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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

55 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Hon. P. Fraser (London)

The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Hon. P. Fraser (London)

28 November 1939

After careful consideration by the Army Board, and acting on its recommendation, the Minister of Defence proposes to make the following appointments: Colonel E. Puttick to command the 1st Infantry Brigade;1 Lieutenant-Colonel K. L. Stewart, General Staff Officer, 1st Grade; Major W. G. Gentry, GSO 2; Lieutenant-Colonel W. G. Stevens, AA & QMG; Major D. T. Maxwell, DAAG; Major A. W. Greville, DAQMG; Colonel R. Miles, commanding New Zealand Artillery; Major C. S. J. Duff, Brigade Major; Major G. H. Clifton, Headquarters Divisional Engineers; Lieutenant-Colonel S. H. Crump, commanding New Zealand Army Service Corps.2 Battalion and other officers for the First Echelon have already been selected. The Minister would normally make appointments as mentioned, but he, with General Duigan, would prefer that you should inform General Freyberg before the appointments are finalised this week.

1 Although this was the first infantry brigade of the 2nd NZEF to be formed, it was subsequently named the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade.

2 Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Puttick, KCB, DSO. Commanded 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade 1940-41 and New Zealand troops in Egypt in 1940 during absence of General Freyberg in United Kingdom; commanded New Zealand troops (4th and 5th Brigades) in Crete, May 1941; Chief of the General Staff and General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Military Forces, 1941–45.

Major-General Keith Lindsay Stewart, CB, CBE, DSO. General Staff Officer, 1st Grade, 2nd NZ Division, 1940–41; Deputy Chief of the General Staff (in New Zealand), 1941–43; commanded 5th Brigade, Aug–Nov 1943, 4th Armoured Brigade, Nov 1943 – Mar 1944, and 5th Brigade, Mar – Aug 1944, when taken prisoner of war near Florence; commanded 9th Infantry Brigade (J Force), Nov 1945 – Jul 1946; Adjutant-General, New Zealand Military Forces, Aug 1946 – Mar 1949, Chief of the General Staff, Apr 1949 – to date.

Brigadier William George Gentry, DSO, OBE. GSO 2, 1940; AA & QMG, 1940–41; GSO 1, 1941–2; commanded 6th Brigade, 1942–43; Deputy Chief of the General Staff (in New Zealand), 1943–44; commanded New Zealand Troops in Egypt, 6th NZ Division, and NZ Maadi Camp, Aug 1944 – Feb 1945; commanded 9th Brigade (in Italy), 1945; appointed New Zealand representative on Joint Chiefs of Staff Organisation in Australia, Apr 1946; Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Jul 1946 – Nov 1947; Adjutant-General, Apr 1949 – to date.

Major-General William George Stevens, CB, CBE. Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General, 2nd NZ Division, 1940; Officer in charge of Administration, 2nd NZEF, 1940–45, including period as Commandant, NZ Maadi Camp, and GOC 6th NZ Division; GOC 2nd NZEF, 22 Nov 1945 – 6 Jul 1946 (after General Freyberg relinquished command).

Colonel Douglas Todd Maxwell, OBE. Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General, 1940; GSO 2, Oct 1940 – Jan 1941; GSO 2 and later AA & QMG, 2nd NZEF Base, 1941; AA & QMG, 2nd NZ Division, Oct 1941 – Jun 1942; returned to New Zealand for duty Aug 1942 and held various senior staff appointments, including Commandant, New Zealand Staff College, Aug 1943 – Mar 1944; posted to 2nd NZEF (Japan), Mar 1946, seconded to HQ BCOF; returned to New Zealand, 27 Jul 1947.

Lieutenant-Colonel Alec Wilkie Greville. Commanded advanced party 2nd NZEF, 1939; Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General, 1940–41; CO 24th Battalion, Dec 1941 – Jul 1942; killed in action, Alamein, 22 Jul 1942.

Brigadier Reginald Miles, CBE, DSO, MC. Commander Royal New Zealand Artillery, 1940–41; commanded 2nd NZEF (UK) 1940; taken prisoner of war, Dec 1941; escaped to Switzerland with Brigadier J. Hargest from prison camp near Florence, Mar 1943; died in Spain on way to United Kingdom, Oct 1943.

Brigadier Charles Staunton John Duff, DSO. CO 34th Anti-Tank Battery, 1939–40, 7th Anti-Tank Regiment, 1940–41; commanded Artillery Training Depot, 1941; CO 4th Field Regiment, 1941–42; returned to New Zealand on duty, Jun 1942; Commander Royal Artillery, 3rd NZ Division, 1942–44; held various staff appointments in New Zealand, 1945–47; NZ Military Liaison Officer, Melbourne, 1947–48.

Brigadier George Herbert Clifton, DSO, MC. Brigade Major, 5th Brigade, 1940; Commander Royal Engineers, 2nd NZ Division, 1940–41; Chief Engineer, 30th Corps, 1941; commanded 6th Brigade, Feb – Sep 1942, when taken prisoner; escaped in Germany, Mar 1945; liaison officer with organisation for Recovery of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees (Far East), 1945; seconded to HQ BCOF (Japan), 1946–47.

Brigadier Stanley Herbert Crump, CBE, DSO. CRASC, 2nd NZ Division, 1940–45; commanded rear party organisation in Mediterranean, 1946–47; commanded 2nd NZEF (Japan), 1947; on staff of HQ BCOF and NZ representative on Disposals Board in Japan 1948–49.