4th Res M/T Coy, 2NZEF
March – April 1941
|METHOD OF DEPARTURE||Captured/surrendered at Kalamata, 29th April|
Dulag 185 Corinth,
Dulag 183 Salonika
|IN OCCUPIED EUROPE
Stalag XVIIIA, Wolfsberg;
Stalag XVIIID, Marberg:
ArbKdos – 10030/GW, Lavamund;
107/GW, Wetzeldorf, Graz:
66/GW, 86/GW, Thesen;
100/L, Sindoelkirchen Frusaugraben
Source: family contact (daughter Marilyn)
6 Feb 1916 – Oct ‘67
“Denys Henry Vette was born on 6th February 1916 in Te Rehunga, Dannevirke, New Zealand. His parents were Olaf Jurgen Hansen and Lucy Agnes Vette, Denys was one of ten children. Olaf and Lucy were married on 16th February 1904 and began their married life, on their own purchased property in Taihape. Later in their married life they were sharemilkers and moved every 2 – 3 years on what we call Gypsy Day in New Zealand. This is usually the 1st June, every year. They moved farm to farm about 13 times, living a ‘transient’ life. Denys after finishing his school years, worked on the farms with his father.
On the 25th September 1939, Denys enlisted into the New Zealand Army at Morrinsville. He reported for duty at the army camp on 6th October 1939 for basic Army training. Over the next three months they were taught military skills, fitness, instilling obedience, and discipline in the new recruits.
On the 4th January 1940 Denys embarked for overseas and disembarked at Port Tewfik, in Egypt and then marched into Maadi Camp. This was a New Zealand base Camp about 13 kilometres south of Cairo.
Denys was a Driver in the 4th Reserve Mechanical Transport Company. He encountered first action with the enemy on 9th December 1940. All the men involved were volunteers known as the Special Force, as 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, was first named.
In PoW Work Camp Wetzeldorf Graz Denys was severely scolded while carrying a pot of boiling soup in the kitchen, suffering 1st and 2nd degree burns to his head and shoulder. Denys appears in photos from other camps, of which we were not aware he had been in.
On the 22nd May 1945 Denys was repatriated to England. Soon afterwards he met and was married in Manchester to Gladys Reasbeck. Denys arrived back in New Zealand on 24th October 1945 and Gladys followed later, arriving in New Zealand on 14th February 1946.
On 19th April 1948 Denys and Gladys had their first-born child, a boy and named him Robert James Vette. They settled in Matamata and then moved to Ngatamahine, where Gladys had an accident in the vicinity of the water pump and drowned after the car rolled backwards. Robert was 18 months old at the time. It was in October 1951 Denys remarried and had three more children. The effects of the War took its toll on Denys, resulting in medical problems. In October 1967 he died of heart disease.
Denys had a quiet disposition and worked hard on the farms he and my Mother were Sharemilkers.”
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