Sunday, May 5, 2013

Thames (NZ): Thames High School WWII soldiers

In 1953, the Thames Star newspaper ran columns asking for names of old Thames High School pupils who had served in World War Two 1939-1945. This was a similar process to how the names were gathered for the WWI memorial - and in the latter case this sadly led to many names being omitted.

Names were gathered and a plaque was made, which hangs in the hallway by the Front Office at Thames High School, Sealey Street, Thames. On 24/8/1954, the Thames Star reported that the WWII plaque was under construction and would be similar in design to the WWI plaque already displayed at the school. The names of the men who died overseas (in battle or as a result of illness/wounds) were displayed in the centre section of the plaque - headed PRO-PATRIA (For the fatherland).
Thames Star 11/5/1955 (Thames Library)

 The names of the ex-pupils who died during WWII are listed here - with links to the Auckland Museum Cenotaph Database. Many more men from the Thames-Coromandel area died during World War Two and a new project at The Treasury will collect information on these men. As with all these projects contributions from researchers are always welcomed and appreciated.

(added 6/5/2013)
Since writing the above information, in an effort to locate information on HEAD, A McD J - it appears that this man was known as ANGUS JOSEPH MACDONALD. It is recorded in the 1944 Haurakian that MacDonald "was the first of our old boys in this war to lose his life." It recognition of this an Inter-house Shooting Cup was set up to be known as the MACDONALD MEMORIAL. In 1944 the cup was won by School House. Pilot Officer Angus J MacDonald was at THS 1928-1933, a member of the 1st XI and a School Prefect. He worked at the Waihou Dairy Factory before entering Training College. He was released from there to do a flying course at Wigram, then went to England to serve in the Coastal Command of the Royal Air Force. (Photo below)
Angus Joseph Macdonald
(The Haurakian 1944-45)

Showing the ex-pupils who lost their life during WWII