want to make this register as accurate as possible so that is why I want to put the draft register here for comment, correction or addition.

If you see any errors, names spelt wrong, names listed that shouldn’t be here, tell me. If you know of a name I have missed, let me know. There are lots of gaps in the roll, initials, names of camps missing etc, if you can fill-in any of these details please add a comment with the details and I will correct/update my master list.



Royal Air Force, Officers Service Dress

Has been a while so thought I would show one of my most recent purchases. Picked this RAF Officers Service Dress up at a local auction. Nice padded WW2 period, RAF pilots wing and ranked to a Squadron Leader who was awarded the Air Crew Europe Star with “France & Germany” clasp.RAF wing

RAF ft 1 The thing that made me “had to have it” was that it was named, came with his service ID discs, and also came with a little research that the previous owner had done on the original owner.

Something that makes this RAF service dress a little different is the New Zealand shoulder titles.RAF NZ title

At the outbreak of World War Two, New Zealand did not have the capacity to completely train aircrew in any great numbers. Prior to the instigation of the Empire Training Scheme, were New Zealand air crew had their provisional training at home and finished their training in another Commonwealth country, usually Canada (Of the 131,000 trainees who graduated in Canada, New Zealanders formed 5.3%) many kiwi’s (approx. 401) took a short service commission in the RAF and finished their flight training in the United Kingdom. There were 134 trained pilots who relinquished their RNZAF commissions and accepted a five year short service commission in the Royal Air Force. Of all the 401 kiwis who sailed to the UK, 213 did not survive the war to make the trip back to NZ. Fortunately, William George Charles GASQUOINE, the original uniform owner, did make it back.

Written in the lining of one of the sleeves is the name GASQUOINE and the two id discs have the same surname with the initials WG and RAF service number 45703. The research done by the previous owner came up with the answer that this uniform belonged to William George Charles GASQUOINE. I did a quick “Google” search and found a number of London Gazette notices confirming RAF service and the name and service number.

At the end of their five year RAF short service commission, most men accepted a commission back into the RNZAF. I have managed to locate William’s RNZAF file which, along with all his RNZAF service, details all of his RAF postings.

William George Charles GASQUOINE was born in 1918 in Wellington, New Zealand. He grew up in Nelson, going to Nelson Collage until leaving in 1936 and taking up a Drafting cadetship with the Lands and Survey Department where he stayed until the outbreak of World War Two. In October 1939 William joined the RNZAF and was awarded his flying badge, 10 February 1940. He left NZ on the 26 April 1940 and on arriving in the UK in June, accepted his commission into the RAF. After continuing his flight training with 10 and 12 Operational Training Units he was posted to 78 Squadron (78 Squadron was used to drop British airborne troops into Italy in February 1941-Operation Colossus, the first use of Brit airborne troops). After two months with the squadron he was posted to 1 Anti Aircraft Co-operation Unit (AACU) in November 1940. While with the 1 AACU he took command of “G” flight Cleave and “Q” flight at Aberporth. In August of 1942 he was posted to 42 Operational Training Unit where he was an instructor, going on to be the Chief Flying Instructor and Flight Commander. At the end of his time with the OTU he was posted to 487 (NZ) Squadron flying de Havilland Mosquitos. 487 (NZ) Squadron is perhaps best well known for its bombing attack on Amiens Prison (Operation Jericho) in February 1944, William was not involved in this operation but he was involved in the retaliatory attacks after the execution of 30 SAS prisoners of war who were members of the behind the lines Operation Bulbasket (June-August 1944). On 1st August 1944, 23 Mosquito FB VI (21 & 487 Squadron) attacked Caserne des Dunes barracks, Poitiers. William was the pilot (navigator was Flying Officer P.E. PRIOR) of Mosquito-EG-K, PZ164 which was latter lost in the Aarus attack, 31 October 1944 when it lost a engine after flying through a bomb blast and was forced to land in Sweden and was set alight by the crew before it could be captured. At the end of his time with the squadron, in September, he was posted to staff duty roles, first with the 2nd Tactical Air Force Headquarters and then with Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. In August 1945 he had his final overseas posting to 1 Ferry Unit, Pershore where he qualified as a flying instructor “C” category. In May 1946, after six years 22 days overseas and 240 operational flying hours, he left the UK and arrived back in New Zealand on the 30 June 1946. He was finally discharged from the RNZAF on the 19 January 1947 and returned to civilian life. The types of aircraft he flew were; de Havilland Tiger Moth, Miles Hawk, Avro Tutor, Miles Mentor, Percival Proctor, Avro Anson, Fairey Gordon, Victor Vildebeeste, Fairey Battle, Armstrong Whitley III & V, Hawker Henley, Hawker Hurricane, de Havilland Mosquito VI, XVI and XX.

One of the things I discovered on doing a little research on William was that in January 1943 he was awarded a Kings Commendation for Bravery.

Interestingly, the Kings Commendation for Brave Conduct (1916-1952) was awarded in three forms. From 1916-1942, it was awarded just as a certificate similar to the ones issued with Mention in Dispatches. In 1943, they were issued as a gold and red plastic pin – backed badge. From 1944 onwards, the badges were not issued and instead, a silver laurel leaf was issued for civilians and worn on the Defence Medal if held, or on the tunic if not. For armed forces, an oak leaf identical to the M.I.D. was issued and worn on the War Medal 1939-45.




Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Aircrew badges

RNZAF WING FTWill start off with this interesting badge. It is perhaps unique for a Commonwealth World War Two aircrew badge in that it is both marker identified and dated.

This particular type of badge was intended for wear on a tropical uniform where the badges could be removed so the uniform could be laundered. As you can see in the photo of the back of this example it would have been held onto the uniform by the loops on the badge and a cotter pin, there was also a backing plate shaped like the badge, that is unfortunately missing from my example, that would have gone between the uniform and badge holding it tight on the uniform. Visible just above the cotter pin is 44 indicating the date 1944.


These pilots wings were worn by RNZAF pilots in the Pacific theatre during WW2 but they were also worn latter by RNZAF crews based in Singapore and serving during the Malayan Emergency.


Under the blue paint, that a particular NZ collector used on the backs of all his badges, is the makers mark, M&K, W, this is for the company Mayer and Kean Ltd, Wellington. The company was established in 1902 and now operates as Mayer & Toye Ltd. It is still fully owned by the Mayer Family and still makes badges.

I have another example of this badge which is a little different from the one pictured above in that it doesn’t ever seem to have had a silver coating and is pin backed.RNZAF WING PIN FRNTI believe this example was originally the same as the example shown above but has been converted, perhaps in the field, by the removal of the cotter pin and one of the loops on the back. There does seem to be a bit of scorching to the back where the pin hinge has been secured over the area of the missing loop. The other loop hasn’t been removed but has been cut and used to catch the pin. I do not believe this is an example of a “Sweetheart” badge, as it looks a little plain, I am not sure why it is not silver coated.RNZAF WING PIN BCK

As in the top example this badge is marked M&K, W and again above the pin you can make out the date 1944.RNZAF WING PIN NAME

Here is a example of a RNZAF Pilot wing that was worn in the  European and North African theater. RNZAF CONT WING FT

My example has seen better days but is still a nice example of a WW2, padded pilot wing. The photo of the back shows the padding and one of the backing types commonly seen on commonwealth wings of this period.RNZAF CONT WING BCKClose up of the central badge of the wings showing the embroidery of the kings crown laurel leaves and central “NZ” indicating that these are New Zealand Air Force Wings.


For comparison here is a Royal Air Force non padded flat pilot wing dating from around the same period as the wing above.RAF WING FTClose up of the central badge showing the embroidery of the kings crown and “RAF” showing these are Royal Air Force wings.RAF WING CLSEThe photo of the back shows a different backing material that is encountered on these wings. There is also an indication that these either had press studs or perhaps a pin to secure the wing to the uniform. The red fluff on the back is a bit of the backing material I use to display my badges that has stuck to glue residue.RAF WING BCK

Will finish with some examples of the modern pilot wings from my collection. First up is the modern version of the first wing shown. Rather than pressed it is a cast wing I am not sure who the manufacture of these  are but do not think they are made by Mayer & Toye. Rather than having a cotter pin it is secured to the uniform with modern clutch backs. This wing is intended to be worn while in light blue shirt sleeve order.MOD RNZAF FRNTDetail is not as crisp as in the earlier pressed wings but still a nice looking badge.

The back showing the mounting arrangement of pins and clutches.MOD RNZAF BCKThe clutch backs are marked “Made in USA”.MOD RNZAF CLUTCH My last pilots wing is the worn on the flight suit. It includes the pilots name and this particular one belonged to a Flight Lieutenant from the 3rd Squadron, RNZAF.MOD RNZAF FLIGHT SUIT FTClose up of the central machine embroidered detail of this wing showing the Queens crown, laurel leaves and NZ.MOD RNZAF FLIGHT SUIT CLSEThe rear of the badge shows how it is secured to the flight suit using the common method of attaching badges these days, of hook and pile (commonly called Velcro).MOD RNZAF FLIGHT SUIT BCK



How am I going?

Just checking out my stats and seeing how many view/visitors I have been getting. Have been with WordPress since 2015 and the numbers have been steadily increasing but just want to check to see if what I am providing is any good. What I guess I am trying to do is show items that aren’t that common and perhaps provide some useful information. Some of the research on the items shown is my own and other bits of information I have found from published books or on the web, I do try and credit these sources where I use them but this is something I could be better at.

With my figures I have used all original items and I have tried to not cut corners, using repro items or items incorrect for the time period depicted, I have tried to make the figures as authentic as possible. I have to admit I do enjoy putting these figures together so will try and put a few more together.

If anyone out there has comments or suggestions on what I already have on this blog please feel free to leave a comment. If there are things I could do better of if there are any things you would like to see more of please let me know.



New Zealand Divisional Provost Company, Italy 1944

MP clseDuring World War 1 New Zealand military police served on all fronts where New Zealand soldiers fought as part of 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force. They were all mounted. After the Armistice, the NZ Military Police were disbanded.

During World War 2, the NZ Military Police were re-established. The first detachment sailed for the Middle East in January 1940, where they served on all fronts and in all engagements with 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. After the 2nd World War ended, the military police were again disbanded.

Below is the duties of a Provost Unit as described in the unofficial history of the 5th NZ Provost Company (this company was based in the Pacific but the duties performed in Italy would have been much the same).

1. The duties of a provost unit are many and varied.

2. No community or body can function efficiently without some police system, and the provosts supply the system for the Army.

3. The patrolling of roads to enforce speed limits to save excessive wear on vehicles and road surfaces is an apparent need; but the elimination of accidents by these patrols, efficient signposting, and escort of convoys is apparent only by results.

4. Patrols in towns and villages not only prevent incidents or disturbances with the local population, but also protect military personnel from being exploited. The military policeman, in directing soldiers away from suspected sources is only protecting the soldier.

5. The protection of equipment and supplies from theft or damage is as vital as the detection of thieves and vandals, but the provosts fill both needs.

6. Specialised knowledge of road conditions and terrain enable convoys of vehicles to be brought safely and quickly to their destination.

7. Prisoners of war require collecting and guarding en route to rear areas and special knowledge is needed to carry out this work.

8. From the time of a landing until hostilities cease, provosts are incessantly directing stragglers to their units, directing traffic, and signposting routes and captured areas.

9. Liaison and control of native populations in the battle or occupied areas is, in itself, a big task.

10. These are but a few of the duties of the provosts. If there are any other odd jobs to do, just call on the military police. They are always willing and will do the job well.

The below photo of a NZ Provost taken near Casino in Italy and was the inspiration for my figure. NZ mil police 1

My figure is wearing a US made war aid, herring bone twill (HBT) bush jacket with sergeant rank and British made MP brassard. The khaki drill trousers are privately made possibly of Indian manufacture . The webbing is a mix of Indian (Bata Shoe Company manufactured belt and cross brace) and British (Webley ammunition pouch and the Mills Equipment Company holster). The brass silver plated whistle doesn’t have any manufacturing marks. MP full

Closer look at both the MP brassard and the whistle and lanyard.





Anzac Commemorative Medallion

ANZAC in case

This bronze medallion was instituted in 1967 for award to Australian and New Zealand personnel who participated in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. ANZAC 1The main design on the obverse of the medallion depicts Simpson and his donkey carrying a wounded soldier, an iconic image of the ANZAC experience at Gallipoli.


It was based on a watercolour by 4/26A Sapper H. Moore-Jones, NZ Engineers, who fought on the ridges above Anzac Cove until overcome with exhaustion. He was later re-employed as an artist and made numerous sketches of the men and actions in and around the Gallipoli Peninsula. Sapper. Moore-Jones based his paintings upon a photograph of Pte. Richard (Dick) Henderson and a donkey.

R Henderson

Richard Henderson


Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (born 6 July 1892, died 19 May 1915), better known as ‘Simpson’ or ‘the man with the donkey’, was assigned to the 3rd Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps. He was among the covering force which landed on Gallipoli at dawn on 25 April 1915.  At Gallipoli he used a donkey (named ‘Abdul’, ‘Murphy’ or ‘Duffy’) to carry wounded soldiers to the dressing station and gained a reputation for being undaunted by enemy fire.


John Simpson Kirkpatrick


On 19 May 1915 he was killed. The myth-making began almost immediately after his death, and he soon became one of the best-known images of the ANZAC experience. The task of evacuating wounded by donkey was then continued by a New Zealander, Pte. R.A. Henderson.

Below the main design is a wreath of gum leaves (Australian Eucalyptus), below which is a scroll bearing the word “ANZAC” (Australian New Zealand Army Corps). ANZAC BckThe circular portion of the reverse has a map of Australia and New Zealand with the Southern Cross. Beneath which is a wreath of fern leaves (representing New Zealand) and a blank scroll allowing for the inclusion of the recipient’s name. The medallion measures 76mm x 50mm, and is engraved on the reverse with the recipient’s initials and surname only. Because of insufficient space on the scroll, the rank and number had to be omitted. Originally all NZ medallions were engraved at the Royal NZ Electrical Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME) workshop at Trentham Military camp, they are still engraved in Trentham but not by the RNZEME, it’s now done by civilians of Personnel Archives and Medals section NZDF.

The design of the medallion was the work of Raymond Boultwood Ewers, a well known artist and Australian War Memorial sculptor.

The medallion itself is not designed to be worn, however, those personnel who were still alive when the medallion was issued also received a lapel badge sized version of the full medallion, numbered on the reverse with the individual’s First World War service number. Those who claimed the award on behalf of a deceased relative received only the medallion.  The medallion was issued with a certificate.  ANZAC cert The medallion is sometimes referred to as the Gallipoli Medallion.

The idea of officially awarding something that commemorates the service at Gallipoli of the Anzac troops seems to have been a contentious and drawn out matter.

As early as 1917 Lieutenant General Birdwood was suggesting the idea that a medal the “Gallipoli Star” (originally to be called the ANZAC Star) should be awarded to members of the Australian Imperial Force and 1NZEF who served at Gallipoli. The medal and ribbon were designed by Warrant Officer, R.K. Peacock of Defence Headquarters, Melbourne. King George V approved the design for the Gallipoli Star medal and ribbon to be awarded to “…all Dominion officers and soldiers of the Australian, New Zealand and Newfoundland military forces who actually served with an Expeditionary Force provided that they landed on the Gallipoli peninsula prior to the evacuation thereof”.

However, by August 1918 when the design of the star and the conditions for award had been finalised, and stocks of ribbon forwarded to New Zealand and Australia (according to a document in the Australian War Memorial, “thousands of meters of ribbon were woven”, and was ready for issue), the proposal was reviewed by the British government following criticism from both members of Parliament and the media in the United Kingdom, who were uneasy about British and other forces of the Empire being ineligible for the proposed star. After consultation with the Australian and New Zealand governments, the British War Cabinet agreed that the 1914-15 Star would be awarded to all personnel who had served at Gallipoli.

Since 1918, notably in 1949-50, and in the period 1962-66, efforts have been made, through parliamentary representations, to have the Gallipoli Star awarded. The United Kingdom Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals ‘expressed strong objections to any special form of recognition which would indicate discriminatory treatment in favour of any individual contingent participating in the Gallipoli campaign.” Eventually, in October 1965, after rejecting the idea of producing an Army emblem with the “A” on it for veterans to wear, the idea of a medallion and lapel badge was favoured by members of the Australian Defence Committee. From March 1967 the Anzac Commemorative Medallion began to be issued, however this was not the end of the story of the “Gallipoli Star”.

Gallipoli Star

In 1990 Mr Ross Smith, of Canberra a former Australian Army Warrant Officer and Vietnam veteran, arranged, at his own expense, for dies from the original design to be manufactured and for AJ Parkes & Co Pty Ltd, of Brisbane to strike 1000 examples of the medal. Two hundred of these medals were personally presented by Mr Smith to Australian (150) and NZ (50) Gallipoli veterans. The remaining stars were made available to the public through Suttle Medals of Sydney. After the initial striking of the 1000 stars, the dies were donated to the Australian War Museum in Canberra; however due to high interest in the medal, Suttle Medals subsequently secured a second and final striking of three hundred medals. These second strike stars are marked on the back with “COLLECTOR’S/ITEM”.

Even after all this time the Gallipoli Star remains a private award, without official approval.

Anzac day 2017

That time of the year (25 April) when New Zealand and Australia remembers and celebrates the service of our men and women of the Army, Navy & Air Force (see link to Anzac day 2016 Anzac day 2016).

Today is the 101st Anzac day and it seems to be gaining in importance for both countries each year. Even in my small home town (population of about 13,000 people) there were about 100 people present at this mornings dawn service at the war memorial. For myself I look on this time to not only acknowledge the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders but remember the sacrifices of all service people and thank them all for their service. So if you are reading this and are a former service person or you are currently serving, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Thought I would show a few of my Anzac related items, which you will hopefully find interesting.

Starting with perhaps my smallest item.Anzac day ftThis small tie pin is nine carat gold and is made up of both NZ and Australian iconography. Topped by the kings crown the central image of the Australian sunburst Image (used on the army’s universal cap/collar badge) and NZ Moa bird (could also be an Australian Emu) is surrounded by the NZ silver fern and is finished off with the base scroll with “ANZAC” engraved on it.

The back of this nice little tie pin that would have been worn by a proud former Gallipoli veteran.Anzac day bck

These three World War One medals were issued to a NZ serviceman who had served and survived the Gallipoli Campaign.Anzac day medalsThe medals are (from left to right) the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal (also known as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred).

The impressing on the rim of the BWM and Victory and back of the 1914-15 Star, show they were awarded to 10/1245 Sergeant E. GRANT, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.Anzac day medals name

10/1245 Ernest GRANT landed on the Gallipoli Peninsular on the 25 April 1915 with the Wellington Infantry Battalion. After serving in the 7th Wellington West Coast Regiment from the landing for just over 4 months, he was attached to the Brigade Headquarters as a cook. Like many who served on the peninsula, his health suffered and in October he was evacuated off Gallipoli to Number 2, Australian General Hospital, Mudros with diarrhea. In January 1916 he left the island of Lemnos being evacuated to Cairo on the Australian hospital ship Asturias. After a period of recuperation in Egypt and training and instruction in the United Kingdom he then went on to serve with the 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, in France. He survived the war and even went on to serve at home in the Second World War. He passed away in Nelson, New Zealand in May 1956.

My last item was for a New Zealander who did not make it back home from Gallipoli being killed there on the 3 May 1915.

I have a strong interest in collecting both the official and un-official ways of commemorating New Zealand’s war dead and this particular piece is one of my favourites.Anzac day memAnzac day mem clse


Stanley MURCOTT was from Otago in the South Island of New Zealand and enlisted for service in the 1st NZ Expeditionary Force on the 26 August 1914. He landed on ANZAC cove on the 25 April 1915 with the 4th Otago Company, Otago Infantry Battalion. The 2nd to 3rd of May 1915 was a bad time for the Otago Battalion. They were assigned to launch an attack up Monash Gully in an attempt to help Godley’s New Zealand & Australian Division seize Baby 700. The attack on the 2nd May began badly with the Otago’s arriving one and a half hours late at the jump off point because of unfamiliarity with the terrain, the weather and descending darkness. The attack was a total failure: no ground was gained, and there were about 800 casualties. The Otago’s lost about half their strength as killed, wounded and missing. During the morning of 3 May the remnants of the Otago Infantry Battalion mustered on the beach over half the men were absent from the roll call. Of the 4th Otago’s alone, only 57 out of about 200 answered the roll call.

Stanley’s name, along with others from the district, on the Hampden War memorial.Hampden War Memorial



Royal New Zealand Navy, Rear Admiral’s Uniform

Chief NavyOf the three services the Navy is a bit of red headed stepchild in my collection. However, I do have this uniform though and it is a pretty good one since it was once worn by a Chief of the New Zealand Navy.

Chief of Navy (CN) commands the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and is responsible to the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) for raising, training and sustaining those forces necessary to meet agreed government outputs. The CN acts as principal advisor to the CDF on Navy matters, and is the most senior appointment in the RNZN. The rank associated with the position is rear admiral, and CNs are generally appointed on a three-year term.

The position was originally created as Chief of Naval Staff and First Naval Member upon the formation of the RNZN on 1 October 1941. The title changed to Chief of Naval Staff in 1970, and CN in 2003

A close up of the rank braid for Rear Admiral.Chief Navy rank braid

The ribbons are (from L to R); New Zealand Order of Merit (Officer), Royal Victorian Order (Member), New Zealand Operational Service Medal, New Zealand General Service Medal (non-warlike), New Zealand Armed Forces Award with Rosette.

Chief Navy ribbons

The Order of New Zealand Merit

NZ order of MeritInstituted in 1996, the New Zealand Order of Merit has five levels: Knight or Dame Grand Companion (GNZM), Knight or Dame Companion (KNZM / DNZM), Companion (CNZM), Officer (ONZM) and Member (MNZM). Appointments to the New Zealand Order of Merit are made for meritorious service to the Crown or the nation and to those who have become distinguished in their particular field of endeavour. The number of living Knight or Dame Grand Companions at any one time is restricted to 30. Appointments to the remaining four levels are limited to 15 Knight or Dame Companions, 40 Companions, 80 Officers and 140 Members per year.

The Royal Victorian Order

Royal_Victorian_Order_UK_ribbonMembership in the Royal Victorian Order is conferred by the reigning monarch without ministerial advice on those who have performed personal service for the sovereign, any member of his or her family, or any of his or her viceroys. All living citizens of any Commonwealth realm, including women since 1936, are eligible for any of the five levels of the order (Member, Lieutenant, Commander, Knight/Dame Commander, Knight/Dame Grand Cross).

The NZ Operational Service Medal

NZOSMThe New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) was instituted in 2002 for award to New Zealanders who have undertaken operational service since 3 September 1945. The start date is the day after the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay, and is also the day after qualifying service towards medals for Second World War service ended. The NZOSM provides specific New Zealand recognition for operational service, and is awarded in addition to any New Zealand, Commonwealth or foreign campaign medal. It is awarded once only to an individual, regardless of how many times he or she has deployed on operations. Operational service is service which exceeds the normal requirements of peacetime service, and which involves a credible military threat from enemy military forces, insurgents, or other hostile forces.

The NZ General Service Medal (non-warlike)

NZGSMThe New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 was instituted in 1992. It was issued in bronze to recognise service in non-warlike operations for which no separate New Zealand, British Commonwealth, United Nations or NATO campaign medal was issued. Thirteen clasps have been issued for non-warlike (peacekeeping) operations since 1954 in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.

The NZ Armed Forces Award

NZAFAThe New Zealand Armed Forces Award was instituted on 6 May 1985, for award to Regular Force officers of the New Zealand military who have completed fifteen years unblemished service. Clasps are awarded for each additional fifteen years unblemished service. On the ribbon bar the addition of a clasp is signified with the addition of a rosette to the ribbon.

Above the ribbon bar is the trade badge for Principle Warfare Officer. Their job is to “drive and command the warships”. They are responsible for the safe passage and navigation of the ship at sea and manage the bridge staff and ship routines while on watch. The two piece badge has a gilt front profile of a ship topped with the queens crown and crossed with a sword and taiaha. The taiaha is a traditional Maori weapon which has a spear point at one end and a flat paddle shaped blade at the other. The second silver piece is a representation of two silver fern fronds and serves as the backing with the clutch back pins on the back.

rear Admiral

The Chief of Navy who wore this uniform joined the NZ Navy as a sub-lieutenant in 1980 and During his naval career served aboard the ships HMNZS Taranaki, HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Wellington. While on exchange to Australia for two years he also served onboard the HMAS Watson, HMAS Adelaide, and HMAS Parramatta. He also served as the commanding officer of HMNZS Pukaki, HMNZS Waikato and HMNZS Te Mana.


WW 2 NZ Memorial Cards

These un-official cards were a families way of thanking an individual for sending their sympathy on the loss of a loved one. Many had photos of the dead serviceman which would also serve as a remembrance to those who had received them.

I try and pick these up when ever I can find them whatever the condition. Have managed to do a little bit or research on a few of these cards to try and find out about the serviceman and the circumstances of their death.

This memorial card was sent by Karl and Johanna Hultenberg who’s son Guy had been killed on the 17 April 1945. G Hultenburg 2This card came in the original mourning envelope.G HultenburgAlso in the envelope was a small picture of Guy which had some writing on the back. The photo shows him dressed in the early high collar service dress with the wide 1908 pattern web belt. The writing on the back is rather touching, complete with possible tear stains. It says ” Guy as a small boy. Sorry I made a mistake I mean as a tall proud smiling soldier”.

From the official history of the 27th Machine Gun Battalion I have found out that on the 17th April the 27th Battalion were involved in capturing the village Villa Fontana in Italy. After successfully capturing the village the battalion then planned to advance over the Gaiana however after some stiff German resistance involving Tiger tanks and troops of the 1st Parachute Division, a stalemate developed. The Germans were pretty well dug in on one of the stopbanks of a tributary of the Gaiana. The second company of the 27th, Guy’s company, was the most forward of the 27th companies and had been able to secure the opposite stopbank. The second company had suffered casualties due to snipers from across the other stopbank, so the Officer Commanding (OC) broke the company up into two groups and with one group, the group Guy was in, occupied a house which commanded the banks on both sides of the canal for some distance, from the upper windows of the house, the OC and two or three others retaliated against the German snipers. From this advantage point Guy Hultenberg was able to use his Bren gun as a snipping weapon and account for 5 Germans before he was killed. The official history notes that his OC “…cautioned him on several occasions to be more careful but unfortunately his enthusiasm and courage overcame  his judgment”.


Here’s a bit more info on Guy from the CWGC:

Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Private
Regiment: New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion Unit Text: 27th
Age: 24
Date of Death: 17/04/1945
Service No: 244897
Additional information: Son of Karl Folke Hultenberg and of Johanna Hultenberg (nee Andersen), of Carterton, Wellington, New Zealand.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. G. 15.

Another photo of Guy from the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Cenotaph website.Hultenburg 2

This memorial card was sent by Louisa Durward who’s son was an RNZAF wireless operator/ air gunner and was killed on 21 Jan 1943.

Flight Sergeant James Sydney Durward, RNZAF 412872, 101 Sqn(RAF), who died age 26 on 21 January 1943, and is buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery 3.B.16.

Flight Sergeant Durward was a crew member of a Lancaster IB (built at Avro Chadderton) serial number ED443 code SR-B . This aircraft was delivered to 101 Squadron on 30 December 1942 and completed 28 hours with the squadron before it was lost on the night of the 21/22-01-1943. SR-B took off at 17:00 from Holme-on Spalding-Moor (Yorkshire) on a bombing mission to Essen (site of the Krups factory). The crew was:

Pilot Sgt: PTW Wiltshire (age21) RNZAF 413165 KIA
Engineer: Sgt J Carr (22) RAAF 10169 KIA
Navigator: FO KE Kibble (22) RNZAF 41336 KIA
Bomb Aimer: Sgt GJ Smale (22) RAFVR 1377300 KIA
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner: FSgt JS Durward (26) RNZAF 412872 KIA
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt EJ Chapman (?) RAFVR 1322050 KIA
Rear Gunner: Sgt MI Sharpley (22) RAFVR 964253 KIA

The aircraft Durward was a crew member of crashed near Dortmund where the crew were initially buried in the Hauptfriedhof. Since reinterred at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

Durward 1
The bombing mission to Essen (up until early 1943 the most bombed town) involved 79 Lancaster and 3 Mosquito (probably from 109 pathfinder Sqn) aircraft. The bombers encountered total cloud cover and bombs were dropped blindly on estimated positions. Four Lancaster’s were lost. None of the crews of the 4 bombers survived.
The other Lancaster’s that were lost were:

PM-A (103 Squadron) serial # W4340. Built between July-Nov 1942 at Avro Chadderton. Delivered to 103 Sqn Oct 1942 completed 95 hours with the squadron. Took off from Elsham Woods at 1735. Pilot P/O Edgar Heaton RAF 51898. The aircraft was lost without trace (probably in the North Sea). I believe PM-A was shot down by Uffz Georg Kraft of 12/NJG1 (shot down at approx 19:52 from 5600m). It was the bomber crews second operation. The crew are commemorated on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.

PM-F (103 Sqn) serial# W4335. Took off from Elsham Woods at 1743. Pilot Sgt Edward Vivian Laing (age 22) RAAF 406693. The aircraft was shot down on its outward trip by Feldwebel Theodor Klein-Henz of 3/NJG1at 19:30 the plane crashed 10 miles from Enschede (Holland). The crew were all buried in Enschede Eastern General Cemetery.

EM-B (207 Sqn) serial# W4365. Built between July-Nov 1942 at Avro Chadderton. Took off from Langar at 17:29. Pilot Sgt John Charles Dangerfield (age 28) RAAF 407965. The crew are all buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.