83108 Private William James Hanson – Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, 2nd Division Workshops

William James Hanson was born in Wellington on 25th October 1920 the son of Alice Margaret (nee Mulline) and William Claus Hanson[i].
William Claus Hanson was a Coal and Wood Merchant in Wellington, who enlisted in the 2nd NZEF and went overseas in May – June 1940 as Infantry Reinforcements, with the 3rd Echelon[ii].
William James Hanson signed his enlistment papers on 10th December 1941, his mother is listed as his next of Kin. William is noted as a single man, working as a driver and living with his mother[iii].
On the 13th January 1942 83108 Private Hanson entered Waioru Military Camp with the 1st Reinforcements, 2nd NZ Tank Brigade. On the 14th February 1942 Private Hanson was granted 7 days marriage leave to marry Mrs Gwenneth Elizabeth Page (nee Flaws). Private Hanson remained in New Zealand being posted to a number of Military Camps both in the North and South Island.
At Linton Camp on 12th March 1943 Private Hanson was posted
from the Motor Operations Training Unit to the 9th Reinforcements
in preparation for embarkment overseas, Trooper Hanson,
4th Armoured Brigade.
Trooper Hanson arrived in Egypt on 11th June 1943 and was posted
to the Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (E&ME), 4th Armoured
Brigade Workshops. The NZ Division was refitting and reorganising
for the Italian Campaign.  

4th Armoured Brigade workshops, Maadi, Egypt, 1943

Trooper Hanson with the rest of the Brigade embarked for Italy in
November 1943. During the campaign the E & ME workshops were
critical in maintaining and restoring to operational service tanks,
trucks and other forms of transport so critical in modern warfare. 
During the campaign Trooper Hanson was transferred to the
2nd Divisional Workshops as a Private. At the end of the war in Europe the 2nd Division remained in Italy waiting to either be repatriated to New Zealand or for some to join Jay Force in Japan.

On 13th February 1946 Private Hanson returned to New Zealand and was sent to the Wellington Public Hospital for treatment of enlarged tonsils. Following treatment Private Hanson was granted leave and was finally discharged from the 2nd NZEF on 19th May 1946.

William’s marriage to Gwenneth did not last and following a divorce in 1946 he married Amelia Sally Jamilia Michael in 1948. The couple had six children[iv] first living in Wellington but moved out to Porirua in the early 1960’s. William continued to be occupied as a driver and he was living with his family in 23 Chews Place, Porirua. William James Hanson is buried in the old Porirua Cemetery, interred with him are his daughter Amelia Suzanne who died in 1981[v] and his wife Amelia on 3rd August 1999.

NZDF Archives
Paperspast Online

Hanson grave Porirua Cemetery: Mel Macdonald
Trooper Hanson  Porirua Cemetery: Mel Macdonald
4th Armoured Brigade Workshops 1943: Nat Lib DA-04291-F

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Auckland Cenotaph
[iii] NZDF Archives: 83108 Private William James Hanson
[iv] Hanson Family: Ancestry.com
[v] Hanson grave old Porirua Cemetery


4th Armoured Brigade Workshop, Egypt - 1943