Merchant Navy Day a time to remember video

MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ

Merchant Navy commemoration at Pukeahu national war memorial.

A national commemoration to honour civilian sailors who served in the Merchant Navy in wartime has been held at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

September 3 is the anniversary of the sinking of the first British merchant ship in 1939 after World War II began.

The service in the Hall of Memories honoured the several thousand New Zealand seafarers who served in both world wars, mostly sailing under the British red ensign.

A national commemoration for the Merchant Navy is held at the Pukeahu national war memorial in Wellington.
Maarten Holl

A national commemoration for the Merchant Navy is held at the Pukeahu national war memorial in Wellington.

Seventy New Zealanders lost their lives during World War I and another 140 were killed in WWII. The civilian volunteers sailed convoys of ships delivering troops, military equipment, food, fuel and raw materials. Many of the merchant ships were torpedoed or bombed.

READ MORE:
* New Plymouth man Merv Martin gets his day to remember the merchant navy
* The adventures of merchant navy man Derek Coppin
* Sunken ships to be remembered as part of Merchant Navy day in New Plymouth

"No other group of New Zealand civilians faced such risks during wartime," Ministry for Culture and Heritage group manager Heather Baggott said. "Some were as young as 14 years old and others were in their 60s and 70s."

The Hall of Memories service.
Maarten Holl

The Hall of Memories service.

The work of the Merchant Navy was so essential to the war effort that it was regarded as the "fourth service" alongside the army, navy and air force.

The national commemoration was attended by the Merchant Navy Association, the NZ Shipping Federation, NZ Company of Master Mariners, NZ Merchant Service Guild and the Russian Convoy Club of New Zealand.

Chris King, a past president of the Russian Convoy Club, attended the ceremony.

National commemoration for the Merchant Navy.
Maarten Holl

National commemoration for the Merchant Navy.

He served in the British Navy from 1941 after volunteering as a 19-year-old.

Ad Feedback

His ships were charged with guarding merchant navy boats on journeys of 10 days or more from England to Russia.

King remembers New Zealanders as always well represented among the men he guarded.

"We had to escort the merchants to Archangel in northern Russia," said King, who emigrated to New Zealand in 1957.

"I was in four different convoys. In the first there were only six ships but for the the second there were was almost 40.

"They were heavily laden, with trains and tanks, and they were slow.

"I remember we used to zig-zag around them," the 93-year-old said.

"We were heavily attacked on that big convoy.

"That was hard and very scary but we lost only six ships," King said.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Blank round fired in court

Gustav Sanft is on trial for the manslaughter of his two-year-old daughter.

Gustav Sanft wailed in court as the sawn-off shotgun which killed his two-year-old daughter was fired as evidence.

Invitation to 'Hikoi for Hope'

Flowers and a photo of Haami Manahi were placed on the steps on which he was found during a recent memorial service for him.

Marchers seeking to raise awareness of homelessness in south Auckland.

Council: Wharf-jumping OK

Wharf-jumping - or dive-bombing - is a popular Kiwi summer past-time, but left 100s injured in the past year.

Popular past-time leaves Kiwis seriously injured or even dead - but Auckland Council says previous bans have failed.

Girl-only coding proves popular

Girl Code founders Alice and Matthew Gatland say there is a lack of women in the technology sector.

Auckland coding class aims to remedy under-representation of women in the tech sector.

Wellington

Land slip in Lower Hutt

A land slip blocks a road in Lower Hutt.

Large rock blocking one lane of Normandale Rd, near State Highway 2.

Matterhorn to close

Matterhorn restaurant has called Cuba St home for 54 years.

Wellington bar will have to shut so old Farmers building can be strengthened.

Motorcyclist in hospital after crash

The propped-up bike, which was initially lying on its side after colliding with a car.

A man is in a serious condition after accident in Masterton on Tuesday.

Mum gave teen daughter meth

07072017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.   File Photos, generic, high court, trial, judge, lawyer.

Abrupt end to trial of woman accused of being a party to her daughter's rape.

Canterbury

Sheep to the rescue

Rabbits catch a ride out of floodwaters on a flock of sheep on a Taieri Plains farm.

A small colony of rabbits rode a flock of sheep to safety from the floodwaters in Otago.

Assault ends career

The relief teacher grabbed the boy's backpack, but the strap broke and the boy fell between closing doors.

Teacher grabbed the boy's backpack for a word, but the strap broke and the 12-year-old fell between closing doors.

Two penguins killed in slip

A Pukekura Trust Scientist found 113 little blue penguins at the reserve on the Otago Peninsula.

A pair of the world's smallest penguins were killed in a large slip on the Otago Peninsula.

Case dismissed after botch-up

Judge Michael Crosbie dismissed a drug charge against a woman in the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday.

A police error resulted in a case against a member of a prominent family to be thrown out.

Waikato

Storm set to roll in from Tasman

A brief respite from rain won't last long, with more forecast towards the end of the week.

Heavy rain and possible thunderstorms on horizon before cracker weekend.

Brother's final minutes

Anthony Hallmond died on Sunday night after what was believed to be an altercation on a Te Awamutu street.

Family arrived to find paramedics trying to revive Anthony Hallmond on a Te Awamutu street.

ACC U-turn on glasses

Hamilton man Glenn Hodges' eyesight was damaged following a crash at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in December.

After an eight-month battle, motoring enthusiast Glenn Hodges has scored a win.

Outrage over skids on cemetery

Skid marks from vandals are all that remain at the Ngaruawahia Cemetery

The Ngaruawahia Cemetery has been targeted three times since June by drivers skidding on the grass.

Taranaki

Agency in liquidation

Liquidators were able to recover fees from a failed debt collection business.

High Court gives liquidator permission to recover fees but customers owed almost $200,000 will miss out.

Man attacked abuser

On Monday in the New Plymouth District Court, a man avoided convictions for burglary and assault, after a successful ...

After he was taken advantage of while drunk, a man sought retribution against his abuser.

Mountain rescue underway

The two people were being rescued from the Stratford ski field.

One has a gash on their head, while the other has been told to stay put until the rescue helicopter reaches them.

What's on in Taranaki

Hawera photographer Kevin Bone's recent work is on display at Lysaght Watt gallery.

Check out what's coming up around the region in the arts community.

Manawatu

When rural pests invade the city

A possum trapped.

UNDER THE RADAR: What to do if you live in suburbia and spot a stoat or possum.

House prices spike

Feilding's Smeaton family sold their home in just eight days. From back left: David holding Evie, 1, and Hayley holding ...

House sales prices in Feilding are at a 20-year high but that hasn't stopped them selling fast.

Hospital is often full

Palmerston North Hospital is often operating at capacity.

Additional staff and resources are needed to cope with high patient numbers.

No-frills petrol station on the way

Waitomo Petroleum has begun work on a new self-service station on Tremaine Ave in Palmerston North. It's expected to ...

Waitomo Petroleum's self-service station is due to open in Palmerston North in mid-August.

Nelson

New plan to save grandstand

The fight goes on to save the grandstand.

It all looked done and dusted for Takaka's grandstand. But could it get a last gasp reprieve?

Shooting 'justified'

The shooting of Ford Hurinui, by police during an alleged armed standoff in Motueka in 2015 was justified, an inquest ...

Nelson police officer who shot a wanted man cleared of any wrongdoing after inquest.

Time to fix 'scary' highway

The section of State Highway 6 from Okaramio to Havelock is the most dangerous stretch on the Blenheim to Nelson road, ...

The Nelson-Blenheim road has claimed 12 lives in 10 years. NZTA says it's unacceptable.

Judge's blunder boosts jail time

A woman convicted in the Nelson District Court earlier this year on drugs charges has had her sentence quashed and ...

Woman convicted of meth dealing will spend longer behind bars after a sentencing error.

Marlborough

Burglar caught by paper trail

The diamond ring was pawned at a Cash Converters in 2010. (File photo)

Seven years after burglar pawns diamond ring, police realise he gave Cash Converters his real name.

Picture perfect

Marlborough photographer Jessica Jones won four awards at the annual Iris Awards for professional photographers.

Professional photographer Jessica Jones impresses judges in one of New Zealand's most prestigious competitions.

Guerrilla knitters yarn-bomb town

West End retailers Stephanie Thompson and Jacqui Harnett are behind Kaikoura's yarn-bombing project.

Many a good yarn has come out of quake-hit Kaikoura over the past few months, and that doesn't seem to be wrapping up anytime soon.

Teen denies knifepoint robbery

Dylan Joseph Dredge admitted seven charges at the Blenheim District Court. (File photo)

He wasn't trying to rob the woman, he was just attacking her with a knife, court hears.

South Canterbury

Keeping culture alive

Ti Kouka Kindergarten children sang some of the waiata they will perform at the festival in front of Beaconsfield School ...

Hundreds of children are gearing up for events designed to help keep Maori culture alive in South Canterbury.

Disease reaches NZ

Cows on a South Canterbury farm have been found infected with the disease Mycoplasma bovis, the first time it has been ...

A highly contagious cattle disease has infected a South Canterbury dairy herd in the first recorded case in NZ.

New burner rule pitched

The warm glow of a good log fire: a residents' group says the resource consent process could keep older burners burning ...

Retrofitting old burners should be made official, group says.

Climate change pledge not signed

Fixing slippery tiles in Timaru's CBD and revamping the Theatre Royal should take priority over climate change, council ...

Council candidate says local body politicians should stay away from climate change.

Southland

ILT prank 'disappointing'

The "GET LIT" T-shirts are advertised on the Bunker Bar Facebook page.

Young people using the Invercargill Licensing Trust's logo to promote drinking is being called "disappointing".

Pedestrian hit by car

Emergency services were called to the intersection of Don and Kelvin streets, Invercargill, after an elderly pedestrian ...

An elderly man was struck by a car in central Invercargill.

Early start for Barclay

What exactly Barclay has been doing in his electorate has been in the spotlight as he continues to sit on a $170,000 ...

Disgraced MP arrives back at work with smile on his face.

Factory worker awarded $30,000

20082014   
Image ID : 21188809
Image Type : Stock Photo
Copyright : Matthew Benoit
attorney, auction, authority, brown, ...

An Invercargill factory worker has successfully claimed over $30,000 from his former employers, after being unjustifiably dismissed.

Ad Feedback