Topic: John (Jack) Walter Aitken (1925-2011)

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On the 100th ANZAC anniversary in 2015, Jennifer Aitken gifted her father's Second World War memoirs to Tauranga City Libraries, along with a video tribute to him.

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A video tribute to Jack, including his rendition a favourite tune, the laughing policeman, performed for family. 

 Jennifer introduced the memoirs as:

"The story of my Dad's days in the navy during World War II.  I encouraged Dad to write them all down and bought him a computer to do it — he did a pretty good job we think. He also kept a good diary and log during navy days which helped a lot. My sister, Trisha, put it all together in this booklet after he passed away in 2011. We have more photos of his ships and other things as well. We removed the first few pages, after consulting with Mum, and because they are family-personal.

Dad is survived  by his wife (our Mum) Shirley, 4 children, 9 grandchildren and a great grandchild Curtis. All four of us children and some grandchildren will be at the Mount Maunganui dawn parade this year where we all often went with our Dad. We will  never forget him and his really cool sense of humour!  He was great on the piano too and kept the family entertained with "The laughing policeman” and much more.

Jennifer Aitken (Jenny)




  • 7/10/1943  Joined Navy.
  • 3/06/1944  Arrived HMS Scotia (training camp for signals and communication) .
  • 4/11/1944  In London, recalls "doodle bugs" and V2 bombs.
  • Aboard HMS Borage .
  • 6/12/1944  Sails from Liverpool to escort convoy, then on to Campbelltown. Recalls u-boat snorkles,  ice making ship top heavy.
  • 27/12/1944  Arrived at St Johns Newfoundland. Recalls shipmate injuring self to avoid the return trip.
  • 2/01/1945  Joined Convoy back to U.K, arriving January 13 (leave, ship refitted).
  • 19/04/1945  Tested the refit at sea.
  • 22/04/1945  Escorted two ships up the Irish Sea to join main convoy to Mermansk. 
  • 8/05/1945  Germany surrendors, recalls a near miss with a grenade.
  • 13/05/1915 - 15/08/1945  in campbelltown when Japan surrendered. 
  • 25/08/1945  Left ship for Glen Holt signal camp to await troopship home.
  • 2/11/1945  Leaves England

Jack goes on to recount stories about Terrance Hooker, Dinty Moore, He includes imagesof his diary and photographs from his war years. The download these memoirs, click here.

This page archived at Perma CC in September of 2016:

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John (Jack) Walter Aitken (1925-2011)

First Names:John (Jack) Walter
Last Name:Aitken
Date of Birth:23/10/1925
Place of Birth:Invercargill
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:31/05/2011
Spouses name:Shirley Swain / du Vautier
Name of the children:Patricia (Trisha) Aitken, Robert Aitken, David Aitken, and Jennifer (Jenny) Aitken
Military Service:WWII in the RNZ 8310

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John (Jack) Walter Aitken (1925-2011) by Tauranga City Libraries Staff - HC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License