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Who was George?

My genealogy mate Christine Clement isn't into social media, so has asked me if I could help find George. Many of you will know Christine from her many talks given around New Zealand, as the hostess of the genealogy website Sooty and author of  Migration to New Zealand.

Back in April, Auckland Libraries hosted a Military week and Christine gave a talk about New Zealand's role in the Battle of Trieste.

So I wasn't surprised when she emailed me for help in identifying George.

"In April 2020 the RSA National Office received an email from Italy looking for ‘George’ who had been at the Liberation of Trieste on 2 May 1945 by the 22nd  New Zealand Battalion.

The email continued “It was during a concert or dance intended to bring together these two very different populations, that my aunt and uncles met an officer of the 22nd Battalion. His name was George. Despite numerous invitations to my family to travel to New Zealand, they were never able to visit for various reasons, including the great distance and lack of communications of the time.”

What we do know:

  1. He was in Trieste on the 23 June 1945 and had attended a function intended to bring together the New Zealanders and the locals.
  2. He wrote to the family for a number of years wanting them to visit – unfortunately the letters have not survived.
  3. Even though the family think he was in the 22nd Battalion he was possibly in the New Zealand Divisional Cavalry or the 18th, 19th or 20th Battalions which had become Armoured Regiments.
  4. A beret was their regulation head-dress.
  5. The family thought he was an officer but no insignia shows on the photo
  6. He appears to be wearing a scarf – possibly given to him by the family as not part of the uniform

If he was in the 22nd Battalion then probably from Wellington, Wellington/West Coast, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki companies.

18th Battalion - Northern Military District, which took in the upper half of the North Island of New Zealand.

19th Battalion - Lower half of the North Island of New Zealand and formed into Wellington, Wellington/West Coast, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki companies.

20th Battalion - A to D and corresponding to the Canterbury, Southland, Nelson-Marlborough-West Coast and Otago districts.

Divisional Cavalry – all over New Zealand"

So basically George could be from anywhere around New Zealand. We are hoping someone recognises the photo or the story about George's Italian connection.

If you know who George was please email Christine cmclementnz at

Thank you in advance...


  1. I had to look twice at that photo of George as thought it was my uncle but its not - but looks similar. He was in Italy via North Africa during the War but was a driver attached to NZEF No 14 Infantry Reinforcements. Another one to add perhaps as his uniform almost identical to that of George

  2. Hi, I'm looking for this George, could I see the foto of your uncle so I can compare the two photos? Many Thanks

  3. That is an armoured corps beret. So he would be Div Cav or 18th -19th -20th Battalion. 22nd was motorised yet didnt wear the black beret. So 18th to 20th for sure.

  4. I agree. He wears a black armoured beret, indicating that he was a trooper with one of the three New Zealand armoured regiments of 4 NZ Armoured Brigade - 18, 19 or 20 - or possibly the NZ Divisional Cavalry. 22 Battalion troops wore a khahi beret


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