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ANZAC DAY stories

James Ian Johnston -
father of Birkenhead Heritage Society President 2017-22
Marcia Roberts


  • Mobilised 16.3.1940 to NZ Naval Draft 2nd Echelon, N.Z. Army Troopship Aquitania, 2.5.1940    

  • Arrived Greenock - Scotland via Cape Town, Sierra Leone West Africa 10th June 1940.

  • Located at HMS St. Vincent Naval Barracks, Portsmouth to August 1940.  

  • Served in the North Atlantic on Convoy Escort 17.8.1940 to 15.10.1941 on a converted merchant ship as a cruiser, H.M.S. Alynbank, at Scapa Flow Orkney Islands.

  • Minesweeper T155 Inchkeith boarded Aberdeen Nov.  1941 with N.Z. 1st Lt. Wilfred Becket. On sea trials/exercises with a submarine, then escort duties.

  • Ordered to Gourock in early March 1942, joined by three sister ships to be delivered to NZ.

  • Leaving on 15.3.1942, crossed the Atlantic to Newfoundland, to Caribbean Sea ports, Panama, Los Angeles, and Hawaii for coal refuelling.

  • Berthed Auckland, Devonport Naval Dockyard 4.8.1942.

  • Two weeks leave with wife and son (born Dec. 1940), a period at Devonport, then 5 months at Worser Bay Mine Station, Wellington, with his family nearby.

  • Called to the naval office for new orders, on 4th Oct. 1943, sailed from Wellington on H.T. Nieuw Amsterdam for the UK, for further officer training, drafted to the Mediterranean 1944-1946 on minesweepers based in Naples, Genoa, Sardinia and Corsica.

  • Sailed from Tilbury, UK for NZ on a ‘brides ship’ arriving 6.4.1946, son over 5yrs. and daughter born in 1944, 15 months

BHS ANZAC DAY 2023 MEDALS_edited_edited_

Medals from James Ian Johnston
World War II Service 1939-45
Atlantic, Italy & 1939-1945 Stars: R.N.V.R. 10yrs.
Long Service medal:
The Defence of Britain Medal: British & N.Z. War Medals

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