444372 Gunner Arthur Brian Overend – 7th Anti-Tank Regiment, NZ Artillery

Arthur Brian Overend was born in Wellington on 8th August 1922[i] the son of Eva Evelyn Lydia (nee Bell) and
Arthur Harold Overend.[ii]

Raised in Wellington Brian as he was known was employed as a shipping clerk for
Levin & Co Limited[iii] when he attested for service in the NZEF on 16th July 1941.
Brian’s military records note the 18 year as a single man living with his parents at
26 Hohiria Road, Haitatai., his father Mr A H Overend is listed as his next of kin.

                                                    Gunner  Arthur Brian Overend  & comrade  
Brian entered Waiouru Military camp on 7th August 1941 as 2/1/1210 Private
Overend, 1st Battalion, Wellington Infantry for 3 months training, Territorial
Intensive Training (T.I.T). 2/1/1210 Private Overend was then released to civilian

Brian returned to military camp on 11th December 1941 returning to Waiouru as
444372 Gunner Overend. Possibly because of his age Gunner Overend remained in
New Zealand through to 1st July 1943 and was attached to 22nd Anti-Tank Battalion.

On 21st July 1943, the now 20 year old, Gunner Overend was part of the 10th
Reinforcements embarked for Egypt.  Gunner Overend arrived in Egypt 8th August 1943, his 21st birthday and was
posted to the  7th Anti-Tank Regiment.

The New Zealand Division moved to the Italian front in October 1943 going into action in November 1943. By June 1944
the 7th Anti-Tank Regiments with other elements of the Divisional Artillery were  in the area of Acre and Fontana Liri undergoing training for the advance on Florence. The 7th Anti-Tanks was also supplied with the M10 ‘Tank-Buster.[iv]’
It is not known if Gunner Overend was crew on the M10 but on 2nd July 1944 he was involved in a truck accident, a blow to the elbow resulting in gross fractures to both the upper arm and elbow.  Gunner Overend was evacuated to 2nd NZ General Hospital where he was treated. then to the 3rd NZ General Hospital at Bari, Italy where Gunner Overend was medically assessed and regraded. The regrading to Class E meant that Gunner Overend was considered unfit for service
in Italy and arrangements were made to repatriated him to New Zealand.

Gunner Overend was returned, by hospital ship. to New Zealand on 23rd September 1944. Gunner Overend was provided medical treatment in New Zealand and then after taking leave due was discharged from the 2nd NZEF on 18th January 1945.

                                                     Brian returned to live with his parents and also returned to the position of shipping clerk,                                                             Levin & Co.

                                                     On 27th July 1945 Arthur Brian Overend was engaged to Jean Margaret Crawford[v]. The                                                               couple married on 17th February 1946[vi] making their home in Karori.

​                                                     Jean and Brian photo taken by a Wellington street photographer

                                                     Brian and Jean moved out to 23 Jackson Street, Porirua East[vii] in the early 1950’s. They                                                                 raised a family, Catherine and Darryl, and  Brian continued a career as a Shipping Manager
                                                     up to his death on 21st October 1969, aged 47.

                                                     Arthur Brian Overend is buried in Porirua Cemetery. When Jean died in 2010 she was                                                                      interred in her husband’s grave.

                          Notes                      Notes
                                                            An older brother John (Jack) Howard Overend died in infancy

NZDF Archives: Military Files
Paperspast Online
2nd NZ Division Artillery
NZ Electoral rolls

Overend Grave old Porirua Cemetery: Mel Macdonald
7th Anti-tank Regiment M10 1st August 1944 passing through
San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Italy: Nat Library DA-06473-F
Gunner Overend & Comrade: Overend/Church families
Jean and Brian Overend: Overend/Church families

[i] NZDF Military Files: 444372 Gunner Arthur Brian Overend
[ii] Ancestry.com: family trees
[iii] Arthur’s father held a senior position in Levin & Co
[iv] 2nd NZ Divisional Artillery – The Pursuit Begins
[v] Engagements Overend-Crawford, 27th July 1945, Evening Post
[vi] Ancestry.com: Family trees
[vii] 1954 NZ Porirua Electoral Roll

7th Anti-Tank M10's 1st August 1944