HANSON Frederick Melrose Horowhenua
70738, Sergeant, 31st Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company
20034, Brigadier, WW2 Service, Headquarters 7 Field Company
Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
For services as Commissioner of Works
Distinguished Service Order
NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944.
At the Wadi Akarit position on the morning of 6th April 1943, Lieutenant Colonel Hanson was placed in command of a party of tanks, infantry and engineers. Their task was to make two gaps in the enemy minefield after the infantry had passed through and formed a bridgehead. The infantry attack was held up and the minefield covered by enemy small arms and artillery fire. Although the infantry was still pinned to the ground, this officer led forward the tanks to the edge of the minefield and organised his force so that engineers could commence work on clearing the gap. Working himself with the engineers, under considerable fire, he succeeded in directing his force in such a manner that the engineers were enabled to clear the necessary gaps for the tanks to go through and engage the enemy. By his fine example of leadership and disregard for personal safety he enabled an enemy position to be taken which appeared as though it would hold out all day and seriously prejudice the Corps plan. Throughout the campaign the work of this officer has been of the highest order.
Bar to the Distinguished Service Order
30 April 1946.
For outstanding devotion to duty and great personal gallantry as C.R.E. from the battle of the Senio River to the entry of the New Zealand Division into Trieste. Colonel Hanson throughout the campaign displayed skill of the highest order in planning and carrying out a long series of bridging operations across the Rivers Senio, Santerno, Sillaro, Gaiana, Idice, Reno, Po, Adige and Piave, together with the erection of numerous other bridges over the minor water obstacles which lay between these bigger rivers. The great speed and efficiency with which many rivers and difficulties were overcome, and Bailey bridges, pontoon bridges, and Class 40 rafts were put into operation was largely due to his personal reconnaissances and subsequent control of operations. This work he carried out on many occasions under heavy fire, and his personal courage and resolution were a great inspiration to his men, in carrying on his work in the most trying and exhausting of circumstances. The speed with which Colonel Hanson and the Divisional Engineers under his command performed their work enabled immediate exploitation of all bridgeheads and thus prevented the enemy from re-occupying each successive river line. Their work made possible the rapid advance of the Division
Corporal, 1st Battalion, Wellington Regiment
Gazetted 11 February 1919, p2144
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion t duty near Havrincourt Wood on 31 September 1918. This NCO was in charge of a Lewis Gun section and personally took forward his gun, and ably assisted a party with covering fire to work their way down a trench. On several occasions under heavy fire from machine-guns and snipers he took his gun into the open in order to obtain a brief field of fire. He displayed a high standard of courage and initiative under adverse circumstances and set a splendid example to his men. He worked outstandingly well during all the operations from 23 August to 14 September 1918.
Mention in Despatches
Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order and bar
British War Medal
8th Army clasp
War Medal 1939-1945
Mention in Despatches
New Zealand War Service Medal
Coronation Medal 1953
Born 9 July 1895 Levin, New Zealand
Died 15 July 1979 Wellington, New Zealand
Cremated Karori Cemetery, Wellington
Attended RMA Duntroon but resigned in 1917 and enlisted with 1 NZEF as a Private.
After WWI he served with the Territorials.
Enlisted with 2 NZEF as a Major in June 1940.
Officer Commanding (OC) 7 Field Company, New Zealand Engineers, Greece, 1940-41.
Commander Royal Engineers (CRE), 2 NZ Division, May 1941.
CRE IV Corps (British), 1944-45.
Territorial member of NZ Army Board, 1948-55.
Commissioner of Works, Ministry of Works.
Chairman, NZ National Roads Board.