Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

2nd New Zealand Divisional Artillery

Changes in Personnel

Changes in Personnel

There had been an infusion of new blood, too, in the reinforcements recently absorbed. Many of these were ‘dehydrated officers’ or gunners who had served in the Pacific, contagiously enthusiastic. The departure of the Tongariro men, among them many senior NCOs, led to the promotion of men who had long deserved this recognition and who were now intensely anxious to prove themselves as troop sergeant-majors (TSMs) or Nos. 1 on the guns or in other appointments. In the 4th Field, for example, the Tongariro men numbered 118 and they included a major, a captain and three lieutenants, all of them from the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Echelons. They also included 11 warrant officers class two, of whom seven were ‘old originals’ of the regiment. page 696 There were 35 staff-sergeants, sergeants and lance-sergeants, eight of them ‘originals’. The sergeants were nearly all Nos. 1 or in charge of signals detachments. The lance-sergeants were evenly divided between signals and ‘acks’—OPAs, CPOAs and GPOAs. Between them they embodied enormous experience and skill; but they had eager ‘understudies’. Some of the Tongariro men, moreover, after the desert campaigns and the long-drawn-out fighting in Italy, were showing signs of strain. A handful of ‘originals’ volunteered to stay with their units.

The regimental commanders, Nolan of the 4th Field, Sawyers of the 5th Field, Nicholson of the 6th Field and Savage of the 7th Anti-Tank, were all 1st, 2nd or 3rd Echelon men; but Savage was the only one who commanded the regiment in which he had sailed from New Zealand.

The second-in-command of a regiment had to have on the tip of his tongue answers to a wide range of operational and administrative questions. The ‘2 i/cs’ were therefore all old hands: Reed in the 4th Field, Angell in the 5th, Harrowell in the 6th and Spring in the 7th Anti-Tank. Half the battery commanders were old hands and half newcomers. In the 4th Field all were newcomers. In the 5th there were two old hands, Majors Dillon12 and Caughley.13 In the 6th Major Hanna was the only old hand. In the 7th Anti-Tank there were three old hands, Majors Lund, Butcher and M. M. Robertson, and one newcomer, Major Henton.14 It was a nice blend of freshness and experience.

12 Maj G. F. L. Dillon, m.i.d.; Blenheim; born Blenheim, 30 Apr 1917; sheepfarmer; wounded 8 Sep 1942.

13 Maj J. E. Caughley, m.i.d.; Wanganui; born Christchurch, 16 Feb 1919; insurance clerk; Bty Comd, 5 Fd Regt, 1945.

14 Maj E. I. Henton; Singapore; born NZ 4 Sep 1910; insurance manager.