22nd Battalion (New Zealand)

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22nd Battalion
Active 1939–1948
Country  New Zealand
Branch New Zealand Military Forces
Type Infantry
Size ~700–900 personnel
Part of 5th Brigade, 2nd Division
Motto Vrai et fort, Second to none
Engagements

Second World War

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Leslie Andrew

The 22nd Battalion, also known as the "Wellington Battalion", was an infantry battalion of the New Zealand Military Forces, which served during the Second World War. Formed in November 1939, it was part of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Division of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. After undertaking training at Trentham Camp the battalion sailed from New Zealand on the 1 May 1940. The battalion saw action in Greece, Crete, North Africa, and Italy. Upon formation, the battalion was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Andrew, a Victoria Cross recipient from the First World War.[1][2] Sergeant Keith Elliott was the 22nd Battalion's sole Victoria Cross recipient during the Second World War, receiving the award for actions around Ruweisat, Egypt, on 15 July 1942.[2][3] Other decorations bestowed upon members of the 22nd Battalion included two Distinguished Service Orders, seven Distinguished Conduct Medals, one Member of the Order of the British Empire, 12 Military Crosses and one bar, 14 Military Medals and one Greek Military Cross.[4] The battalion's casualties amounted to 282 men killed in action or died of wounds, 799 wounded and 511 captured as prisoners of war.[5]

The battalion was redesignated the 2nd Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment on 7 August 1947, while it was undertaking occupation duties in Japan.[6] The battalion was disbanded in 1948.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Henderson 1958, pp. 1 and 476.
  2. ^ a b "New Zealand Troops Who Have Won the Victoria Cross". Geocities.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Lineham, Peter. "Elliott, Keith". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Henderson 1958, p. 475.
  5. ^ Henderson 1958, p. 474.
  6. ^ Henderson 1958, p. 460.
  7. ^ Mills, T.F. "Index of the Regiments and Corps of New Zealand". Land Forces of Britain, The Empire and Commonwealth. Regiments.org. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 

References[edit]

  • Henderson, Jim (1958). 22 Battalion. The Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–1945. Wellington, New Zealand: Historical Publications Branch.