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Full Name: John Eugene Robertson
Rank Last Held: Private
Forename(s): John Eugene
Surname: Robertson
War: World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.: 14977
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 14 June 1919
Place of Birth: Golden Bay, Tasman, New Zealand
Religion: Church of England
First Known Rank: Private
Occupation before Enlistment: Horse Trainer
Next of Kin: Jean Christina Robertson (mother), Gammock Street, Temuka, New Zealand
Marital Status: Single
Enlistment Address: Gammock Street, Temuka, New Zealand
Physical Description:
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Height: 5 foot 10 inches
  • Hair: fair reddish
  • Complexion: fair
Enlistment Date: 3 July 1940
Age on Enlistment: 20
Body on Embarkation: Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 4th Reinforcements, 3rd Section
Embarkation Unit: Infantry Reinforcements
Embarkation Date: 1 February 1941
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Transport: HMT 24
Vessel: Nieuw Amsterdam
Destination: Port Tewfik, Egypt
Nominal Roll Number: WW2 3
Page on Nominal Roll: WW2 406
Other Units:
  • 4th Infantry brigade
  • 33rd Battalion, B Company till July 1941
  • A Company 1st Southern Infantry Battalion, 3rd Section, 4th Reinforcement
  • 20th Battalion, A Company
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • El Alamein
Military Awards:
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Africa Star
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • New Zealand War Service Medal
Wounds and Diseases: Shrapnel hand wound in November 1941, discharged after 2 weeks, and light duties in Egypt
Last Unit Served: 20 Infantry Battalion, C Company
Place of Death: Western Desert
Date of Death: 15 July 1942
Age at Death: 23
Year of Death: 1942
Cause of Death: Died of wounds
Cemetery Name: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt
Grave Reference: XXVIII. C. 9.
Obituary: Death Notice: NZ Herald 12 July 1943
Biographical Notes:
  • Private Robertson was the second son of Archibald Douglas Robertson and of Jean Christina Robertson (nee Hawthorn), of Temuka, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Brother of Keir, Bid (Archibald 15327), Marie, Valentine, Brian, Jessie, Ian, Erin
  • Spent his early life on West Coast of South island.
  • His niece writes: "He was a talented artist who drew pictures of Goering, Hess, Goebels and Hitler on the tents in the desert - possibly cartoons or caricatures.
  • He and his younger brother Bid (Archibald 15327) enlisted within a month of each other, sailed together for Egypt and fought side by side for 16 months until the desert campaign for Ruweisat Ridge, Egypt, where Bid was captured as a POW and later died at Bari.
  • Originally listed as missing, the family had to endure 11 months of anguish before confirmation of his death.
  • Their parents died without ever visiting their graves"
  • Originally buried Grave 4, map reference 8753.2787 Egypt, Western Desert, Ruweisat Ridge. Transferred to El Alamein War cemetery
Description of Image:
  • Jock (John Robertson) in uniform, Cairo 1941
  • Grave headstone
  • Letter from New Zealand Military Forces, 23 March 1943 writing to his mother unable to confirm his whereabouts.
Sources Used:
  • Cenotaph data entry form
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission. URL:
  • Pringle, D., Glue, W. (1957). 20 Battalion and Armoured Regiment. Wellington: Dept. of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. Digital copy URL:
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force Nominal Roll No. 3 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1940 to 31st March, 1941)
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