Article published in The Marlborough Express, April 21......Wellingtonian Sergeant John Williams was a long way from home when his plane was attacked during World War II.
The Wellington bomber X3371 was shot down while flying towards Flensburg, northern Germany, and crashed into the North Sea in August 1942. Everybody on board was killed.
The 21-year-old's body washed up on Ockero, a small island near Gothenburg on the rocky west coast of Sweden.
The locals buried him at Ockero Gamla Kyrka churchyard on September 11, 1942.
On Monday afternoon the Last Post rang out at his gravesite as New Zealand and Australians living in Sweden commemorated Anzac Day. Poppies and wreaths were placed on his grave.
New Zealand ambassador to Sweden Barbara Bridge said she discovered the story of Mr Williams about two years ago and arranged an annual ceremony at the site.
Research by the New Zealand Embassy in Stockholm found Mr Williams went to both Wellington College and Otago Boys' High School.
He signed up for the Royal New Zealand Air Force in February 1941 and trained as an air gunner. He left for Britain in November that year, serving at air force bases in Yatesbury, Bassingbourn and Feltwell with the RAF 57th Squadron.
Ms Bridge said the embassy was trying to contact Mr Williams' family and hoped they would one day travel to Sweden to celebrate an Anzac service at the cemetery.
Another Anzac service was held at Kviberg Cemetery in Gothenburg where New Zealand-born pilot Warrant Officer Warren Tuck, 22, is buried at a Commonwealth war gravesite. The embassy knew little about Mr Tuck, Ms Bridge said.
Speaking to about 100 people gathered at the cemetery, Ms Bridge paid tribute to the 746 New Zealand Defence Force personnel serving in 10 countries around the world.
She also acknowledged Australia's response following the Christchurch earthquake. "... let us, in the spirit of Anzac, vow that we shall every day try to do something to make the world a better place for our children and our grandchildren."
- The Marlborough Express