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.
In 1940 Brown was called up and spent most of World War II in either New Zealand waters or the Pacific onboard various minesweepers that the Royal New Zealand Navy had converted from small merchant ships. These included HMNZS PURIRI, of which he was Coxswain when that ship was sunk by a mine laid by the German raider ORION off the coast of Whangarei and speaks vividly of that sinking. In addition Brown also served onboard HMNZS MURITAI in the Suva area, HMNZS MATAI and finally the corvette HMNZS ARBUTUS.
Ivan Brown retired from the RNZN in 1945 having achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer.