Jump to content

- - - - -

Vale - Captain Richard [Gordon] Hastings PAVITT NZ & British Army

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 DaveB


    Very Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,133 posts

Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:00 PM

I learned during the week that a WW2 veteran that I had spent some time with over the last couple of years has passed away.

In lieu of being able to speak at his funeral service, I thought I would post an obituary for him on here.

Unfortunately some of the following is a bit garbled, a combination of Richard’s recollections and my tardiness. I will attempt to fill in a few of the gaps in following posts.

I hope that by posting this here sooner or later someone will come along with extra info, or even requests for more info on some of the names & places mentioned.


Pavitt, Richard [Gordon] Hastings - 16.09.1920 - 14.09.2011 of Masterton, New Zealand

1938 - enlisted in the New Zealand Territorial Force and served in the Field Artillery [service number 064165] - (note 1)

1939 / 1940 – Waiouru artillery training camp (notes 2 & 3 & 4)

08.1943 - posted to the 6th Field Regiment, New Zealand Artillery (Italy) 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force - (notes 5 & 6)

04.1944 - selected for a course at an Officer Cadet Training Unit as an officer candidate for the British Army - (note 7)

19.11.1944 – commissioned 348803, Royal Regiment of Artillery [emergency commission] - (note 8)

1944 – 1946 - attached to the 5th Indian Field Regiment, Royal Indian Artillery Burma [advance on Rangoon], then Java [Indonesia] - (notes 9 & 10 & 11 & 12)

1946 – Singapore, London, Berlin (notes 13 & 14 & 15 & 16 & 17)

24.01.1947 – released from commission – Captain - (notes 18 & 19 & 20)


Personal notes and memories:

note 1 – One photo shows training with a WW1 6” field gun / howitzer

note 2 – photo of camp and note on back regarding presence of Robert Miller and Carl Berendsen, Miller enlisted in 1940 with the 12th Field Regiment, was wounded in Tunisia in 1943 and was invalided home. He became a surveyor and was deputy leader of the 1957 NZ Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Berendsen was secretary of the War Cabinet in July 1940.

note 3 – photo of NCO’s course 1939, Peter Reid, Jim Blyth, self, Jack Fisher

note 4 – good friend Peter Blundell from Nelson College enlists and joins my unit. Part of NZ newspaper publishing family. Earned the Military Cross (MC) in the Solomon Islands (Vella Lavella) Sep / Oct 1943. Award gazetted 27 July 1944 and presented 22 March 1945 at parade attended by Generals Freyberg and Kippenberger in Italy. Captain Peter Mellor Blundell 71458 was KIA 16 April 1945 in Italy.

note 5 – photos of life out of the line, football match, vineyard and captured medieval castle, Southern Italy 1943 after the fall of Sicily. Three letters home to father from Italy June - October 1944.

note 6 –Good friend James Athol (Jimmy) Stubbs 437400 wounded at Cassino April 1944 and repatriated to NZ but died from his wounds 10 June 1944, buried Palmerston.

note 7 – Officer’s training in Bombay 1944, photo captioned “wondering how I would like being a Pukka Sahib

Note 8 - Gazetted July 1944. Photo of self (348803), Ronald Charles McKay (348805) and Edward James Bernard O’Hare (348804). All survived the war, McKay discharged 1946, self and Barney O’Hare discharged 1947.

note 9 – trained with Buzz Hunt former WW1 soldier then WW2 NZ army and went across to the British Army (Indian Artillery). Post-war Buzz served as part of the occupation force (Jayforce) for Japan with the RNZA. In Korea as part of Kayforce 1950 – 1953. Major E.W Hunt was Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) for his actions during the Battle for Kapyong April 1951 – gazetted 11 September 1951. His wife, Audrey Hunt (nursing sister) was from India and travelled to and from NZ after the war. Noted as arriving in Auckland in 1950. Very attractive lady.

note 10 – I was attached to the 4th Indian Field Regiment (not the 5th). 4FR in Burma as part of 19 Indian Division then to ALFSEA as part of 5 Indian Division. 5FR in Burma as part of 25 Indian Division then to ALFSEA as part of 23 Indian Division. Operated in Java as part of 5 Indian Division.

note 11 - many photos of life in Bombay (including Deolali camp) and in action 1945. Commanded a troop / battery of 25 pounder field guns. Heading south towards Rangoon 1945.

Photos of Indian Artillery troops 1945 / 1946:

Havildar Narayan More

Tapah, Malaya April 1946 – Naik Dallahay Teke & Sinu Bande. “My faithful Jawans (young soldiers), always very smart, which came from pride in their Regiment & their sublime loyalty. I will never forget them

Tapah, Malaya April 1946 – Bandu Jadhao & Cheta Ram. “Naik Bandu Jadhao 10.5654 decorated for extreme gallantry (in my presence) in mid 1945 in Burma” (MID - Mentioned in Dispatches – gazette August 1945)

note 12 – no memory of Java, went to Singapore

note 13 – Singapore – 5 September 1945 - HMS Sussex – disarm Japanese at Changi etc as part of 5th Indian Division. Cathay Building ?? (Major JW Arthur MC of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment)

note 14 – NZ – early 1946 – by ship (ATHLONE CASTLE) to home then back to Singapore to re-join unit

note 15 – May 1946, arrived in the UK on the MAURETANIA to take part in the Victory celebrations. Indian Contingent camped at Regent’s Park London, marched in victory parade 08June 1946. Met the King and the Princesses at Balmoral. Stayed at 21 Cadogan place, Sloane Square. “Indian Victory Parade Contingent visits Sheffield (18th June, 1946). A parade of soldiers marches through the city led by a man on a horse. Each military unit marches in their own group wearing their different uniforms and medals. One unit play brass instruments as they march. “

note 16 – Berlin – July 1946 (a) part of Indian military mission (Major General D. Stuart / Colonel S.M. Shrinagesh (Sri Nagesh) / Major-General Khub Chand / Colonel Mian Hayaud Din / Mr. K. V. Ramaswamy (B) The Indian contingent which took part in London’s victory parade recently visited Berlin. Article shows them being inspected by Marshal of the RAF Sir Sholto Douglas, shown talking to Subedar Gage Chale, a Gurkha VC.

note 17 – Java - November 1945 – 4FR not on OOB (the 5th is)

note 18 – discharge gazetted 1947 (other appointments / acting promotions also gazetted 1946 / 1947)

note 19 – 1947 photo with Tom Higgins (Burma ?)

note 20 –Father Harold Hastings Pavitt passed away 1948. 1950s moved to Brisbane and worked at land development.




  • 0

#2 Recce_Mitch


    Very Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 4,472 posts
  • LocationFremantle, West Australia

Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:19 PM

:poppy: Captain Richard [Gordon] Hastings Pavitt. RIP :poppy:


  • 0

:poppy: In memory of all those of the Recce Regiments who lost their lives in World War 2 :poppy:

#3 DaveB


    Very Senior Member

  • Registered Users
  • 2,133 posts

Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:20 AM

Never thought to post an image of the presento I had made up for him some time before he passed away.

Attached Files

  • 0

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users