Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Minister honours legendary unit at final parade

Hon Judith Collins

Minister of Veterans' Affairs

12 December 2008

Media Release        

Minister honours legendary unit at final parade

New Zealand owes a debt of gratitude to the surviving members of the legendary Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) which held its final parade today, Veterans’ Affairs Minister Hon Judith Collins says.

The LRDG was one of the first Special Forces units formed and was the forerunner to the Special Air Service.

The unit was made up mostly of tough and resourceful Kiwis who undertook covert missions far behind enemy lines in North Africa, Italy and Greece during the Second World War.

At its height, 400 New Zealanders were part of the LRDG. Today, just 13 survive and three – Ian Judge, Tom Ritchie and Norm Gedye - took part in today’s parade through the streets of Papakura in Auckland.

The unit has held a reunion almost every year since 1948. Due to fragile health of the surviving members, today’s reunion is likely to be the last held anywhere in the world.

Ms Collins paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those who served with the LRDG.

“I salute your courage on behalf of all New Zealanders. The nation owes you a debt of gratitude,” Ms Collins said.

“Your footprints will never fade from the sands of North Africa and the stony battlefields of Italy and Greece. In New Zealand, the memory of your great actions and your sacrifice will live on for generations to come,” Ms Collins said.

When the unit was formed, the mostly rural New Zealanders were thought to be better equipped for periods of isolation, harsh weather conditions and danger than their British counterparts.

Germany’s Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was reported as saying: "The LRDG caused us more damage than any other unit of their size."



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>

Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>

CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>




InfoPages News Channels