HMNZS TAMAKI – Intake 1958

Here is an image of a recruit intake for 1958.   They certainly looked a smart bunch which is only to be expected noting that most of these were Communicators.  Click on Image to enlarge.

Standing L -R  REC(L) MacDonald, JREC (L) Kerrick, JREC(L) Burns, JTEL Garrick Bryce, JREC(L) Trevor Woon , J TEL Bryan Mills, Rec (L) Kilby

Sitting  L – R  OTEL Terry East, REC (L) Albie Wardle, JTEL Des Long, JTEL Bob Young and JTEL Ken Beattie. (All Comms except Albie Wardle)

Sadly on 23 May 1959, REM2 Albie Wardle died in a fire in the accommodation block at IRIRANGI along with his shipmate REM1 Fred W Grupen.

Des Long later in life, after leaving pussers, became a Radio Officer on the Inter-Island Ferries.

The Boy Wireless Telegraphist Intake [42nd Boys W/T] joined the RNZN on 19 September 1957 at HMNZS Philomel. The following day, the boys were posted to HMNZS Tamaki [Motuihe Island aka The Rock] for one year. The names of the 42nd Boys W/T are as follows:

* Boy Tel – Neal Catley [Class Leader]
* Boy Tel – Roy Halgarth
* Boy Tel – Alan Hathaway [Benji]
* Boy Tel – Lindsay Lawerence
* Boy Tel – Peter McDonald

The 42nd Boys W/T together with the 1958 Recruitment Telegraphist Intake [older lads as detailed in Bob’s photo] were combined in September 1958 as one Telegraphist Class. The class continued their Basic Telegraphist training at North Head Communications School [HMNZS Philomel] for eight months. The Communications Training Officer was Lt Cdr Eggy Biggs, RNZN and the course Instructor was PO/Tel Snow Millson. All of the class qualified and were posted to HMNZS Royalist on completion.

Thanks to Bob Young and Neal Catley for the image and narrative.

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7 Responses to HMNZS TAMAKI – Intake 1958

  1. fdubya says:

    I can confirm that those lost in the fire in the Irirangi accommodation block on 23 May 1959, were REM2 AH Wardle and REM1 FW Grupen.

  2. Murray Tricker says:

    The fire at Irirangi took the lives of two REMs, one was Fred Grupen. The other one????

  3. Terry Druce says:

    The missing chap looks like it could be REC(L) Trevor Woon

  4. Robyn Pearce says:

    I was so delighted to come across the photo of the 1958 intake of young naval recruits. My late husband Eric Pearce was also one of this intake. Unfortunately he must have missed being included in the photo. I got to meet most of the young men in the photo as Eric served on the Royalist, and had a number of postings to HMNZS Irirangi. As a married couple we transferred to Waiouru in 1965 where Eric completed the last 18 months of his 8 year service at HMNZS Irirangi. Sadly Eric died in 2002.
    Kind regards,
    Robyn Pearce

  5. John Bullock says:

    Hi Robyn …. Very sorry to read about Eric’s passing. You probably remember me when your family lived in Stewart Street Waiouru. Eric was my “boss” back in those good ol’ days. I recall catching up with you years ago after Eric had left the service and was working in a engineering factory in Onehunga.
    Eric RIP

    • Robyn Pearce says:

      Hi John,
      Lovely to hear from you. Of course I remember you and your family. They were good days. Yes,
      we miss Eric a lot. He was a good man. Our four children are well, and I have six grandchildren, three boys and three girls.
      I hope you are happy, and life is treating you good.

      Very best wishes,

    • Robyn Pearce says:

      Hi John,
      How lovely to hear from you. Of course I remember you and your lovely family. They were good times in Waiouru. We miss Eric. He was a good man, and full of fun. Thank you for your kind words. Our 4 children are well, and I have 6 grandchildren.
      I hope you are well and enjoying life.
      Very best wishes,
      My apologies if you get two of these. A bit of a glitch on my phone😕

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