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Full Name
Graham Beresford Parkinson
Rank Last Held
Major General
Graham Beresford
Also Known As
  • World War I, 1914-1918
  • World War II, 1939-1945
  • Regular Military Service
Serial No.
  • 50614
  • 1522
Date of Birth
5 November 1896
Place of Birth
Wellington, New Zealand
First Known Rank
  • Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Brigadier
Occupation before Enlistment
  • Soldier
  • Officer of Regular Forces
  • Officer of Regular Forces
Next of Kin
  • H.A. Parkinson (father). 137 Coromandel Street, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Mrs Barbara Waiohine Parkinson (wife), 6 Easdale Street, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Mrs Barbara Waiohine Parkinson (wife), 6 Easdale Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Marital Status
  • Single
  • Married
  • Married
Enlistment Address
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • 6 Easdale Street, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 6 Easdale Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Military District
Body on Embarkation
  • New Zealand Expeditionary Force
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 1st Echelon
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
Embarkation Unit
  • 27th Reinforcements New Zealand Field Artillery
  • Headquarters, 4 Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery
  • Headquarters, Anti-tank Brigade
Embarkation Date
12 June 1917
Place of Embarkation
Wellington, New Zealand
Plymouth, England
Nominal Roll Number
  • 67
  • WW2 1
  • WW2 9
Page on Nominal Roll
  • 27
  • WW2 139
  • WW2 307
Other Units
  • NZ Army Tank Brigade
  • 6 NZ Infantry Brigade
  • 7 NZ Infantry Brigade
  • Royal Artillery, NZ Division
  • Army, Headquarters
Military Training
Graduate of Royal Military College, Duntroon, 1916
  • Egypt
  • France
  • Middle East
  • Greece
  • Egypt
  • Sangro River
  • Monte Cassino
  • Italy
Military Awards
  • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and Bar
  • Officer of the Order of St John
  • British War Medal (1914-1920)
  • Victory Medal
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Africa Star (8th Army clasp)
  • Italy Star
  • Defence Medal
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MiD)
  • New Zealand War Service Medal
  • New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit, Officer (United States)
Award Circumstances
DSO: NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944.Citation: "This officer left New Zealand with the main body and commanded his Regiment (4th Field Regiment, NZ Artillery) with distinction in the Western Desert in 1940, and in Greece and Egypt in 1941. During the campaign in Greece, his resource and leadership were largely responsible for the successful withdrawal of a large section of the force from the Penios Gorge on 20th April 1941. At the Battle of Molo and during the subsequent withdrawal he showed great coolness and gallantry. Since his return to Egypt he has been untiring in his efforts to reorganise and retrain his Regiment, largely depleted by casualties in Greece and Crete and by the many demands on it for staff and officer cadet personnel, to its previous high state of efficiency. Brigadier Parkinson has given sterling and unselfish service over a long period. He has now been selected to raise and command a New Zealand Tank Brigade."
Last Unit Served
New Zealand Southern Military District
Place of Death
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Date of Death
12 July 1979
Age at Death
Year of Death
Cemetery Name
Ruru Lawn Cemetery, off Ruru Road, Christchurch, New Zealand
Grave Reference
Block IF Plot 87
Biographical Notes
  • Son of Ethel Constance Parkinson and Henry Ainslie Parkinson.
  • Husband of Barbara Waiohine nee Howe.
  • Joined 1 NZ Expeditionary Force (#50614), 12 June 1917.
  • Served as Adjutant as Temporary Captain of 1 Brigade, NZ Field Artillery. Discharged 1919.
  • Commanding Officer (CO) of 4 Field Regiment, January 1940 - August 1941.
  • CO of 1 Army Tank Brigade in NZ, August 1941-42.
  • CO of 7 NZ Infantry Brigade in NZ, 1942.
  • CO of 6 Infantry Brigade in Italy, April 1943 - June 1944; August 1944 - June 1945.
  • Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 2 NZ Division, 3-27 March 1944.
  • Commander Royal Artillery (CRA) of 2 NZ Division, June - August 1944.
  • Quartermaster General (QMG) of Army HQ, January - September 1946.
  • Military Liaison Officer, London, UK, 1946-49.
  • Commandant of NZ Southern Military District (SMD), 1949-51.
Postwar Occupation
New Zealand Electronic Text Collection topic page
Further References
Sources Used
  • Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume III. Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1918
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940)
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 9 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1942 to 31st December, 1942)
  • Cemetery Records. Christchurch City Council cemeteries database. URL:
Previous Military Experience
  • Served with the NZ Forces in Fiji during the Indian riots, 1920
  • Director of NZ Artillery, 1936

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