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36395 Sapper George Richards, 6th Field Company, 2nd NZEF

2NZEF Memorial Cross -KiA on HMS Chakdina

  • Simon George Richards was born 24th November 1913, son of Charles and Sophie Richards (née Gebhardt). At the time of his enlistment into the 2nd NZEF in 1940 he was working as a road surfaceman at Kai Iwi, near Wanganui. He embarked with the 3rd Echelon, 2nd NZEF and served during the Libyan campaign in 1941, during which he was wounded. 


    On 5th December 1941 Richards, along with several hundred other wounded Allied troop and some Axis prisoners of war, were loaded on HMS Chakdina at Tobruk and set sail for Alexandria in Egypt. Just after 9pm the vessell was struck by a torpedo dropped by an Italian torpedo bomber, and sank within 4 minutes. George Richards was either killed in the blast or went down with the ship. His body was never found, and he is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial.


    This lot comprises his correctly-named Memorial Cross (36395 SPR. G. RICHARDS), a typed issue-slip for his medals (medals not included), and a copy photo. His medal entitlement would be 1939/45 Star, Africa Star, 1939/45 War Medal, New Zealand War Service Medal. His service file has not been obtained, so there is plenty of scope for further research.

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