Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 43, September 1999
A painting, commissioned by the unit and sponsored by DB Breweries, to mark 100 years of the 6th Hauraki Battalion was unveiled at a ceremony in Tauranga as part of the centenary celebrations held in July 1998. (A report outlining the centenary events was published in Journal 42, 1998.) The painting, by military artist Ion Brown, is considered a significant record of New Zealand military history. A limited edition of 125 numbered and signed prints was also produced from the painting.
The subject of the painting is a scene from the Battle of Crete. This scene was chosen as it was one of the significant battles in which 6th Hauraki soldiers were involved.
MEDAL AWARDED: At the centennial celebrations, in Tauranga, Mr J F Seymour, now of Paraparaumu and formerly of Hamilton, was presented with the Efficiency Medal, for his service. Mr Seymour joined the Haurakis in 1934 under Major J M Allen and attended his first annual camp at Paeroa in 1936. The Citation for the award reads as follows:
FOR THE AWARD OF THE
3436 STAFF SERGEANT JAMES FREDERICK SEYMOUR
Staff Sergeant Seymour was born on the 18th March 1916, at Te Awamutu. After spending 18 months at secondary school, during which time he was a member of the School Cadet Unit, he went into farming and joined the Hauraki Regiment, based in Paeroa. He served in the Hauraki Regiment and Waikato Regiment for five years and his records indicate that he was efficient in each of these five years. Anecdotal evidence states that during his service with the Hauraki's, he cycled 34 miles on a push-bike, over gravel roads, to attend his Territorial training.
On the 16th September 1939, Staff Sergeant Seymour enlisted into the New Zealand Army, entered Hopu Hopu Military Camp as a Territorial Force Sergeant and was immediately reverted to the rank of corporal. Eleven days later his records indicate that he made his attestation. Again anecdotal evidence indicates that he arrived at Hopu Hopu Military Camp on his Indian motorbike and was immediately drafted into the 1st Ammunition Company - because they wanted his motorbike. Four days later, and with the support of 6 Hauraki's current Honorary Colonel's late uncle, he managed to be re-assigned to the 18th Battalion, of which the Hauraki's helped form. He departed New Zealand with the First Echelon on the 5th January 1940 and found himself, along with his Battalion, embarking in Egypt on the 13th February 1940. He was promoted to sergeant on the 20th April 1941. On the 3rd of July 1941 he was awarded the Greek Gold Medal of George I with Swords by the King of Greece, for his involvement in the escort of the King of Greece off Crete. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant on the 19th October 1941, reverting back to sergeant on the 12th January 1942 and was again promoted to Staff Sergeant on the 3rd February 1942. He retained this rank until his discharge on the 10th August 1944.
His Service records indicate that his Regular service comprised 282 days of service in New Zealand and 4 years 318 days of service overseas.
To be eligible for the Efficiency Medal, a Service member must complete 12 years efficient and continuous service. However, Service members who were serving in the Territorial Force on the 2nd of September 1939, having been mobilised or enlisted for full time service with the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force have their war service recognised as double service. Staff Sergeant Seymour's five years of pre-war Territorial Force service and the doubling of his 4 years and 318 days of war service made him eligible for the Efficiency Medal on 27th March 1943. The awarding of the Efficiency Medal is only 55 years and 106 days overdue.