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Full Name
Joseph Norris Peart
Rank Last Held
Lieutenant Colonel
Joseph Norris
Also Known As
Joseph Norriss Peart
World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.
Date of Birth
12 February 1900
Place of Birth
Collingwood, Nelson,New Zealand
First Known Rank
Occupation before Enlistment
School teacher
Next of Kin
Mrs Anne Hamilton Peart (wife), care of King's College, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
Marital Status
Enlistment Address
King's College, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
Military District
Body on Embarkation
Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 1st Echelon
Embarkation Unit
Headquarters, 18 Auckland Battalion
Nominal Roll Number
WW2 1
Page on Nominal Roll
WW2 141
  • North Africa
  • Greece
  • Crete
Military Awards
  • Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Africa Star
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • New Zealand War Service Medal
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD) Three Times
Award Circumstances
DSO: London Gazette, 22 September 1942. "For outstanding leadership, bravery and determination. At El Mreir Depression on the night 21/22 July 1942 Lieutenant Colonel Peart led his Battalion in the 6 (NZ) Infantry Brigade attack on El Mreir Depression ... During all the fighting Lieutenant Colonel Peart was constantly moving about among his men encouraging them and at all times setting a high example of courage and perseverance. It is due to his outstanding leadership, determination and sound judgement that the Battalion remains a fighting unit." (Haigh & Polaschek, p199)
Last Unit Served
26 Infantry Battalion
Place of Death
Date of Death
4 September 1942
Age at Death
Year of Death
Cause of Death
Died of wounds
Cemetery Name
El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt
Grave Reference
XIII. J. 2
Memorial Name
  • Auckland Domain, an Olive Tree (Olea europaea) planted close to the Auckland War Memorial Museum in the grounds of the Auckland Domain commemorates those who fought on Crete in 1941.
  • Roll of Honour, Freemasons, Te Awamutu Lodge No. 2221 E.C., Ellerslie Masonic Centre, 9A Robert Street, Ellerslie, Auckland
  • Memorial plaque, Freemasons, Te Awamutu Lodge No. 2221 E.C., Ellerslie Masonic Centre, 9A Robert Street, Ellerslie, Auckland
Biographical Notes
  • Joseph Peart was Headmaster of King's College, Auckland, from 1936-1940.
  • Served as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General (DAAG) in Greece and Crete.
  • Served as Commanding Officer (CO) of 18 Battalion, November 1941 - March 1942
  • Served as CO of 26 Battalion, 1 May - 4 September 1942.
  • A letter he wrote to his school was published in the school magazine, King's Collegian. At the time he was second-in-command (2I/C) of 18 Battalion. "... I am thoroughly enjoying being with the troops again. When I was called to the Division Staff last September it was supposed to be for one month's tour of duty. In fact it lasted nine months, but I am glad to be out and about again.... In Crete I was the chief staff officer on the artillery side and it was a trying job. Owing to the transport difficulties we could not get the gear and equipment, and it was far from pleasant knowing the troops were without essentials and not being able to do anything about it. I gather a great deal has been said and written in New Zealand - probably much too much. The truth of the matter is that the New Zealand Division came through the two [Greece and Crete] with more honour and less serious losses than any other troops..."
  • NB. Haigh & Polaschek spell Peart's middle name "Norriss".
Description of Image
  • Roll of Honour, Freemasons, Te Awamutu Lodge No. 2221 E.C., members who served in the World War 1939 - 1945 (photo Geoff Parry September 2013)
  • Memorial plaque, Freemasons, Te Awamutu Lodge No. 2221 E.C., members who died in the World War 1939 - 1945, at Ellerslie Masonic Centre (photo Geoff Parry September 2013)
Sources Used
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940)
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission. URL:
  • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (compilers). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, The Authors.

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