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Displaying 1 Record
Jefford Rex Watson
Rank Last Held:
Korean War, 1950-1953
Date of Birth:
26 February 1928
Place of Birth:
Pongaroa, Manawatu, New Zealand
Occupation before Enlistment:
Driver and Fencer
Pahiatua, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation:
Royal New Zealand Artillery
New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM)
Last Unit Served:
New Zealand Artillery, 16 Field Regiment
Place of Death:
Date of Death:
18 November 1951
Age at Death:
Year of Death:
Cause of Death:
Died of disease, Manchurian fever
United Nations Cemetery, Pusan, Korea
Served with Kayforce 1951
Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Mark Burton presented the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) to next of kin of New Zealanders who were killed or died in military operations since 1945 at a ceremony at Parliament 3 September 2003.
The New Zealand Operational Service Medal was received on his behalf by his nephew Mr Jefford Watson of Palmerston North.
An article on Manchurian fever appeared in the New Zealand Herald (19 November 1951, p. 8) claiming that only one soldier (not named) in Kayforce was affected and that he was not seriously ill.
"Health concerns had been raised by the upsurge in cases of haemorrhagic (Songo or Manchurian) fever, which occured late in 1951. During November, thirty-one cases were reported among the Commonwealth troops. These included two members of 16 Field Regiment, Gunners J.R. Watson and D.C. Jackson, both of whom died of illness. Other victims spent months in hospital recovering." (McGibbon 1996, vol. 2, p. 240)
McGibbon, I.C. (1992-1996). Volume II: Combat Operations, 1996, pp. 240, 371, 413.
Hopkins, G. (2002). Tales from Korea : the Royal New Zealand Navy. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed.
New Zealand Navy in the Korean War. Navy Museum. URL:
New Zealand in the Korean War. NZHistory online. URL:
McGibbon, I.C. (1992-1996). New Zealand and the Korean War (Vols. 1-2). Auckland, N.Z.; Wellington, N.Z.: Oxford University Press in association with the Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs.
New Zealand Defence Force. Roll of Honour. Personnel who have died on operational service since 3 September 1945. URL:
Displaying 1 Record