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Full Name: Monty Claude Fairbrother
Rank Last Held: Brigadier
Forename(s): Monty Claude
Surname: Fairbrother
War: World War II, 1939-1945
Serial No.: 7192
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 21 September 1907
Place of Birth: Carterton, Wairarapa, New Zealand
First Known Rank:
  • Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant Colonel
Occupation before Enlistment:
  • Secretary-Accountant
  • Accountant
Next of Kin:
  • Mrs Helen Constance Fairbrother (wife), Te Kawa, Te Awamutu, New Zealand
  • Mrs Helen Constance Fairbrother (wife), Te Kawa, Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Marital Status:
  • Married
  • Married
Enlistment Address:
  • C/o Post Office Box 61, Invercargill, New Zealand
  • Post Office Box 61, Invercargill, New Zealand
Enlistment Date: 1939
Age on Enlistment: 32
Military District: Invercargill
Body on Embarkation:
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), 1st Echelon
  • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF)
Embarkation Unit:
  • 20th (Canterbury-Otago) Battalion
  • Infantry Brigade
Embarkation Date:
  • 5 January 1940
  • 1944
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Destination: Egypt
Nominal Roll Number:
  • WW2 1
  • WW2 14
Page on Nominal Roll:
  • WW2 56
  • WW2 30
Other Units:
  • 2 NZ Infantry Brigade
  • 5 NZ Infantry Brigade
  • 20 Infantry Battalion
  • 21 Infantry Battalion
  • 23 Infantry Battalion
  • 28 (Maori) Battalion
Military Awards:
  • Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE)
  • Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
  • 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
  • Coronation Medal 1953
  • Efficiency Decoration (ED) and Four bars
Award Circumstances: DSO: NZ Gazette, 30 April 1946, citation: "For gallantry and distinguished leadership. Lieutenant Colonel Fairbrother commanded 26 NZ Battalion during the recent campaign, from the date of the attack on the Senio until the conclusion of hostilities. During this period his Battalion carried out a number of attacks; all of which were completely successful. He was continually with forward companies, making personal reconnaissances with complete disregard for his personal safety, and inspiring his men with his tireless and determined leadership. From 12 April till 16 April his battalion fought five set-piece attacks under barrages, all prepared at very short notice. As a result his battalion cross [sic] the Santerno and the Sillaro and exploited to a considerable depth beyond. On 19th April, Lt Colonel Fairbrother's battalion drove back the enemy on his sector to the Idice. His drive and determined leadership took the battalion beyond the river at a point where a ford permitted tanks to cross. The establishment of this bridgehead and the quick passing across of his own tanks and supporting arms, and also those of other battalions, was a major factor in repulsing the German efforts to regain the line of the Idice. As a direct result of this, a set-piece attack on the Genghis Khan line was not necessary and the advance continued to pursue and attack the enemy. Many pockets of resistance were encountered and Lt Col Fairbrother moved behind the forward companies, made personal reconnaissances and directed the swift attacks necessary. Throughout the campaign Lieutenant Colonel Fairbrother's courage, determination and leadership were of the highest order."
Last Unit Served: 2 New Zealand Infantry Brigade
Place of Death: Masterton, New Zealand
Date of Death: February 1997
Age at Death: 89
Year of Death: 1997
Cemetery Name: Riverside Cemetery, Masterton, New Zealand
Grave Reference: Ex-servicemen Row A-I Plot 1
Obituary: Death Notice: Wairarapa Times-Age, 22 February 1997
Biographical Notes:
  • Brigade Major of 5 NZ Infantry Brigade, June 1942-43.
  • Commanding Officer (CO) of 21 Battalion, 23 Battalion, and 28 (Maori) Battalion, April - December 1943.
  • General Staff Officer grade 2 (GSO2), June 1944.
  • CO of 26 Battalion, October 1944 - September 1945.
  • Commandant of 2 NZ Expeditionary Force Advanced Base, September 1945.
  • Associate Editor, War Histories, 1946
  • Commissioned Brigadier and commanded 2 NZ Infantry Brigade, 1951-56.
  • Associate Member of Army Board, 1955-60.
  • Chairman of War Pensions Board, 1963.
NZETC: New Zealand Electronic Text Collection topic page
Further References:
Sources Used:
Previous Military Experience: Served in Hawkes Bay Regiment, 1928
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