Topic: Colin Edward Macmillan (1899-1942)

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Colin Edward Macmillan served in both World War I and World War II. He was killed in action in 1942 when the Japanese sunk the Medusa. Colin was the uncle of Katikati Historian Ellen McCormack (1935-2017). Story by Debbie McCauley.

Colin Edward Macmillan was born in Thames on 20 January 1899. His parents were Robert Macmillan and Mabel Sanders Macmillan (nee Hart) who married in Thames on 10 September 1896.

He served in both World War I and World War II. 

Colin Edward Macmillan (1899-1942)

Colin was a Gunner during World War I (1914-1918) (Service No. 79781). He embarked on 2 October 1918 from Wellington with the 43rd Reinforcements New Zealand Field Artillery on board the Matatua for London, England.

During World War II Lieutenant Colin Edward Macmillan served with the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (M.V. Medusa, Motor Vessel 1062). In December of 1941 they were assigned to special operations on the west coast of Malaya.

Colin Edward Macmillan (1899-1942)

Colin was killed in action, age 42, on 16 February 1942 after the Medusa was sunk by Japanese surface craft gunfire at the South of Banka Straits, Sumatra. At the time of his death, Colin was the Commanding Officer aboard the Medusa

Colin Edward Macmillan (1899-1942)

Colin Macmillan's name is on the New Zealand Naval Memorial, Devonport Naval Base, HMNZS Philomel, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand (Panel 7).



Cenotaph Record: World War I

Cenotaph Record: World War II

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ellen McCormack (niece of Colin Edward Macmillan, personal communication).

Military personnel file: World War I

The Medusa Trust


This article was archived at Perma CC on August 10, 2016 (

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Colin Edward Macmillan (1899-1942)

Note:Service Number: 79781
First Names:Colin Edward
Last Name:Macmillan
Date of Birth:20 January 1899
Place of Birth:Thames
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:16 February 1942
Place of death:South of Banka Straits, Sumatra
Fathers name:Robert Macmillan
Fathers date of birth:5 June 1871
Fathers place of birth:St Croix, West Indies
Fathers date of death:9 May 1912
Fathers place of death:Waihi Hospital
Mothers name:Mabel Sanders Hart
Mothers date of birth:8 January 1877
Mothers place of birth:Thames
Mothers date of death:1937
Mothers place of death:New Zealand
Name of sibilings:John Donald Macmillan , Vera Isobel Macmillan , and Patricia Jean Macmillan
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945)