Harris, Stoker 1st Class P.G.

Harris, Stoker 1st Class P.G.

Stoker 1st Class Paul Harris joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve as an Ordinary Seaman in early 1944.  In May he transferred to the Stoker Branch and completed appropriate training at the shore establishment HMNZS PHILOMEL.  On completion of training he sailed for Britain via the United States.  Harris commenced training at HMS DRAKE in late 1945, after which he was posted to the Castle class corvette HMS LAUNCESTON CASTLE, and was based out of the shore establishment HMS FERRET in Ireland.  He spent his mandatory sea time on patrol in the Atlantic and North Sea.

Read More

Harris, Lieutenant Commander H.W.

Harris, Lieutenant Commander H.W.

Lieutenant Commander Hiram Harris joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1925 as a direct entry Engine Room Artificer.  He completed his basic training at the shore establishment HMS PHILOMEL before joining the cruiser HMS DIOMEDE in January of 1926.  He served alternately on the cruisers HMS DIOMEDE and HMS DUNEDIN before joining the cruiser HMS LEANDER in 1937 where he remained until 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Wheldale Yeoman of Signals W.A.

Wheldale Yeoman of Signals W.A.

Yeoman of Signals Willoughby Wheldale joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in March 1941.  On completion of training as a signalman he was sent overseas to serve with the Eastern Fleet of the Royal Navy.  He describes the lead up to the fall of Singapore and operations in the Bay of Bengal from his perspective as a signalman in the cruiser HMS EMERALD.

Read More

Webley Able Seaman K.

Webley Able Seaman K.

Able Seaman Kenneth Webley joined the Royal New Zealand Volunteer Reserve in the early 1930’s as a signalman.  A few years later he went farming in the Hawkes Bay so left the Reserve, though in 1939 he joined the lighthouse service.

Read More

Washbourn, Commander J.E., O.B.E.

Washbourn, Commander J.E., O.B.E.

Commander John Washbourn joined the Royal Navy in 1936 as a Special Entry Cadet and sailed for Britain onboard the passenger ship SS RANGITIKI.  He joined the cadet training ship HMS ERUBUS, followed by further training onboard the cruiser HMS FROBISHER. Midshipman training in the A class submarine HMS AMPHION followed.  In 1940 he joined the battleship HMS RAMILLES which was subsequently sent to New Zealand in 1940 to act as an escort ship on troop carrying voyages up into the Middle East. Read More

Vincent, Chief Petty Officer Electrician H.E.

Vincent, Chief Petty Officer Electrician H.E.

Chief Electrician Harold Vincent joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a Seaman Boy in 1940. He completed basic training at the shore establishment HMS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island and in mid 1941 was posted to the cruiser HMS LEANDER where he qualified as a torpedo-man.  Read More

Vickers, Lieutenant (A) FAA C.

Vickers, Lieutenant (A) FAA C.

Lieutenant Colin Vickers joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1942 for service in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy.  He underwent basic training at the shore establishments HMS ST VINCENT and HMS DAEDALUS and was then sent to Canada for specialised flying training .  Read More

Tobin Commodore J.O.H., O.B.E.

Tobin Commodore J.O.H., O.B.E.

Commodore Tobin joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1951 and proceeded to the United Kingdom where he was posted to HMNZS MAORI to train at the Britannia Royal Naval College and training cruiser DEVONSHIRE.  On promotion to midshipman he was posted to the cruiser BIRMINGHAM and experienced war service in Korea.  He describes cruiser operations in this conflict in some detail.Read More

Slattery, Leading Signalman O.W.

Slattery, Leading Signalman O.W.

Leading Signalman Owen Slattery joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in early 1941.  He completed basic training in the shore establishment HMS PHILOMEL and in the examination vessel HMS HAUITI.  He was then posted to the shore establishment HMS LANKA in Ceylon, from whence he joined the cruiser HMS EMERALD.   While onboard HMS EMERALD he experienced the Japanese invasion of Malaya and the incursion of the Japanese Fleet into the Indian Ocean when the cruisers HMS CORNWALL, HMS DORSETSHIRE and the aircraft carrier HMS HERMES were sunk.Read More

Simmonds, Commander H.R., M.B.E.

Simmonds, Commander H.R., M.B.E.

Commander Henry Simmonds joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Cadet in 1945.  He undertook training at HMS BRITANNIA Royal Naval College; at that time it was located at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, having been evacuated there during World War II.  After cadet training in the Cruiser HMS FROBISHER he undertook engineering training at the Royal Naval Engineering College at HMS DRAKE and then completed his Watchkeeping Certificates in various ships of the Royal Navy.   Read More

Sim, Chief Petty Officer N.G., M.I.D.

Sim, Chief Petty Officer N.G., M.I.D.

Chief Petty Officer Norman Sim joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a Stoker in 1934.  After basic training in the shore establishment HMS PHILOMEL he  was posted to the cruiser HMS DIOMEDE,  followed by the cruiser HMS ACHILLES in mid 1934 for the journey back to New Zealand when HMS DIOMEDE was paid off in Britain.Read More

Shaw, Captain T.H.B. RN

Captain T.H.B. Shaw was a Royal Navy Officer who was loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy to be Captain Superintendent of HMNZ Dockyard from February 1954 until 1956.  He describes the management of the Dockyard in those days and particularly the change from an old style management structure which was run by people who were ex ERA’s and ex Foremen to a management structure where it was led by professional engineers.Read More

Sharpey-Schafer Commander J.M. R.N., O.B.E.

Sharpey-Schafer Commander J.M. R.N., O.B.E.

Commander J.M. Sharpey-Schafer  was a Royal Navy Hydrographic Officer who was loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1948.  On his arrival he was posted as Commanding Officer to the survey ship HMNZS LACHLAN which was loaned to the RNZN by the Royal Australian Navy.  Sharpey-Schafer was the first Commanding Officer of HMNZS LACHLAN and lead the commissioning of the ship.  He talks of the changes that were required to fit the ship for survey duties and also of surveying the New Zealand coast where little had been done for many years.  Read More

Seyb, Chief Mechanical Engineer M.

Seyb, Chief Mechanical Engineer M.

Chief Mechanical Engineer Michael Seyb joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1939 as a Stoker.  After a brief period of training in the shore establishment HMS PHILOMEL he joined the cruiser HMS ACHILLES on that ship’s return from the Battle of the River Plate.Read More

Scoles, Leading Seaman N.J., D.S.M.

Scoles, Leading Seaman N.J., D.S.M.

Leading Seaman Norman Scoles joined the RNZN in 1945 as a Seaman Boy and trained at HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island.  His first ship was the cruiser HMNZS  BELLONA which was based in New Zealand and South Pacific waters.Read More

Schischka, Commander J.F.Y. RNZNVR

Schischka, Commander J.F.Y. RNZNVR

Commander John (Fergie) Schischka joined the Royal Navy under Scheme B provisions in early 1941.  After training as a Seaman at HMS GANGES he saw service in the destroyer HMS LOOKOUT and undertook officer training in 1942.Read More

Salter, Yeoman of Signals J., B.E.M., M.I.D.

Salter, Yeoman of Signals J., B.E.M., M.I.D.

Yeoman of Signals John Salter joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1930.  Towards the end of 1940, with the outbreak of World War II, Salter was called up and sent to Navy Headquarters in Wellington for basic training before being posted to various port signal stations, including Stephens Island in the Cook Strait.  In mid 1942 he was posted to the Bird class trawler HMNZS MOA which was operating in the Pacific.  Read More

Rout Lieutenant M.V., D.S.C., M.I.D.

Lieutenant Michael Rout joined the RNZNVR and travelled to the United Kingdom under Scheme B in October 1940.  He trained as an seaman at the shore establishment HMS GANGES and spent mandatory seatime in the destroyer HMS SIKH which included a torpedo attack on the German battleship BISMARK.Read More

Quilter, Lieutenant (A) I.M.

Quilter, Lieutenant (A) I.M.

Lieutenant Ian Quilter joined the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy in April of 1941, undergoing basic training at the training establishments HMS DAEDALUS and ST VINCENT before being posted to the Royal Air Force base ELMDON in order to complete specialised pilot training. He dropped out of the pilots’ course as he was too tall at six foot four to fly Tiger Moths and consequently retrained as an observer/navigator.Read More

Pugh-Williams, Captain R.

Pugh-Williams, Captain R.

Captain Raymond Pugh-Williams joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1936, training as a reservist onboard the minesweeper HMS WAKAKURA.  In December 1939 he was called up and joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.  After a brief training period in HMS PHILOMEL he was posted to the cruiser HMS ACHILLES, at that time was operating in New Zealand waters. Read More

Pound, Captain G.D. RN, D.S.C., C.B.E.

Pound, Captain G.D. RN, D.S.C., C.B.E.

Captain George (Dudley) Pound was a Royal Navy Officer who was loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy from 1957 until 1958 to become the Commanding Officer of the cruiser HMNZS ROYALIST.Read More

Petrie, Lieutenant (A) K.F.B.

Petrie, Lieutenant (A) K.F.B.

Lieutenant Kenneth Petrie joined the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1941.  He sailed to Britain via Panama onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company passenger-cargo vessel RIMUTAKA.  After initial training at HMS ST VINCENT as a Naval Airman 2nd Class and specialised flying training at the Royal Air Force stations at Elmdon and Netheravon, in March 1942 he was commissioned into the Royal Navy as a Temporary Sub Lieutenant (A). Read More

Peach, Lieutenant Commander N.C.G.

Peach, Lieutenant Commander N.C.G.

Lieutenant Commander Neville Peach joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Probationary Sick Berth Attendant in 1947, undergoing basic training at the shore establishment HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island.  In mid 1948 he was posted to HMNZS TAMAKI as a Sick Berth Attendant, staying on the island for a year before briefly joining the cruiser HMNZS BELLONA, then the frigate HMNZS ROTOITI, which subsequently went to Korea. Read More

Parslow, Mechanician 1st Class S.

Parslow, Mechanician 1st Class S.

Mechanician 1st Class Stanley Parslow joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1928 as a Seaman Boy, proceeding to HMS PHILOMEL which at that time was the training and depot ship berthed at the Devonport Dockyard for the purposes of training.  After a year in HMS PHILOMEL Parslow was posted to the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN and while onboard experienced the Mau Mau uprising in Samoa and the devastating earthquake in Napier, New Zealand, both of which he describes in some detail.Read More

Palmer, Commander C.G., D.S.O., M.I.D.

Palmer, Commander C.G., D.S.O., M.I.D.

Commander Charles (Bunty) Palmer joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1929.  As a rating he was part of the team that provided assistance to the police during the Queen Street (Auckland) riots of 1930.  In 1934 while in Britain on civilian matters he secured a month long commission onboard the battleship HMS HOOD after which he returned to New Zealand and the Volunteer ReserveRead More

O’Brien, Captain T.M., O.B.E.

O’Brien, Captain T.M., O.B.E.

Captain Terence O’Brien joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Cadet Midshipman in 1955 and began his training, at the Royal Australian Naval College, which was, at the time, sited at the Flinders Naval Depot outside Melbourne.   Two and a half years later, following sea time in the training ship HMAS SWAN, O’Brien was posted to the United Kingdom for further training at Britannia Royal Naval College.Read More

Newman, Temporary Lieutenant M.L., D.S.C.

Newman, Temporary Lieutenant M.L., D.S.C.

Temporary Lieutenant Maurice Newman joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve under the auspices of Scheme B in 1941.  He sailed for Britain via Panama and Halifax onboard the converted troop carrier the Shaw Savill Line DOMINION MONARCH. Disembarking in Liverpool, Newman and the rest of his Scheme B draft were immediately sent to HMS GANGES for basic training and thence to HMS LOOKOUT, a destroyer, to complete his mandatory sea time.  Read More

Neville, Able Seaman W.H.

Neville, Able Seaman W.H.

Able Seaman William Neville joined the Auckland Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in August 1939, a mere few weeks before war was declared.  After rudimentary training ashore and onboard the minesweeper HMS WAKAKURA, Neville joined a draft of 249 which travelled onboard the passenger ship AQUITANIA to Britain.  Having arrived, the draft was broken up and Neville was sent to the training establishment HMS ST VINCENT for sea training.Read More

Natusch, T/A Sub Lieutenant G.K., D.S.C.

Natusch, T/A Sub Lieutenant G.K., D.S.C.

Temporary Acting Sub Lieutenant Guy Natusch joined the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy as part of Scheme B in 1942.  With 29 other Scheme B recruits he sailed for Britain via Panama onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company vessel RIMUTAKA.  Natusch’s basic training at HMS GANGES was followed by sea time onboard the destroyer HMS TARTAR, a fleet destroyer.Read More

McPhail Surgeon Captain E.S.

McPhail Surgeon Captain E.S.

Surgeon Captain Eric McPhail joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in the early 1930’s and was called up for service in 1939 on the outbreak of World War II.  He served as a Medical Officer  at the Navy Hospital followed by a long stint in the Armed Merchant cruiser HMNZS MONOWAI where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  In 1942 McPhail was posted to HMNZS LEANDER and describes the action at Kolombangara from a doctor’s point of view.Read More

McKenzie, Petty Officer W.

McKenzie, Petty Officer W.

Petty Officer William McKenzie joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1933 as a Seaman Boy.  After a year’s basic training at HMS PHILOMEL he was posted to the cruiser HMS DIOMEDE for sea training, where he saw rather a lot of the world including Abyssinia, the Mediterranean and eventually Britain. Read More

McKenzie Rear Admiral J.F.

McKenzie Rear Admiral J.F.

Rear Admiral John McKenzie, a New Zealander, joined the Royal Navy as an Officer Cadet in 1942.  On completion of his training at the Royal Naval College BRITANNIA he joined the cruiser HMS DEVONSHIRE as a Midshipman before being posted to HMS HAWKINS. While onboard HMS HAWKINS he witnessed the sinking of the passenger ship KHEDIVE ISMAIL.  Read More

McGuire, Lieutenant L.F.

McGuire, Lieutenant L.F.

Lieutenant Lawrence McGuire joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1957 as a Junior Mechanical Engineer and proceeded immediately to HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island for basic training, after which he completed three months of branch training at HMNZS PHILOMEL.  His first sea posting was to the cruiser HMNZS ROYALIST where he stayed for some 18 months completing a tour of the Far East in company with units of the Royal Australian Navy.Read More

McGee, Leading Telegraphist P.D.

McGee, Leading Telegraphist P.D.

Leading Telegraphist Paul McGee joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in August 1940 as a telegraphist, due to his prior employment with the Post Office Corp of Signals.  After completing basic training at HMNZS PHILOMEL he travelled to Britain onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company passenger-ship RANGITATA to continue his communications training at the training establishment HMS DRAKE. Read More

McDowell, Commodore M.J.

McDowell, Commodore M.J.

Commodore Maxson McDowell was in the first group of cadets to join the newly established Royal New Zealand Navy in 1941.  He travelled to Britain onboard the vessel GORGISTAN for training at DARTMOUTH as a Special Entry Cadet.  After training he was posted to the cruiser HMS BIRMINGHAM which was based in Cape Town, followed by time onboard the cruiser HMS HAWKINS in 1943. Read More

McDonald, Principal Matron C.

McDonald, Principal Matron C.

Principal Matron Christina McDonald joined the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corp in 1943 and was immediately seconded to the ‘new’  Royal New Zealand Navy Hospital (RNZNH) at Devonport, where she became Sister In Charge.  In the transcript she talks at length of the problems of acquiring clothing, material and equipment needed by a fully functioning hospital.Read More

McCurrie, Chief Petty Officer D.

McCurrie, Chief Petty Officer D.

Chief Petty Officer David McCurrie joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1937 as a Boy Seaman.  Basic training was onboard the non-sea-going training ship HMS PHILOMEL and it was nearly a year before McCurrie experienced sea time onboard the cruiser HMS LEANDER where he stayed until late 1943 apart from brief periods of time at the shore establishments HMNZS PHILOMEL, and HMNZS COOK; and onboard the armed merchant cruiser HMNZS MONOWAI.Read More

McClement, Captain R.L.

McClement, Captain R.L.

Captain Reginald McClement was a Royal Navy Officer who was loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1956 in order to buoy up the officer quotient at that time.  He held the post of Director of Engineering and Equipment at HMNZS PHILOMEL while on loan and was Senior Engineering Advisor to the Naval Board. Read More

Murch, Lieutenant P.A.

Murch, Lieutenant P.A.

Lieutenant Philip Murch joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1970 as a Junior Communications Operator.  In May 1988 he received his permanent commission in the RNZN.  In his long career he served onboard various RNZN ships and in many RNZN shore establishments, however the transcript held by the RNZN Museum only details his United Nations service in Cambodia.Read More

Mutch, Lieutenant Commander K.M., M.B.E.

Mutch, Lieutenant Commander K.M., M.B.E.

Lieutenant Commander Ken Mutch joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1957 as an entry level naval rating.  During his long career in the RNZN he served in the Stores’ Branch onboard most RNZN ships and in many shore establishments. Read More

Morten, Superintendent of Wrens M.V.

Morten, Superintendent of Wrens M.V.

Superintendent of Wrens Mary Morten was in the second intake joining the Women’s Royal New Zealand Naval Service in early 1942.  She came from a background of service in the Girl Guide Movement where she had considerable experience in catering and supervising groups of young women.  Read More

Morten, Lieutenant (A) D., D.S.C.

Morten, Lieutenant (A) D., D.S.C.

Lieutenant Derek Morten joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1942 as a Naval Airman 2nd Class.  He spent a short time at the training establishment HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island before proceeding to Britain -via Halifax, Canada- onboard the merchant ship CAPETOWN CASTLE for airman training.  After eight months at the training establishment HMS ST VINCENT he volunteered for training in the United States.Read More

Morrison, Lieutenant (A) E.A.

Morrison, Lieutenant (A) E.A.

Lieutenant Edward Morrison joined the Royal New Zealand Volunteer Reserve in 1942 and immediately proceeded to the United Kingdom to train as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm.  Morrison like most Fleet Air Arm candidates was trained in Britain at HMS ST VINCENT, HMS DAEDALUS and HMS KINGSTON in Jamaica.Read More

Monro, Commander I.S.

Monro, Commander I.S.

Commander  Ian Monro joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1945.  He trained as a cadet at Eaton Hall and on returning to New Zealand was posted to the survey ship HMNZS LACHLAN.  He experienced war service in Korea onboard the frigate HMNZS ROTOITI and upon completion of that posting was transferred to the Hydrographic Branch.Read More

Money, A/Leading Seaman S.P.

Money, A/Leading Seaman S.P.

Acting Leading Seaman Peter Money joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1941 and was part of the second class of radar operators who trained in HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island.  His first posting was to Singapore where he joined a motor launch that was patrolling the Sunda Strait and the seas off Jahore Bahru until, due to the Japanese presence in the area, this role became untenable.  Read More

Minchall, Commander W.H., O.B.E.

Minchall, Commander W.H., O.B.E.

Commander William Minchall joined the Canterbury Division of the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1928.  During the 30’s he undertook sea training onboard the cruisers HMS DUNEDIN, HMS DIOMEDE and the minesweeper HMS WAKAKURA.  At the beginning of World War II he was commissioned as an Officer.Read More

Mills 4th Officer Wren V.

Mills 4th Officer Wren V.

Fourth Officer Wren Veronica Mills – nee Barnes – was a shorthand typist with the Justice Department in Lyttleton when she was offered work as a civilian in the Port Navy Office in that town.  When the Women’s Royal New Zealand Naval Service was formed in late 1942 she joined the service, remaining in her employment at the Port Navy Office until she was promoted to Officer in 1943 which necessitated her transfer to Auckland and HMNZS PHILOMEL.Read More

Middlemiss, Telegraphist I.

Middlemiss, Telegraphist I.

Telegraphist Ian Middlemiss first experienced service in the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Boy when he joined the Naval Auxiliary Patrol Service in 1942, serving onboard the patrol craft CHATHAM Pennant No.Z164 which was based out of Dunedin. Read More

Matthews, Chief Wren C.J.

Matthews, Chief Wren C.J.

Chief Wren Catherine (Joan) Matthews joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service in July 1942, she was the fourth WREN to be recruited.  After six months of basic training in the shore establishment HMNZS PHILOMEL she was posted to the shore establishment HMNZS COOK in Wellington as a driver.  Read More

Mason-Riseborough, Chief Petty Officer C.W.

Mason-Riseborough, Chief Petty Officer C.W.

Chief Petty Officer Claude Mason-Riseborough joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a Seaman Boy in 1935.  On completion of training he served in HMS ACHILLES where, apart from some courses ashore, he remained until 1943.  During the Battle of River Plate he was loading number five on the left gun in B turret.  This turret fired 173 six inch shells during the action, Mason-Riseborough describes his contribution to the sinking of the German battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE.Read More

Martinson, Chief Yeoman of Signals L.C., D.S.M.

Martinson, Chief Yeoman of Signals L.C., D.S.M.

Chief Yeoman of Signals Lincoln Martinson joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1921, however, before he did this he had undertaken training in the training ship AMOKURA which was a New Zealand Government training ship for boys wishing to join either the Merchant or Royal Navy. Read More

Mangos, Lieutenant Commander L.A.

Mangos, Lieutenant Commander L.A.

Lieutenant Commander Leonard Mangos joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Seaman Boy in 1953.  Following training at HMNZS TAMAKI he joined the cruiser HMNZS BLACK PRINCE and then transferred to the cruiser HMNZS BELLONA in order to travel to the United Kingdom to join the commissioning party of the cruiser HMNZS ROYALIST. Read More

Lyon, Mr R.N.

Mr Richard – Buck – Lyon was apprenticed to HMNZ Dockyard, Auckland in 1939 and spent most of his apprenticeship in the gun mounting shop.  In the early years of World War II he was responsible for installing gun mountings in (DEMS) Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships.Read More

Luxton, Leading Signalman L.F.

Luxton, Leading Signalman L.F.

Leading Signalman Lawrence Luxton joined the Canterbury Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1934.  He trained onboard the Volunteer Reserve Division training ship the Castle class trawler HMS WAKAKURA and the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN and had several cruises onboard the cruiser HMS ACHILLES, including a trip to Britain and back when that ship went “home” for a refit in 1938.Read More

Luton, Commander H.

Commander Henry Luton  was a Royal Navy officer who spent the later stages of World War II as an Electrical Engineering Officer, and took part in “Operation Zipper” in the Singapore area shortly before the Japanese surrender.  After the cessation of the war, as a civilian he resumed his involvement with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.  After a few years he realised that he missed the navy life and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy on a short commission as a direct entry Lieutenant.Read More

Luckman, Lieutenant Commander T.L.

Luckman, Lieutenant Commander T.L.

Lieutenant Commander Thomas Luckman joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1928.  After 18 months of basic training in the shore establishment HMS PHILOMEL he was posted to the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN in May 1931.  Luckman spent most of the 30’s in either HMS DUNEDIN or the cruiser HMS DIOMEDE. Read More

Long, Instructor Lieutenant A.G.

Long, Instructor Lieutenant A.G.

Instructor Lieutenant Arthur Long joined the Royal New Zealand Navy for the first time as “hostilities only” Fleet Air Arm candidate on 15 June 1944.  After a few months of basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island he was sent to Britain for Fleet Air Arm training at HMS DAEDALUS and HMS ST VINCENT.  Read More

Logan, Surgeon Captain T.H.

Logan, Surgeon Captain T.H.

Surgeon Captain Thomas Logan joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1952 and after a period of time as the dentist at HMNZS TAMAKI, the training establishment on Motuihe Island, he saw service in Korea onboard the frigates HMNZS KANIERE and HMNZS HAWEA.Read More

Lincoln, Warrant Officer Marine Engineering Artificer R.E.

Lincoln, Warrant Officer Marine Engineering Artificer R.E.

Warrant Officer Rex Lincoln joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a direct entry Marine Engineering Artificer, due to his experience as a fitter and turner, in 1952.  After basic training at the training establishment HMNZS TAMAKI he was posted to the cruiser HMNZS BELLONA for a period of twelve months before joining the frigate HMNZS HAWEA which was slated for service in Korea.  Read More

Lewis, Lieutenant D.H.

Lewis, Lieutenant D.H.

Lieutenant Desmond Lewis joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in late 1939 as an Able Seaman from the Merchant Navy.  He was posted to the minesweeper HMNZS THOMAS CURRELL which was working in New Zealand waters and then to the armed merchant cruiser HMNZS MONOWAI.  He was granted a temporary commission in December 1942 and travelled to Britain to train as a Fleet Air Arm Pilot.  Read More

Le Gros, Petty Officer P.E., M.I.D.

Le Gros, Petty Officer P.E., M.I.D.

Petty Officer Philip Le Gros, better known as “Froggy”, joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1939 as a 2nd Class Stoker.  On the outbreak of World War II he was posted to the cruiser HMS LEANDER and whilst serving in the Mediterranean volunteered for service in submarines, joining the Triton class submarine HMS TORBAY in mid-1941.  HMS TORBAY, under the control of Lieutenant Commander Miers was involved in a series of operational patrols which remain a legend within the Royal Navy.  Read More

Lennox-King, Commander J., M.I.D.

Lennox-King, Commander J., M.I.D.

Commander James Lennox-King joined the Royal New Zealand Volunteer Reserve in March 1931 as an Ordinary Seaman.  In 1940 having attained the rank of Lieutenant he was posted to the training establishments HMS VICTORY and HMS DRAKE in Britain for training.  He then posted to the destroyer HMS ANTHONY, where Lennox-King was a Gunnery Officer and consequently Mentioned In Despatches in regard to operations against the Vichy French during the take over of Madagascar.Read More

Lea, Captain R.N.M.

Lea, Captain R.N.M.

Captain Richard Lea joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1946 as an engineering cadet and was promptly sent to the United Kingdom for training.  After initial training at the Royal Naval College BRITANNIA, Dartmouth and at the Royal Naval Engineering College HMS THUNDERER at Manadon he was posted to the cruiser HMS BERMUDA where he gained his engineroom watchkeeping certificates.Read More

Kirkwood, Warrant Officer R.W.

Kirkwood, Warrant Officer R.W.

Warrant Officer Ronald Kirkwood joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a stoker in 1932.  After service in the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN he was sent on loan to the United Kingdom in early 1936, serving in the destroyer HMS HOSTILE transporting civil war refugees from Spain after which he was posted to the battleships HMS RAMILLIES and HMS RESOLUTION.Read More

Kenny, Surgeon Commander C.T.C.

Kenny, Surgeon Commander C.T.C.

Surgeon Commander Charles Kenny joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1980.  In 1994 he was seconded to the United Nations Special Commission – UNSCOM – whose task it was to look for and advise on the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, if in fact such weapons existed.  Read More

Kempthorne, Commander A.V.

Kempthorne, Commander A.V.

Commander Alfred (Viv) Kempthorne joined the Otago Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1937.  He was mobilised on the Sunday war was declared in 1939 and within days was in HMS PHILOMEL after which he spent a few weeks on the Castle class trawler HMS WAKAKURA.  Kempthorne spent the early years of the war in the minesweeper HMS COSGROVE in New Zealand waters.  Read More

Jenkins Mrs A.F.E.

Jenkins Mrs A.F.E.

Mrs Audrey Jenkins (nee McPhee) was “called up” as a civilian and, when offered the choice of services, selected the Navy.  She worked at Navy Headquarters in Wellington from 1942-3, clerking in the Confidential Book section, dealing primarily with cryptographic material.  Upon the cessation of W.W.II Jenkins left the navy and from there on worked as a secretary for her husband, a lawyer. Read More

Jeffery, Leading Wren Telegraphist M.W.

Jeffery, Leading Wren Telegraphist M.W.

Mrs Jeffery was born in 1924 and raised on the outskirts of London.  She was a school girl when war with Germany and her allies was declared.  In October of 1940 the family home in Surrey was bombed resulting in Mrs Jeffery having to undergo surgery to repair a tear in her heart.  Upon recovery she went to Devon to continue with her schooling for a further eighteen months before joining the Wrens, ostensibly as a wireless operator.  Read More

Hutchinson, Sergeant G.A.

Hutchinson, Sergeant G.A.

Sergeant  George Hutchinson was seconded from the Territorial Army to the Auckland Technical Development Laboratory in 1940.  His role was to design defence related equipment and initially this was a sophisticated gun sight for the old ex-navy gun mountings used for harbour defence.  Later equipment developments included: harbour asdic equipment, a tape recorder used for Royal New Zealand Air Force training, ravine crossing equipment and an ‘I’ testing device for checking the surface strength of airfields.Read More

Hurndell, Able Seaman L.C.

Hurndell, Able Seaman L.C.

Able Seaman Lawrence Hurndell joined the RNZN in May 1941.  After training at HMS TAMAKI he was seconded to the Royal Navy in Singapore and after further training joined the Dragonfly River class gunboat HMS GRASSHOPPER.Read More

Hunter, Lieutenant B.A.

Hunter, Lieutenant B.A.

Lieutenant Bruce Hunter joined the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve under the auspices of Scheme B in December 1941, sailing for Britain via Panama and Halifax onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company passenger motorship RANGITIKI.  He did his basic training at the shore establishment HMS GANGES and did his mandatory sea time in the destroyer HMS VANSITTART.Read More

Hunt, Petty Officer I.S.

Hunt, Petty Officer I.S.

Stores Petty Officer Ian Hunt joined the  New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a Boy Signalman in  April 1932.  He qualified as a signalman, but while serving in the cruiser HMS LEANDER in 1938 he was transferred to the Supply Branch due to eyesight problems.  He stayed in HMS LEANDER until 1941.  Stores Petty Officer Hunt spent most of World War II in the various shore establishments of the RNZN as a Petty Officer, as well as spending time in Fiji at the small Naval Base.  Read More

Hodge, Commander L.E.

Hodge, Commander L.E.

Commander Lionel Hodge joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve under the provisions of Scheme B in 1942.  He undertook basic seaman training in Britain at HMS GANGES, spending his mandatory sea time onboard the escort destroyer HMS ALBRIGHTON which took part in the landing at Dieppe.  Officer training at HMS KING ALFRED followed, after which he served on, and in due course commanded landing craft.  Hodge was later in command of such a vessel during the D Day operations on the Normandy coast.  He was discharged shortly after the end of W.W.II. having achieved the rank of Temporary Lieutenant.Read More

Higgs, Lieutenant Commander S.A., M.B.E.

Lieutenant Commander Stanley Higgs, a Royal Navy man, was serving in Portland at the Naval Hospital there in 1937 when an opportunity arose for him to be loaned to the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a theatre technician and general help in the “hospital” at HMS PHILOMEL.  On Higgs arrival in April 1937 in Devonport, New Zealand, he discovered the hospital consisted of two huts just inside the main entrance. Read More

Hicks, Lieutenant Commander S.W.

Hicks, Lieutenant Commander S.W.

Lieutenant Commander Sydney Hicks joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1928 specialising in signals.  He undertook his mandatory sea training in the minesweeper HMS WAKAKURA and the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN where he remained until 1939.  Courses at the Royal Australian Naval Station HMAS FLINDERS were followed by a short posting to the cruiser HMS LEANDER.  Hicks then spent a considerable proportion of World War II in the cruiser HMS MONOWAI and describes action with a Japanese submarine in the waters off Fiji. Read More

Hesse, Air Mechanician 2 S.

Hesse, Air Mechanician 2 S.

Air Mechanician Sydney Hesse immigrated to New Zealand in 1920.  In 1917 at the age of seventeen he joined the Royal Naval Air Service as an Air Mechanic Second Class (Chemistry).  He was posted to an experimental unit whose role was the development of unusual weapons.  They made incendiary rockets to bring down Zeppelins, flame throwers and rocket propelled depth charges.  The unit was led by a Commander Brock whose family owned a large fireworks factory in the United Kingdom.Read More

Hermans, Instructor Commander S.J.F.

Hermans, Instructor Commander S.J.F.

Commander Stanley Hermans, then a newly qualified school teacher, joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1939 as a Warrant Schoolmaster.  After a brief period in the training establishment HMS PHILOMEL he was sent to Britain onboard the Shaw Savill passenger-cargo steamer AKAROA for training at HMS DEFIANCE.  Further training followed at training establishments HMS DRYAD followed by a staff position at HMS GANGES.  In mid 1940 he joined the cruiser HMS LEANDER which was at that time based in the Indian Ocean and describes this ships operations in the early part of World War II including the sinking of the Italian raider RAMB1 and engagements with the Vichy French at Beirut.Read More

Harvey, Chief Electrician R.B., B.E.M.

Harvey, Chief Electrician R.B., B.E.M.

Chief Electrician Harvey joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in May 1936 as a Seaman Boy at the age of 15.  He had a unique career in that he served in each of the New Zealand cruisers HMNZ ships ACHILLES, LEANDER and GAMBIA that took part in the more significant World War II actions.  He describes the Battle of the River Plate, Kolombangara and the final actions against Japan in considerable detail.  This includes substantial discussion of the ships domestic activities, living conditions and lifestyle.Read More

Harris, Lieutenant Commander C.V.

Harris, Lieutenant Commander C.V.

Lieutenant Commander Charles Harris joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1933 as a Stoker. After completing basic training in the shore establishment HMS PHILOMEL he served in the cruisers HMS DIOMEDE and HMS ACHILLES and was onboard the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN in 1937 when that ship was returned to Britain.  From Britain, Harris was sent to Hong Kong and posted to the destroyer HMS DELIGHT.  He rejoined HMS ACHILLES in 1939 for the ship’s return to New Zealand waters and subsequently was still on board, watch-keeping in the boiler room, in the first days of World War II, during the Battle of the River Plate.Read More

Harker, Royal Marine Sergeant F.N.

Harker, Royal Marine Sergeant F.N.

Royal Marine Sergeant Noel Harker joined the Royal Marines in early 1949. He completed his marine and gunnery training at various shore establishments including DEAL,  and at the Commando School at Bickley.

After his training he served onboard the cruiser HMS CEYLON during the Korean War.  In August 1951, marines from HMS CEYLON together with sailors from the frigate HMNZS ROTOITI took part on a raid on Go Rin Chi Ki Point.  Harker tells of his role in the raid and the death of Able Seaman Marchioni, New Zealand’s only casualty during this conflict.Read More

Gladwell, Mr J.K.

Gladwell, Mr J.K.

Mr Gladwell was in the first group of apprentices to join HM Dockyard, Devonport, Auckland in 1937.  He trained as an Electrical Fitter and experienced the considerable expansion that occurred during World War II.  He recalls key staff members, the conversion of HMS MONOWAI to an Armed Merchant Cruiser and the local development and fitting of Degaussing coils to combat magnetic mines.Read More

Forrester, Able Seaman G.C.

Forrester, Able Seaman G.C.

Able Seaman Gordon Forrester joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and in September 1939 as an Able Seaman  was mobilised.  In December 1939 he was posted to the cruiser HMS ACHILLES and then was posted in August 1940 to the armed merchant cruiser HMS MONOWAI which was patrolling the Pacific.Read More

Fitzgerald, Warrant Officer E.J.

Fitzgerald, Warrant Officer E.J.

Warrant Officer Edward Fitzgerald joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in May of 1952 having served in the Pacific with the New Zealand Army towards the end of World War II.  After the war he joined the Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve for a time before formally joining the RNZN.

Fitzgerald went to Korea  during that county’s civil war onboard the frigate HMNZ KANIERE, where he served as a dental assistant and describes the conflict from his point of view, including time spent with K Force. Read More

Edwardson Sergeant Royal Marine A.F.

Mr Edwardson was born in England in 1916, the son of a WWI serviceman.  Fed up with the civilian life he joined the Royal Marines in late 1935 and in February 1936 completed his training and spent some 17 months onboard DESPATCH as part of the Mediterranean Fleet.

In December of 1938 he answered a call for volunteers to join the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy.  He was duly deployed to ACHILLES which set sail for New Zealand, where it was required for a cruise of the Pacific Islands with the Governor General onboard.  The trip was cut short by the outbreak of WWII and after undergoing maintenance at PHILOMEL’s dry dock, the ship set sail for South American waters in order to patrol for German ships – specifically the GRAF SPEE – with EXETER and AJAX.Read More

Domett, Rear Admiral D.B., C.B., C.B.E.

Domett, Rear Admiral D.B., C.B., C.B.E.

Rear Admiral Douglas Domett joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a special entry cadet in mid 1950, setting sail for the United Kingdom upon passing his exams onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company vessel RANGITIKI.  He undertook training at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth and in the cruiser HMS DEVONSHIRE.  He was then sent to the submarine depot ship HMS FORTH which at that time was in Greece during September of 1951, to complete midshipman training.  Read More

Dobbyn, Lieutenant J.H.

Dobbyn, Lieutenant J.H.

Lieutenant Joseph Dobbyn joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1933 as an assistant cook.  After completing basic training in HMS PHILOMEL he was posted to the cruiser HMS DIOMEDE which during his time onboard saw service in the Red Sea when the Italians invaded Abyssinia.  In early 1937, while in Britain, he joined the cruiser HMS ACHILLES for its commissioning and subsequent  journey to New Zealand, during which time while still in service with that ship he completed further cookery courses at HMAS CEREBUS in Australia.  Read More

Direen, Lieutenant (A) A.W.

Direen, Lieutenant (A) A.W.

Lieutenant Andrew (Bill) Direen was initially accepted for service by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, but ultimately, in July of 1941 joined the Royal New Zealand Navy under the auspices of Scheme F.  He sailed to Britain onboard the converted troop carrier, the Shaw Savill passenger ship DOMINION MONARCH with 1300 other trainees and underwent basic training at the shore establishment HMS ST VINCENT.  Direen did his initial pilot’s training on Tiger moths at the Royal Air Force station ELMDON.  Upon completion of this training he was then sent to Canada to undertake advanced pilot training in Harvards.  In mid 1942 he returned to Britain and was sent to the Fleet Air Arm base HMS HERON in Somerset to undergo advanced  tactical training in Hurricanes.Read More

Dietrich, Kapitan Leutnant H.J.

Dietrich, Kapitan Leutnant H.J.

Dr Dietrich joined the German Navy in 1937 and after training as an officer cadet joined the pocket battleship GRAF SPEE.   He describes her deployment to the Atlantic prior to the outbreak of war and her engagement with HM cruisers ACHILLES, EXETER and AJAX at the Battle of the River Plate.Read More

Davies, Instructor Commander J.C.L.

Davies, Instructor Commander J.C.L.

Instructor Commander James Davies joined the Royal New Zealand Navy under the auspices of Scheme B in 1945, however before he could be sent to Britain for training World War II ended and he was discharged.  After experience as a school teacher he rejoined the RNZN in 1950 as an Instructor Lieutenant.  After completing his divisional training at the shore establishment HMNZS PHILOMEL he was posted to HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island as part of the instructor complement at that shore training establishment.  Read More

Cutts, Commander C.F.

Cutts, Commander C.F.

Commander Cecil Cutts joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1933 as a probationary supply assistant.  He did his basic training in HMS PHILOMEL which at that time was the training and depot ship that was berthed at Devonport dockyard.  After two months he was posted to the cruiser HMS DIOMEDE where he remained for two years before joining the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN for a further two years of service.  In 1937 he went on exchange service to Britain serving onboard the battleship HMS IRON DUKE for 18 months followed by a short stint in the cruiser HMS AURORA.Read More

Coveney, Able Seaman S.E.

Coveney, Able Seaman S.E.

Able Seaman Stanley Coveney joined the Royal New Zealand Navy from the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, which he entered in mid-1938.  He was posted to HMS PHILOMEL in May 1940 before joining the newly refurbished, armed merchant cruiser HMS MONOWAI.  HMS MONOWAI’s work was mainly escorting freighters, tankers and liners in near-New Zealand waters, bound from or to Panama, Australia or North America, while the threat existed of German raiders such as ORION and KOMET.Read More

Connew, Lieutenant K.F., B.E.M., M.I.D.

Connew, Lieutenant K.F., B.E.M., M.I.D.

Lieutenant Keith Connew joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy as a Seaman Boy in 1934.  After a year of basic training at HMS PHILOMEL, he joined the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN for a little over a year before being posted to the cruiser HMS ACHILLES in early 1937.  While onboard that ship Connew, by then an ordinary seaman saw action at the Battle of the River Plate and consequently was Mentioned in Despatches. Read More

Claridge, Mr J.C.R.

Claridge, Mr J.C.R.

Petty Officer James Claridge joined the Royal Navy in 1945 as a Writer.  He spent time in various shore establishments including the Royal Naval manning depot GOLDEN HIND in Sydney, Australia and the naval base HMS TAMAR in Hong Kong after which he was demobilised.  Claridge signed back on and was posted to the Lion class battleship HMS VANGUARD where he remained for most of his three years with the Royal Navy.Read More

Cheshire, Temporary Lieutenant F.T.M.

Cheshire, Temporary Lieutenant F.T.M.

Temporary Lieutenant Frederick (Max) Cheshire joined the Royal New Zealand Navy under the auspices of Scheme F in 1941.  He was sent immediately to Britain via Panama for training onboard the Shaw Savill ship TAMAROA.  Upon arriving in Britain he proceeded to HMS ST VINCENT and on becoming an Able Seaman was posted to the training establishment HMS DRAKE for basic training before being posted in early 1942 to the destroyer HMS GARTH which was on escort duty on the east coast of England.  Read More

Chandler, Steward C.F.

Chandler, Steward C.F.

Mr Carlos Chandler was born in Auckland in 1915, leaving school when he turned sixteen to work in a variety of unusual jobs – horse dealer’s boy and skating rink assistant – before signing on with the Union Steamship Company.  Civilian life onboard the passenger vessel MARAMA included doing a summer run around New Zealand and a winter tour through the Pacific Islands.  Later onboard AWATEA and MOCURRA he ventured further afield up into the west coast of North America.Read More

Carter, Chief Petty Officer J.L.

Carter, Chief Petty Officer J.L.

Chief Petty Officer John Carter joined the Royal Navy on American Independence Day 1950 as a 15 year old seaman boy.  His initial training took place at the training establishment ST VINCENT and onboard the frigate HMS WIDEMOUTH BAY in the North Sea.  After this training period he undertook a seaman gunner course at  the training establishment HMS PEMBROKE and was consequently posted to the destroyer HMS ARMADA which then sailed to the Mediterranean to join the British Fleet for three years.  From HMS ARMADA he transferred to the cruiser HMS SUPERB which was bound for the West Indies. Read More

Brock, Able Seaman J.D.

Pictured right – J.D. Brock

Able Seaman Jack Brock joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Seaman Boy in 1943.  After completing basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island he boarded the Shaw Savill and Albion passenger-cargo steamer AKAROA for England via New York.  While at the training establishment HMS DRAKE, he worked in the Plymouth dockyard ammunitioning MTB’s (motor torpedo boats).Read More

Button, Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor E.J., D.S.M.

Button, Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor E.J., D.S.M.

Chief Petty Officer Physical Training Instructor Edward Button joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Boy Seaman in 1947.  As was customary at the time he did his basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI, the shore training establishment on Motuihe Island.  Further training followed onboard the cruiser HMNZS BELLONA and at the Royal Australian Naval Base HMAS WATSON in Sydney, Australia where he qualified as a plot specialist.Read More

Brunt, Lieutenant Commander (A) A., D.S.C.

Brunt, Lieutenant Commander (A) A., D.S.C.

Lieutenant Commander Alexander Brunt joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1940.  He travelled to Britain onboard the passenger-cargo steamer AKAROA and upon his arrival was sent to the training establishment HMS ST VINCENT for basic training.  Once he had completed his time at that venerable training establishment, he did his flying training at various shore establishments in the British Isles.  After completing his training in the middle of 1941 Brunt joined an Albacore Squadron – the 826 – which was based in Egypt. Read More

Bruce, Warrant Officer T.A., M.S.M.

Bruce, Warrant Officer T.A., M.S.M.

Warrant Officer Terence Bruce joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a seaman boy in February 1954.  After basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island he was posted to the frigate HMNZS HAWEA which at that time was operating in coastal waters around New Zealand.  Shortly thereafter it sailed to Australia for the Hobart Regatta in company with the cruiser HMNZS BLACK PRINCE.  Read More

Brown, Chief Petty Officer I.C.

Brown, Chief Petty Officer I.C.

Chief Petty Officer Ivan Brown was a founding member of the Otago Division of the Royal New Zealand Volunteer Reserve in 1928.  In the transcript he speaks of the early days of the Otago Division and the Volunteer Reserve, especially the sea training onboard HMNZS WAKAKURA and the various sloops put into service for this task.Read More

Brostow, Temporary Lieutenant N.A.

Temporary Lieutenant Noel Brostow from Christchurch was educated at Mt Albert Grammar in Auckland before joining the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, under the auspices of Scheme B in February 1944.  After completing basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI on Motuihe Island, he sailed for Britain onboard the Blue Funnel Line passenger ship PRIAM, proceeding to the training establishment HMS GANGES for further training as was customary for Scheme B candidates.Read More

Bland, Commodore F.H.

Bland, Commodore F.H.

Commodore Fred Bland joined the RNZN in 1943.  He undertook training at the Royal Naval College, Eaton Hall and at Keyham the RN Engineering College.  He specialised as a Gunnery (Ordnance) Engineer.

Commodore Bland returned to New Zealand in 1949 after service in HM Ships BELLONA and BLACK PRINCE.  He was posted to HMNZS Dockyard, Devonport as the Assistant Engineer Manager.Read More

Blair, Captain C.R.

Blair, Captain C.R.

Captain Ross Blair joined the RANGANUI, a Northern Company ship as a deck hand in 1944.  After a period onboard this ship which was located in New Zealand coastal waters he transferred to the Watchlin Shipping Company and then to Denholms of Glasgow in order to gain deep water experience so that he could sit his masters ticket.  He studied at the James Watt Memorial School, Greenock, and qualified in record time.Read More

Billings, Temporary Lieutenant (A) W.T.

Billings, Temporary Lieutenant (A) W.T.

Temporary Lieutenant (A) William Billings joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in 1940, destined for pilot training with the Fleet Air Arm.  He sailed to Britain onboard the Aberdeen Line passenger-cargo steamship AKAROA.  After basic training at ST VINCENT and pilot training at various shore establishments, Billings qualified to fly the Walrus aircraft; this was the sea plane carried onboard cruisers and capital ships that was catapulted from the ship and recovered by crane after landing in the water alongside. Read More

Beesley, Able Seaman H.H.

Beesley, Able Seaman H.H.

Able Seaman Huia (Harry) Beesley, after a brief stint as a cabin boy in the Merchant Navy, joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1932 as a seaman boy, undertaking his training onboard the cruiser HMS PHILOMEL which at that time was the training ship of the early Navy.

He joined the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN after completing his training, and with the exception of carrying out a Seaman Gunnery course at HMAS FLINDERS in Australia, he stayed with that ship until 1937 when he joined the cruiser HMS ACHILLES in the early days of World War II.Read More

Beere, Commander G.M.

Beere, Commander G.M.

Commander Graeme Beere joined the Royal New Zealand Volunteer Reserve in 1942 having completed a post graduate course in electronics.  He quickly found himself working for the DSIR on the development of radar.  The New Zealand generated radar, which Beere was involved in the development of, was fitted in the cruisers and at various shore stations around New Zealand.  In 1944 he was sent on loan to the Royal Navy, serving onboard a number of British cruisers and as a Port Radar Officer in Colombo.Read More

Baylis, Lieutenant G.T.S.

Lieutenant Geoffrey Baylis joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy under the auspices of Scheme B in late 1940.  He sailed to Britain onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company passenger-cargo vessel RIMUTAKA, proceeding to the training establishment HMS GANGES for basic training.  After serving his mandatory sea time onboard Fairmile motor launches he was sent, as was customary, to the training establishment HMS KING ALFRED for officer training.Read More

Barratt, Lieutenant Commander D.E.C., M.B.E.

Barratt, Lieutenant Commander D.E.C., M.B.E.

Lieutenant Commander David Barratt, a Royal Navy man from early 1945, was one of the many RN Officers who travelled to New Zealand in the formative years of the Royal New Zealand Navy.  He arrived as a young Lieutenant in 1951 and worked as an instructor for a year, before being posted as a Gunnery Officer to the frigate HMNZS HAWEA which had been earmarked for service in Korea during that country’s civil war.Read More

Banbury, Signalman A.S.

Banbury, Signalman A.S.

Signalman Albert Banbury joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in March 1941.  After training in HMNZS PHILOMEL – the ship, he was sent to serve with ships in the Eastern Fleet.  After a short period onboard the cruiser HMS CORNWELL he was posted to Singapore and joined the patrol vessel PING-WO, an ex Hong Kong ferry fitted out as a patrol vessel.  After the fall of Singapore PING-WO sailed to Batavia, Jakarta, and from there towed the Australian destroyer HMAS VENDETTA to Australia. Read More

Ball-Guymer, Able Seaman A.E.

Ball-Guymer, Able Seaman A.E.

Able Seaman Arthur Ball-Guymer joined the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy in 1922.  After training at HMS PHILOMEL as a seaman boy he served onboard the cruisers HMS CHATHAM and HMS DUNEDIN.

He went to the United Kingdom for gunnery training in 1926 and served in the battleships HMS IRON DUKE and HMS REVENGE.  On returning to New Zealand he was posted to the cruiser HMS DUNEDIN once more and was onboard that ship when it went to the aid of the citizen’s during the Napier Earthquake.  Read More

Baigent, Warrant Officer J.H.

Baigent, Warrant Officer J.H.

Warrant Officer Gunnery Instructor Jack Baigent joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in January 1951 as a seaman boy.  After basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI and onboard the cruiser HMNZS BELLONA he specialised in gunnery.  He was  sent  to the Royal Australian Naval Station HMAS FLINDERS in Australia for intensive training as a gunnery instructor which led to a long career of postings as Gunnery Instructor onboard various RNZN ships and in numerous shore establishments.  Read More

Ashbridge, Commander C.G.

Ashbridge, Commander C.G.

Commander Colin Ashbridge joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1946 as a Probationary Stores Assistant, undertaking basic training at the training establishment HMNZS TAMAKI as was customary for the time.

After service onboard the modified Flower class corvette HMS ARABIS, Ashbridge was part of the commissioning party for the first RNZN Loch class frigate HMNZS HAWEA.  Ashbridge saw service in the frigate HMNZS OTAGO and was also in the commissioning party for the Antarctic support ship HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, the ex USS NAMAKOGAN.Read More

Arndell, Lieutenant S.D.

Lieutenant Shane Arndell was employed as Action Officer of the Watch and Aircraft Control Officer during the ANZAC class Frigate HMNZS TE KAHA’s deployment to East Timor and the Persian Gulf in 1999.  While in the Gulf he was attached as the New Zealand liaison Officer to the aircraft carrier USS CONSTELLATION and describes in some detail life onboard a front line aircraft carrier.Read More

Alpe, Lieutenant G.C.

Alpe, Lieutenant G.C.

Lieutenant Graham Alpe joined the Royal New Zealand Volunteer Reserve under the auspices of Scheme B in 1943.  After completing basic training at HMNZS TAMAKI he sailed for Britain via the West Indies onboard the Shaw Savill and Albion passenger-cargo steamer AKAROA.  After completing further basic training he was posted to the cruiser HMS LONDON in order to complete his mandatory sea time. During this time HMS LONDON escorted Winston Churchill, and carried members of his staff to the Algiers Conference.Read More

Allan, Lieutenant Commander P.D.

Allan, Lieutenant Commander P.D.

Lieutenant Commander Peter Allan applied  to join the Royal Navy, as a cadet, in 1940.  Upon acceptance he took passage to Britain onboard the New Zealand Shipping Company passenger ship RANGITANE, with a group of Air Force personnel.  Three hundred miles east of East Cape the RANGITANE was intercepted by the German commerce raiders ORION, KOMET and KORMORAN and the passengers and crew were taken aboard the German ships.  The non-combatants were released at Emirau Island but the Air Force personnel and Allan were taken to Germany as prisoners of war.  Read More

Abbott, Leading Cook T.W. QSM

Abbott, Leading Cook T.W. QSM

After an early career as a baker and a policeman Leading Cook Thomas  Abbott joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1951.  After a brief period of training at HMNZS TAMAKI he was sent to HMNZS PHILOMEL at Devonport to train in the galley there under Pincher Martin and Joe Dobbin.  He became an Officers’ cook and first served in the frigate HMNZS HAWEA whilst deployed to the Korean War.  In addition to being a cook, he was an ammunition handler and describes several of the actions that occurred on the Korean coast.Read More