Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 12 Dec 2014 2014-12-12T00:00:00.000Z 2014-12-12T00:00:00.000Z 2014.90.7 Collection of Auckland Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, 2014.90.7 Gift of Mr Evan Jenkins 2015-06-09T00:00:00.000Z 1 2019-10-31T01:37:49.423Z 55 Shell nose cap, WW1 17179 Gunner Eric Milton Denby, New Zealand Field Artillery, 16th Reinforcements, 1NZEF Eric Milton Denby was born in Warkworth but lived most of his life in Northcote, Auckland. He trained as an engineer and in WW1 enlisted with NZ Field Artillery (service number 17179), leaving New Zealand with the 16th Reinforcements. He survived a gunshot wound to the scalp in Ypres in 1917 but was adjudged no longer physically fit for military service. Post WW1: Eric joined the Dunedin-based Union Steamship Co. of New Zealand Ltd (1875-2000) as an engineer and his maritime career with the company was marked by at least two significant events, both sinkings. On 19 August 1930, Denby was third engineer on the RMS Tahiti when she sank near Rarotonga en route from Wellington to San Francisco, following a holing two days previously caused by the breaking of a propeller shaft. All were rescued. Three years earlier the Tahiti had accidentally rammed the ferry Greycliffe in Sydney Harbour resulting in the death of 40 passengers. We don’t yet know if Denby was present on the Tahiti at that time. On December 8 1940 Denby was second engineer onboard the SS Komata when she was sunk off Nauru by the German raider Komet. Most of the crew were rescued and taken on board to join the survivors of other cargo & passenger vessels sunk over the previous month by the raider and her two fellow hunters. Denby was one of nearly 500 captives eventually marooned by the Germans on Emirau Island. shell nose cap, WW1 Associated with 17179 Gunner Eric Milton Denby, New Zealand Field Artillery, 16th Reinforcements, 1NZEF\ mushroom-shaped cap on screw column; battered; embedded dirt. shell nose cap
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